- 16 June 2021
- 6 min read
Why It is Crucial To Keep Your Social Care Training Up To Date
To work in social care you are obligated to provide a duty of care. This article explains what that means, what your training should cover as well as how insurance and DBS will get you employed faster.
Know Your Duty Of Care
As someone who works in a Social Care setting, you owe a duty of care to your patients / service users, your colleagues, your employer, yourself and public interest.
According to the Unison Duty of Care handbook, your duty of care means that “you must aim to provide high quality care to the best of your ability and say if there are any reasons why you may be unable to do so.”
As a result, one of the main expectations for anyone working in Social Care is to keep their knowledge and skills up to date.
This applies to staff of all occupations and levels and even students, volunteers and those who work part time or temporary roles.
For more information on Duty of Care, take a look at the Unison Duty of Care handbook.
Why Training Is Important In Social Care
In addition to this, here are some other important reasons why keeping your training up to date is crucial:
1. It may be illegal for you to carry out certain tasks in some roles if you are not adequately trained or your training is out of date.
2. Taking on certain responsibilities without appropriate training can mean that you are putting yourself, the individuals you support and others at risk of harm.
3. As a result, you could face legal consequences if something goes wrong. Consequences include losing your job, fines and / or imprisonment in serious cases.
4. When the Care Quality Commission (CQC) carries out an inspection of your employer, they could also get fined if found to have not adequately trained their staff.
However, it is still also your responsibility to make sure you maintain your training and skills. Your manager will appreciate you being proactive in this.
The Specialist Training You Need
Training helps you become more competent in your role.
There are several activities that you must not carry out until you have received specialist care training.
Usually, such training would include some practical elements and assessment by a competent trainer.
Competence in these activities boosts your confidence and the more confident you feel in your role the better quality service you will deliver.
The activities you will be carrying out include:
Use of equipment such as hoists and lifts to move people and objects safely
Each piece of equipment that you will use will have instructions for safe use and you must adhere to them to avoid injury.
There is legislation and guidance that controls the prescribing, dispensing, administration, storage and disposal of medicines.
If you work as a Care Assistant in a Care Home, guidance states that Care Assistants are not legally prohibited from administering medicines to residents, provided they are suitably trained and competent and this is kept under regular review by the Care Home Manager.
Assisting and Moving
It is essential that you know about safe moving and handling, so you do not hurt yourself or the individual.
This is the immediate assistance given to someone who has been injured or taken ill before the arrival of qualified medical assistance.
If you have not been trained, you should get help from a qualified first aider or call an ambulance if you work alone.
If you attempt first aid without training, you could make their condition or injury worse and you will be liable for that.
In emergency situations such as fires, explosions, floods, building damage etc there are procedures designed to keep you and others safe.
Employers will provide Health and Safety and Fire Safety training, usually as part of your induction.
If you work in a Domiciliary Care setting there is also specific training for that.
Food Handling and Preparation
You may feel tempted to go ahead and handle food in a work setting because you are used to handling and preparing food in your home every day.
However proper training will help you to prepare food that is safe for individuals to eat and stop you from causing food poisoning.
Things change regularly.
Given the increasingly litigious world we live in, it is important to update yourself when new legislation is introduced or new equipment and systems relating to your job are put in place.
Other Requirements: Insurance
Your Professional Indemnity Insurance cover maybe affected if you do not have adequate training.
When you work in Social Care, you need indemnity insurance to protect you and/or the people you support from mistakes that may occur because of your work.
Your employer may already have this arranged for you or they will have Employer’s Liability insurance in place.
It’s worth double checking.
If you are a self-employed individual, you will need Public Liability Insurance and it is your responsibility to get cover.
These types of insurance require that you have the appropriate qualifications or relevant training for your role to be covered under the policy.
Some insurance providers may ask you to provide evidence of your training and qualifications.
If you do make a claim and it is found that you did not have up to date or adequate training, this would invalidate your claim
Other Requirements: Up To Date DBS
In Social Care a common reason why people get delayed starting work when they apply for jobs is because they do not have a current DBS or they are not yet adequately trained.
If you changed jobs to a similar role elsewhere, you would be able to start work very quickly provided all your training is up-to-date and all your other documents such as DBS and Right To Work in the UK are valid.
This is especially useful if you are a self-employed carer who works with many agencies.
Care agencies will not give you any work without up-to-date training certificates even if you are very good at your work and have plenty of experience.
The benefits of maintaining up-to-date training for your Social Care role are many but essentially this helps you deliver the best service and in doing so, you boost your morale and keep yourself and others safe.
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