Getting your training records in order is an exercise that should be on the agenda of every Care Manager. Particularly if they haven’t been updated recently. Especially if they resemble a disorganised mess.
For the record, (pardon the pun), even the best of Care Managers can see the management of their training records slipping down their to-do list. Finding time to review training records can seem like the last priority when you’re overwhelmed and running a demanding service.
There is no shame in not having everything completely in order with training records for your care service. However, if you don’t act, you could be putting the people you support, your care staff and your business at risk. The last thing you want is an unannounced CQC inspection, or an investigation into your service, where you can’t evidence the training that has taken place.
Knowing where to start is the key to success. I’m sharing my 5-step guide to help get your training records in order today (and hopefully bust some stress you may have been feeling about it all)….
1. Think about what records you are keeping
One of the most frequently asked questions we get is – What should we be keeping in terms of training records? We would recommend keeping all evidence of:
- Signed attendance sheets
- Lesson plans
- Slides or presentation notes
- Evaluation forms
- Copies of certificates
Plus, an overall training matrix to keep track of everything. Ideally, this should detail:
- Names of staff members
- Job role within the business
- Training courses attended
- Due dates of refresher training
Ensuring that the information on your training records and matrix marry up is a great place to start in terms of reviewing the current picture of your training.
And of course, records should ALWAYS be kept in line with information governance policies and data protection laws. They shouldn’t be kept for longer than necessary, and always be accurate and up to date.
2. Think about the systems you are using and if they’re fit for purpose
There are no prescriptive rules around training records and how they should look or be organised. Speaking recently to CQC about this, I can confirm that it is indeed up to the individual care services to decide. And whilst that can feel frustrating for the managers who prefer being given a set format, the best way to see it is as an opportunity to use a system that works well for you.
Stuck for ideas? Keeping it simple often works best. If a filing cabinet for paper records is how you like to operate, that’s okay. Or electronic files stored securely (and backed up!) can work too. And for your overall picture of training records, whether that’s a spreadsheet or matrix, if the information is clear and you can see at-a-glance, then that is enough. One of our clients uses the Skills for Care database matrix to record their training. Many others use a simple matrix we recommend, with a traffic light system for flagging up when training is in date, due or expired.
Make both kind of records clear, accurate, concise, detailed, up to date, easy to interpret and you’ve got it!
3. Think about who is involved in managing your training records
Depending on the size of the company, this responsibility could be assigned to the Registered Manager, Deputy, Training Manager, HR team or Administrator. Whoever it may be, the best way forward is having a designated person who is organised and reliable. They must be aware of record keeping policies, so they are 100% clear on the importance of getting this right.
Equally, they should feel supported in being able to gather the information easily once training has happened. So, training providers and Managers should be prompt in communicating information across that they need. Pick a person who is confident and forward thinking to alert you to any issues or gaps that need addressing. Having the right person, could make the difference between fantastic or flaky records being kept. Having too many ‘cooks’ involved may also ‘spoil the broth’. Yet, having more than one person involved who can easily access the records too, will help in case this person is off or away on the day of an inspection. Communication is key.
4. Think about how regularly your training records are updated
Again, this will vary depending on the size and type of care service but do have a schedule in place and stick to it. Consider if records need to be updated weekly, fortnightly or after every training session. There are no set rules, it’s what works best for your organisation and ensures up to date information is readily available.
It is the overall responsibility of the Registered Care Manager to oversee this process but setting clear expectations with the designated person or team will avoid any confusion later. If CQC inspectors ask to see them, or an investigation calls for certain records, the ideal scenario is one of confidence rather than panic.
Get training as a regular topic on your meeting agenda too. Showing you value it, will help to instil the smooth ongoing management of both your training records and training sessions.
5. Think about what you do next with your training record information
So, now you’ve got a clear and up to date picture of your training…what next?
- Use the information to identify and prioritise training gaps
- Use your training matrix as a tool for planning ahead with training needs and refreshers
- Use individual records in performance review discussions
- Use the information fully, to ensure your care staff have the regular ongoing training and refreshers they need to deliver great care
- Use it, keep it updated and don’t let all your efforts go to waste
Once you have clear and concise recording methods in place, your training records should be a simple stress-free thing to maintain. It should also become a valuable tool for evidencing to others how you are doing in terms of developing your care teams. Having accurate and detailed information at your fingertips, can make the job of a Care Manager that much easier.
In such a high-risk sector where the safe and effective care of vulnerable individuals is top priority, don’t let poor training records get in the way of evidencing your success.
If you liked my post, please feel free to share it or tag a Care Manager who may also find it useful.
And if there are any questions you may have around training records or our training courses for your health and social care team, please drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll be happy to help
TH Training Solutions – Helping Care Teams UK Wide with effective face-to-face training courses