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By Debbie le Quesne

HC-One training is inspirational – but what about the rest of us?

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HC-One is a big player in the care business. They also have a voice to match, so when I saw this morning a piece in the Guardian online from Alison Innes-Farquhar, the head of people at HC-One and the 2014 winner of the chief learning officer gold award at the recent Learning Awards, I was intrigued.

She writes: “Delivering training that engages employees and has a real impact on practice is a challenge facing employers across the care sector.” Indeed that’s true.

Alison adds: “We completed a thorough review of learning and development, its content, compliance requirements and operational challenges.

“We built on the outcomes of focus groups, surveys and data analysis to scope a dynamic learning environment that would empower colleagues in their own personal development.”

After reading this I was hooked. The company has developed a new learning and development platform that aims to go “beyond the module.”

It uses what it calls “a blended approach” for specific learning objectives, embedding peer contributed content and using technology – tablets, mobiles, animated video and podcasts – to allow staff to access content when and wherever they wished.

In September 2012, with help of learning partners Acteon, the company launched Touch – a corporate learning solution that delivers a wide range of courses through e-learning, video, podcasts and other online and offline formats.

Courses in dementia, medication, dignity and care, many of which are endorsed or accredited by professional organisations, are available.

Alison writes: “It has transformed our business and the way our employees think about their professional development.”

The programme has created a pull for learning – a curiosity, instead of pushing programmes at our colleagues, she adds.

I agree with her comment that you can’t teach kindness, but you can help train people to deliver it more efficiently.

And yes, if we are serious about developing care, raising standards – there’s a lot of it going on – we need to focus some more on training.

HC-One is big enough to develop their own and it sounds pretty inspirational. For many, that’s not an option, and that’s one of the reasons we are here.

If we are serious about transforming the way care is delivered in the UK, then we have to transform the way we develop the skills of the people who work in the sector.

Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an Austrian-born American management consultant, educator, and author, whose writings contributed to the philosophical and practical foundations of the modern business corporation. He said this: “Knowledge has to be improved, challenged and increased constantly – or it vanishes.”

But to achieve this on-going quest for betterment there is a price to pay – something for which many or our care operators no longer have big budgets. Much of our training is free!

There are plenty of fine words and goals being set by government minister in the reform of social care. The expression ‘put your money where your mouth is’ springs to mind.

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