The Grey Matter Learning and Devon County Council case study
In January 2022, Devon County Council (DCC) began working with Grey Matter Learning (GML). DCC serves East Devon, Exeter, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge, and West Devon.
107 care providers plus many Personal Care Assistants in Devon currently access GML’s system. Between them they have completed over 20,900 courses.
Nicki Wright and Ruth Haynes are at the helm of training and education for the county’s social care providers. They work with all social care providers across Devon, including external Private, Voluntary, and Independent (PVI) providers and individual care companies. They support the upskilling, development and running of training programmes for them.
Before working with GML, Nicki and Ruth identified several challenges affecting care providers across the county.
Given that many care providers used different training platforms, training varied, with some providers and Personal Assistants having little or no access to any training.
The variations between training and centralised systems made it difficult for care providers to benchmark staff learning and progression. Ruth said: “We needed a ‘care passport’, whereby social care staff could hold all their training certificates in one place and transfer training if they chose to move to a different organisation.”
The duo also highlighted that much of the training on offer in the area was Healthcare focussed, with little emphasis on Social Care.
They also shared how the lasting effects of COVID-19 created a greater demand for online learning rather than face-to-face.
The Solution – Fully funded social care training in Devon
In January 2022, DCC began working with GML, enabling the care providers across all sectors and Personal Assistants to access GML’s online learning management system ‘Click’.
Going into the partnership, Nicki was keen to see fair access for everyone, and to use a training platform which was bespoke to the social care sector. She was also interested to see how GML’s platform would support those who previously had little access to any training.
Peter Humphreys, Customer Engagement Manager at GML, said: “Click enables providers to benchmark the learning and progression of staff, ensuring quality standards remain high.
“It was important that providers had access to a system that centralised training and enabled them to take control of courses, tailoring learning to fill knowledge gaps.
“Our partnership with local authorities is unique to our service offering. How it works is simple: Local authorities pay a set fee to us, which gives all social care providers under the borough council access to hundreds of courses via Click.
“Providers can come directly to us, taking away the fuss for the council.”
Since working with GML, Nicki and Ruth have noticed a massive difference in the feedback from providers.
Ruth said: “The relationship is very much a two-way partnership. GML is always open to new course ideas and work with us to ensure our providers have access to the best training opportunities.
“The flexibility of the platform means it can adapt to workforce demands. The social care industry is quality-driven, so ensuring access to high-quality training has greatly improved several aspects of care for our providers.”
As an example, Ruth noted that the platform has profoundly affected social care staff and referenced one instance where a PA’s client had suffered a stroke. The PA accessed Click to complete a stroke awareness course, helping them tailor support for their client.
Nicki and Ruth agreed that they would one hundred per cent recommend GML to others. She said: “GML has been fantastic. Peter [Humphreys] has had a huge impact and has been extremely helpful and supportive throughout the last year.
“We have only scratched the surface of our partnership. I hope to continue working together to support our providers to access the highest-quality training, helping them do what they do best – deliver fantastic care.”
Click here to download and read the full case study.