New standards of leadership and management will be required in the care sector when new requirements for training and qualification are introduced in 2010.

The changes follow the publication of various white and other papers prepared following a number of headline grabbing cases of failure to provide an acceptable level of care. The 2006 White Paper ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ set out a vision of integrated services aimed and equipped to meet an individual’s needs and deliver agreed outcomes. In 2007 it was followed by ‘Putting People First’, the Department of Health’s vision and commitment to improving adult social care based on effective leadership.

Effective leadership and management was also the theme of the 2006 joint Department of Health and Department for Education and Science ‘Options for Excellence Review’.  A review of the nature, structure and training of the care sector workforce it set out a vision for equipping management with the skills, training and systems needed to deliver an excellent service. It specifically refers to the importance of leadership and management.

Acting on a recommendation in the White Paper ‘Our Health, Our Care, Our Say’ the Department of Health has, in partnership with the sector skills councils, developed a set of ‘Common Core Principles to Support Self Care’. There are seven principles developed specifically for the health and social care workforce. They take account of the competence, the context in which they operate, along with the expected behaviours, and also the underpinning knowledge. The principles are:

  • Individuals choices
  • Effective communications
  • Support and information to manage
  • Support and development of skills in care
  • Support and technology
  • Access networks for planning, development and evaluation
  • Support and Risk Management

Skills for Care – Managers Induction Standards
Building on these principles ‘Skills for Care’ (the sector based skills council) have launched a set of six ‘Managers Induction Standards’. These are designed for delivery by training providers. The ‘Standards’ come under the categories of:

  • Understanding the importance of promoting social care principles and values
  • Providing direction and facilitating change
  • Working with people
  • Using resources
  • Achieving outcomes
  • Managing self and personal skills

These standards contain a number of linked areas and set out explicitly required outcomes of which the units, elements and performance criteria are itemised within the training providers guidance booklet, ‘the new managers’ guide’ and training course Schemes of Work and Lesson Plans.

Risk Assessment and Health and Safety
Within Standard 2 ’Providing direction and facilitating change’ there are specific sub-sections dealing with Health and Safety at Work and specifically:

  • Risk Assessment and
  • Health and Safety

For these topics the required outcomes are very specific and look at both the risks to the ‘carer’ and ‘service user.’

Accreditation and Certification
The ‘Managers’ Induction Standards’ have not yet been accredited but they are presently being considered by the award bodies and their acceptance for formal accreditation is expected during 2010.

The Lancaster Workforce Development Partnership (LWDP) based in Preston was chosen to run the pilot course. The Partnership will continue to develop and deliver the training and aims to become the leader in the delivery of future ‘standard’ courses and to offer training and qualifications for all levels of management in the care sector.

Health and Safety and Training Consultants at Peninsula Business Services Ltd were invited to contribute to the development of the training course. We were delighted to accept the invitation and have prepared both the Health and Safety and Risk Management units of the course. We will also be delivering the training to the first pilot course which began in September 2009 and will run through to the end of January 2010. Further information on future courses may be obtained directly from LWDP.

The Future
The expected outcomes from these training courses for managers in the care sector are expected to be:

  • A Nationally recognised qualification for new and existing managers within the care sector (In England)
  • which has parity with an NVQ Level 4 as a future standard for new and existing managers of the care sector

A précis of the current drivers for improved ‘leadership and management’ within the care sector can be found in the document ‘Leadership and Management Strategy Update 2008’ issued by ‘Skills for Care.’

From 2014 it is anticipated that all new managers entering the care sector will be required to have obtained this nationally recognised and, by then, accredited qualification. It is also envisaged that existing care sector managers will attend the course as part of their continuing professional development and update their skills in line with current strategy and future developments.

Peninsula Business Services is delighted that Health and Safety Management and Risk Management have been recognised at the highest levels of the Department of Health along with the Sector Skills Council and associated care sector representatives as essential training for care sector managers. We welcome the integration of health and safety training as a compulsory element of training for all tiers of management within the Care Sector Profession. We are pleased to have had the opportunity to contribute to the initial development and delivery of this exciting and necessary training.

If you are a client of Peninsula and need any further advice on these developments call the Advice Service on 0844 892 2785 and one of our trained specialists will be happy to help. If you are not a client of Peninsula, call Carole Keenan on 0800 328 9348.