• 19 April 2021
  • 5 min read

Registered Manager Qualifications Do Not Address The Complexity Of The Job

  • Liam Palmer
    Registered Home Manager
    • Richard Gill
    • Mat Martin
    • Aubrey Hollebon
  • 0
  • 606
"the limits of the Level 5 Diplomas are their simplicity"

Care standards have evolved a great deal in the last 20 years. The job of the Registered Manager is more complex than ever. The Level 5 Diploma does not fully equip managers for care services in 2021.

The Current Social Care Qualifications Are Not Sufficient

Care standards have evolved a great deal in the last 20 years in terms of documentation, best practice, legislation and more. This makes the job of the Registered Manager more complex and an understanding of these laws during the qualification all the more important.

In my view The Level 5 Diploma is insufficient on its own to fully prepare and equip a manager for the complexity of running services in 2021.

Registered Managers are typically either carers developed in their career or Nurses who’ve developed their career.

A smaller proportion of Registered Managers come from outside healthcare. Nurses typically arrive at their Registered Manager’s job with their Nursing Degree and stay up-to-date on clinical matters via the RCN.

Carers typically work their way through the NVQs - NVQ 2 to 3 and then 5.

Qualified Nurses are not required to do a Level 5 Diploma when they change career from Nursing to run a care service.

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So, some are not introduced to the full complexity of the job academically.

Of course, the Diploma gives a valuable foundation of the Social Care narratives and inter-dependencies, and helps to introduce students to the issues surrounding UK care in the modern age.

For that, it is excellent.

But the limits of the Level 5 Diplomas are their simplicity and their tendency to encourage students to know and use Social Care terminology correctly even if, sometimes, this doesn’t accurately reflect the service they are leading.

In other words, they’ve learnt to “talk a good talk”.

More Qualifications Are Available, But They Still Leave A Hole In Knowledge

This may sound like splitting hairs.

But when you actually run a care service, the tensions between risk and safety and viability are real. Words must be backed up with knowledge.

Yes, these gaps in knowledge can be filled or supplemented by Social Care consultants, quality teams, development programmes and home manager support groups.

But if the Registered Manager is to be responsible for the outcomes of a service – compliance, financial, marketing results - without an extensive consulting team around them, then they need a far deeper understanding of strategic and commercial management.

There are programs out there that meet some of these needs. e.g. the Level 7 Postgraduate Diploma in Health and Social Care Management.

There are also a couple of Masters levels programmes and some RMs study the generalist management qualification – the MBA - but there are still many knowledge gaps with all of these choices.

These need to be filled during the required qualification.

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

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What Do You Think About The Level 5 Diploma?

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I thought it might be useful to finish this article by outlining the roles of Social Care consultants and Quality Support Teams - see below.

Also, if you would like more information about the Level 5 Diploma, there’s more information here: Quick Guide To Becoming A CQC Registered Manager And The Level 5 Diploma.

NOTES ABOUT SOCIAL CARE CONSULTANTS AND SUPPORT TEAMS

What Is The Role Of A Social Care Consultant?

Social Care consultants provide an invaluable role to assess services usually via a mock CQC inspection.

This highlights areas of concern which leads to an action plan and then the Social Care consultant can then coach the Registered Manager / provider to complete the actions and then revisit.

This is the least expensive way to quality assure your services if you don’t have a quality assurance team.

The more expensive way is to ignore the signs, wait till the home is rated by the CQC as “requires improvement” or “inadequate” and then bring the consultant in. It is far more costly at this point.

What Is A Quality Support Team?

Quality teams are usually used in mid to large size care providers.

The quality team will help with audits and visits and checklists to keep the governance at a good level so that, if there is an inspection, they will likely achieve the minimum of an overall “good”.

Regional Managers will sometimes do this in lieu of a quality team but their limitation is that they not external, not impartial.

They are often pressured with many services and responsible for the results of the service whereas quality / compliance staff are simply interested in their narrower brief.

Sometimes these audits are not detailed enough because of time pressures where their managers don’t understand the resources required to truly audit and get into the underlying issues.

It is a short cut which often leads to service and compliance problems later.

About the author

  • Liam Palmer
    Registered Home Manager

Liam Palmer is the author of 3 books on raising quality standards in care homes through developing leadership skills. In Oct 2020, he published a guide to the Home Manager role called "So You Want To Be A Care Home Manager?". Liam has been fortunate to work as a Senior Manager across many healthcare brands including a private hospital, a retirement village and medium to large Care Homes in the private sector and 3rd sector. He hosts a podcast "Care Quality - meet the leaders and innovators”.

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  • Liam Palmer
    Registered Home Manager

About the author

  • Liam Palmer
    Registered Home Manager

Liam Palmer is the author of 3 books on raising quality standards in care homes through developing leadership skills. In Oct 2020, he published a guide to the Home Manager role called "So You Want To Be A Care Home Manager?". Liam has been fortunate to work as a Senior Manager across many healthcare brands including a private hospital, a retirement village and medium to large Care Homes in the private sector and 3rd sector. He hosts a podcast "Care Quality - meet the leaders and innovators”.

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