4 min read/Published On: June 4, 2020/801 words/

But eLearning does not work, does it?

Over recent weeks, we have talked about Lockdown Learning and Life During Lockdown and how we have had to do things differently etc.  I wanted to take this opportunity to share some feedback we have had recently from various sources.

You have probably all had to do lots of eLearning recently because face-to-face is not possible and theoretically may not be possible for some time to come.

But eLearning does not work!

The person who said this actually used words I wouldn’t repeat (unless I stubbed my toe and it accidentally slipped out) but the sentiment was the same.  There is nothing better than being in a classroom with colleagues and co-workers, sharing experiences and learning together.  We wholeheartedly agree.  When we deliver Lead to Succeed and Well Led, there is a lot of value in the sharing of ideas and experiences, but that does not mean that something else cannot achieve a similar or even better result.

Any training method does not work!

If you don’t apply our methodology to it.  Know.  Understand. Do.  Any training session, without checking afterwards what someone has learnt, is a waste of time, effort and resources.  If you are in the room and get a certificate just for being there, anyone can do it.  We think that it takes much more than that to do the amazing work that care staff do day in and day out.

So if you deliver any training session, online or otherwise, you need to evidence more than just completion.  Registered managers have shared with us stories of care workers clicking through the screens to get to the test at the end and, as long as they achieve 80%, they pass!  What happens if the one thing they got wrong on a safeguarding course relates to “what do you do if someone discloses something to you”.  Is 80% good enough?  Is that certificate worth anything, not really…

Therefore, the method is not what matters, it is the output and the impact.  One of the key themes in Module 5 of Lead to Succeed – Leading and Managing the Inspection Process, is to evidence improvement or, put another way, if something goes wrong, you put an action plan in place.  You need to measure the impact (or the output) of actually doing the action plan i.e. has behaviour actually changed and it is the same with learning and training.

According to CQC, eLearning does not evidence competence!

One of our customers got in touch a while back following a CQC inspection and said “the inspector said eLearning does not evidence competence, can you help me to respond?”  

Of course, regular eLearning does not evidence competence; like we said earlier, if you simply click through the screens to get straight to the test, anyone can generate a certificate of completion.  So, CQC is right!


However, if you use the Know. Understand. Do, methodology, competence is precisely what you evidence.  It works like this: you complete the eLearning, hopefully that has delivered the knowledge.  We have to say hopefully because different people learn in different ways, which is why we like to talk about “person-centred learning”; we do it for the people we support, why not do it for our staff too?  


The next step is to check what the person has understood and identify where the gaps are, so that the identified learning needs can be addressed, using bite-sized learning targeted specifically at the gaps.  This values knowledge that people already have and does not force them to “sheep dip” their way through the elements they already know.

By adding evidence as you go, you start to build a portfolio of learning, which is far more valuable than a certificate of attendance.  For example, one of the ways we do this is using the “it depends” function, which enables the learner to evidence that they understand the real subtleties of a situation or set of circumstances. 


Finally, by adding evidence to the learning portfolio about actual practice, the learner can evidence competence and very clearly.  Supervisors can add their evidence from spot checks and supervisions.  You know that families share their feedback about the practice of your staff; why not add that in too?

As I said earlier, any training method does not work if you don’t apply the Know Understand Do Methodology.  As you have all done lots of eLearning recently, make sure that you add evidence to your learning portfolio.

We know of staff going that extra mile in light of current circumstances; just make sure you capture that evidence and link it to each individual’s portfolio of competence.  We fully expect that lots of providers will get an outstanding rating when CQC starts inspecting again because there will be so much evidence to show them…

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