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Hans F. Hansen

Infection Control eLearning

Thanks again for everyone’s feedback following the recent posts and welcome to the new subscribers who have joined us recently.  This week, I want to go back to the post from two weeks ago: “Learning vs Training”, looking specifically at Infection Control.

The essence of the recent post was that learning is what we take away from training and therefore the training is only a method for delivering the learning and learning is what impacts on practice.  Practice is the bit that counts…

When it comes to Infection Control (or any of the Skills for Care Mandatory Courses), it is all about the learning and the competence, not the training.  I know that might seem controversial, but in the Skills for Care guidance, it states: “knowledge and competence should be assessed at least annually”; what it does not state is training must be re-taken every year and this is an important difference, which I would like to explore further.

Why?

So, why does the Skills for Care guidance say knowledge and competence assessed at least annually? 

Essentially, it links back to what we said in the learning vs training post, “attending” the training again (repeating last year’s course in order to be “in date”) does not necessarily impact on behaviour or practice.  That is the bit that potentially will save lives, especially when it comes to Infection Control (in the current circumstances) and topics like Medication and Moving and Handling.

Let’s imagine something goes wrong and we identify that Infection control “training” is what is required.  Is that actually what is required?  Isn’t it that we actually need to change a behaviour of staff or a group of staff, to prevent the thing that went wrong from going wrong again?

That is why in the Skills for Care guidance it says “or when a new risk is identified”, i.e. learning, knowledge and competence all need to be in alignment with the needs of the people we support.  

It is one thing to be “in date” and another to be competent…

Given that CQC Regulation 18 is to “make sure that providers deploy enough suitably competent and experienced staff” in order to meet the needs of the people using the service.  The focus of the regulation therefore is “meeting the needs of the people using the service”.

So, in the current situation, your staff will have probably completed lots of eLearning, which is great as long as you are checking the knowledge, competence and learning afterwards, and continuously.

Now you may well have had to complete eLearning recently to qualify for funding for PPE and clearly that means it is imperative to evidence that staff are “in date”, but competence and learning is what staff will use beyond the training.

In conclusion, yes we have done lots of eLearning recently and will continue to do so, but the critical element is that we have to collect the evidence for Regulation 18 and meet the Skills for Care guidance to assess competence, which is why many of our customers choose a blended approach to their learning, using both online and traditional elements.

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