3 min read/Published On: December 9, 2020/599 words/

2020 A look back and forwards to 2021

Thanks everyone for your comments and feedback throughout 2020.  It has been a challenging year, an interesting year and also one of learning…

What did we learn?

We learnt that things we thought were not possible actually were; it just needed a bit of creativity, some effort and an external driver.  Unfortunately, the driver happens to be COVID-19 and we blogged about these posts:

Lockdown Learning and Lockdown Learning the Sequel

We also learnt that COVID-19 has had (and still has) an impact on recruitment, despite the looming challenge that Brexit is going to bring and we blogged about this in a series we ran in October:

Home Economics, Recruitment Essentials, Interview Essentials, Induction Essentials and Training Essentials and Staff Retention 

Adoption of technology

When we started in 2006, technology was not what it is today.  For instance, things certainly got easier when smartphones and tablets came along so we designed our learning and assessments to work on these devices.  This year has facilitated a much greater adoption of technology (we had little choice) but it has proved positive because all those things we thought we could not use technology for, we actually can!

Even CQC is looking at technology as part of their new inspections and to speed up their transition to the new regulatory approach:

CQC and Supervision, Never stop the prep, Robust evidence, Outstanding log, One Drawer Inspection Kit


We found during the year that COVID-19 brought with it some unexpected challenges, which we all had to adapt to, the biggest of these was the need to cease face-to-face training.  As a Centre of Excellence, we deliver the Lead to Succeed and Well Led programmes on behalf of Skills of Care and we had to find ways of delivering these in a virtual way.

Many people found that not travelling to a venue for a training course actually enabled them to participate in the course without the impact on time and costs that the travelling brings.


2020 was interesting from the point of view of the things we had to do differently, including the examples above, but it was also intriguing in that some things didn’t change.  We still blogged about the difference between learning and training and competence is more important than attendance.  Alongside:

The Care Certificate is not about training, Bin the Workbooks, Care Certificate and Certificates, eLearning does not work, does it?

 As we move forward into 2021, some of the positives from 2020 include the launch of 17 new courses, some of which we provided completely free to the whole sector!  In fact, our free COVID courses have been used all over the world and we will continue to add more courses throughout 2021, the first of which will be a Safeguarding for Managers course.

We also released our hugely popular Training Matrix, plus we achieved Centre of Excellence status from Skills for Care for the fourth year in a row!

Finally, everyone at Grey Matter Learning would like to say a huge “thank you” to the sector.  Whilst COVID has been absolutely horrible to deal with on many levels, but at least the whole country now knows what a vital role we all perform every single day.  We are already working hard on some really exciting projects for 2021 so: keep in touch; watch this space; subscribe to the blog or just get in touch if you want to join our ever growing community of learners.

Have an absolutely awesome Christmas and New Year.  Let’s put 2020 firmly in the rear view mirror and look forward to a slightly more “normal” 2021…

Take care and stay safe.

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