Here you can read updates and insights from Advantage Accreditation. Our posts feature a range of topics, relevant to industries from health and social care to construction, to hospitality. Browse our recent posts below, and see our Resources for more information.
Frequently Asked Questions about Autism
World Autism Acceptance Week 2023
27th March – 2nd April
Every spring the National Autistic Society holds World Autism Acceptance Week to raise funds and promote acceptance of autistic people.
2023’s theme is colour. You can sign up for the virtual Spectrum Colour Challenge now. The National Autistic Society offers a range of ideas for fundraising on its website.
We stand with the National Autistic Society and its goals to increase understanding and inclusion of autistic people. As specialists in education, we have provided free guidance for the general public. Here are some frequently asked questions:
What is autism?
Autism Spectrum Disorder is a disability that affects how a person communicates with and relates to the world around them. It is a spectrum disorder, meaning people can experience autism in different ways.
What communication challenges do autistic people face?
Autistic people can have difficulty understanding facial expressions, tone of voice and social context. They may struggle to understand the emotions of others.
How can you tell someone is autistic?
Here are some behaviours that are common in autistic people. However, it is important to remember that not everyone with autism demonstrates these behaviours, and not everyone who demonstrates these behaviours has autism.
- Special interests
- Sensory sensitivity
Autism is diagnosed by a team of specialists who conduct an assessment. It is not your responsibility to diagnose autism in yourself or others. If you want to know whether you or your child has autism, speak to your GP.
What is sensory sensitivity?
Sometimes a certain sight, sound, touch, taste or smell can be overwhelming. This is true for everyone and is not exclusive to autistic people, but it is more common in autistic people.
My friend/family member/colleague is autistic. What can I do to help them?
As people experience autism on a spectrum, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. All people, including autistic people, should be treated with respect, understanding and acceptance. In general, you can help the autistic people in your life by communicating clearly, accepting any behaviours that might seem strange to you, and not creating overwhelming sensory stimuli.
The advice above is intended for the general public. Our accredited training centres offer training for those who provide care for autistic people:
- Level 2 Award in Autism Spectrum
- Level 2 Award in Learning Disability & Autism
If you would like to become an accredited training centre and deliver this training, please get in touch with Advantage Accreditation.
How to Help Someone Having a Seizure
Monday 13th February 2023 is International Epilepsy Day. This is an annual event which aims to raise awareness of epilepsy and its impact. The event is organised by the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) and the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE).
This year, International Epilepsy Day will focus on the stigma associated with epilepsy. Several free Epilepsy Facts and Myths resources are available to help spread awareness.
As an accreditation body specialising in health and social care, we want to take this opportunity to educate the public. Please note this article seeks to provide a general awareness of epilepsy. This is not official guidance for health and social care professionals.
First, let’s explain what epilepsy means.
Epilepsy is a disease of the brain that results in abnormal electrical activity in the brain. People with epilepsy tend to experience recurrent seizures.
There are several known causes of epilepsy:
- Brain infection, e.g. meningitis
- Head injury
- Complications during birth
- Brain tumours
- Brain malformations
- Brain development problems
- Genetics (potentially, the link between genetics and epilepsy is currently being researched)
How to recognise a seizure
Seizures can be categorised as motor or non-motor. Motor seizures include:
This is what most people would think of when they hear the word “seizure”. These take place in phases:
- Prodromal: tiredness, weakness, potential aura (certain smell or image)
- Tonic: rigid muscles, fall to the ground, abnormal breathing, blue lips
- Clonic: jerking movements, biting tongue or cheeks, potential dribble or incontinence
- Postictal: exhaustion lasting from minutes to hours, potential myoclonic
These are brief seizures that often occur in the recovery phase of other seizures. Jerking of limbs or part of a limb takes place.
These often occur without warning. Muscles become rigid and the breath is held for a short time.
These are brief seizures causing floppy muscles and potential falls.
Non-motor seizures include:
More common in children, this type of seizure can easily be mistaken for daydreaming. The person becomes unaware of what is happening around them. They may nod, stare blankly, or flutter their eyelids. These seizures last a few seconds.
The person’s muscles become limp or floppy during these seizures. Atypical absences last longer than typical absences. These occur at any age and are common in people with other conditions affecting the brain.
How to help someone who is having a motor seizure
If you see a friend, family member, colleague, or a member of the public showing signs of a motor seizure, here is what to do:
Register your defibrillator on The Circuit now
The Circuit, the UK’s national defibrillator network, maps public access defibrillators. This map is used by 999 call handlers to help callers locate their nearest defibrillator. Alongside the Resuscitation Council UK (RCUK), British Heart Foundation (BHF), St John Ambulance and the Association of Ambulance Chief Executives (AACE), we encourage you to register any defibrillation devices you have with The Circuit. Click here to register.
The UK sees over 30,000 cardiac arrests occur outside of hospital every year. Only 3,000 of these people survive. Defibrillators are used in less than 10% of cardiac arrest cases outside of hospital. As immediate CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chance of survival, use of defibrillators could save an extra 3,000 lives per year.
Thanks to The Circuit, 50,000 devices are now registered. All 14 UK ambulance services are using The Circuit and can direct 999 callers to their nearest public access defibrillator using this map. However, this is only half of the estimated 100,000 defibrillators in the UK.
If you have a defibrillator available to the public, register it here.
Advantage Accreditation aims to keep up to date with important news within Health and Social Care and First Aid among many other topics. If you have any questions, please get in touch with our team.
Health and Safety at Work Statistics 2022
Every year, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) conducts a health and safety at work survey for Great Britain. Here are the results for 2022:
While the number of new work-related ill-health cases has decreased, the number of work-related stress, depression and anxiety cases has increased between 2021 and 2022. Stress, depression and anxiety account for 51% of work-related ill-health cases, while musculoskeletal disorders account for 27%. 55% of working days lost were due to work-related stress, depression or anxiety. The overall rate of self-reported work-related ill-health and the total number of working days lost are both higher than pre-pandemic rates.
Non-fatal injuries have also increased between 2021 and 2022. However, this figure decreased between 2020 and 2021, likely due to the number of people not in work or working remotely. This year’s increase can be explained by workers returning to the workplace.
The HSE reports the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is a major factor contributing to the increased rates of stress, depression and anxiety. However, this is only a contributing factor and not the only cause of the stress, depression and anxiety experienced.
These statistics show a need for employers to address stress, depression and anxiety. This is important in helping individual members of staff in order to benefit their health and, in turn, their performance at work. Addressing these concerns will also reduce the number of working days lost, helping the business financially. We provide learning materials for our approved training centres on:
- Managing Personal Stress
- Managing Stress in the Workplace
Lung diseases continue to account for the majority of deaths resulting from work, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer and non-asbestos related lung cancer. It is absolutely essential that business meet requirements for health and safety, including reducing levels of dust and harmful substances. We provide learning materials for our approved training centres on:
- Managing and Supervising Safely
- Handling Hazardous Substances (COSHH)
Musculoskeletal disorders are the second most prevalent work-related causes of ill-health. 41% of cases affect the back, while 37% affect the upper limbs and neck, and 21% affect the lower limbs. All workers should be informed on the best working practices to prevent injury in the workplace. We provide learning materials for our approved training centres on:
- Assessing Competency in Moving and Assisting
We offer accredited training materials in a range of health and safety topics. These are available to our approved training centres. Find out more here: Advantage Accredited Learning Materials.
Safeguarding Adults Week 2022
This week, 21st-27th November 2022, organisations throughout the UK are taking part in Safeguarding Adults Week. The theme this year is Responding to Contemporary Safeguarding Challenges. This annual event was set up by Ann Craft Trust in order to raise awareness of safeguarding issues for adults. With this in mind, we want to make you more aware of some types of abuse and neglect within the health and social care sector, and how to record and report concerns.
Types of Abuse and Neglect
- Psychological, e.g. bullying, no provision for cultural or religious needs, limited opportunity to make decisions
- Discriminatory: e.g. exclusion from basic rights, unequal treatment, derogatory remarks
- Organisational: e.g. inadequate care or support, limited freedom, mistreatment of people using a service
- Self-Neglect: e.g. living in dirt conditions, suffering non-treatment of illness, malnutrition and dehydration
- Physical: e.g. poor moving and handling, hitting or pushing, unauthorised restraint
- Domestic: any controlling, bullying, threatening or violent behaviour between people in a relationship
- Sexual: e.g inappropriate touching, sexual advances, being shown pornography
- Financial: e.g. theft, misuse of personal allowance
How to Record and Report Concerns
Always take action as soon as possible if you believe someone is at risk of abuse or neglect. Whistle blowers are protected under the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998. Follow the policy and procedure of the organisation. Inform a supervisor, line manager or lead practitioner. Your report should be concise while ensuring all necessary details are clearly communicated.
Ann Craft Trust have set up a schedule to help raise awareness of contemporary challenges:
- Monday: Exploitation and Country Lines
- Tuesday: Self-Neglect
- Wednesday: Creating Safer Organisational Cultures
- Thursday: Elder Abuse
- Friday: Domestic Abuse in Tech-Society
- Saturday and Sunday: Safeguarding in Everyday Life
Use #SafeguardingAdultsWeek on social media to get involved and help raise awareness. Virtual workshops on the topics above are available via Hull and East Riding Safeguarding Boards throughout the week. If you are interested in providing training in Safeguarding Adults, Advantage Accreditation has a ready-made course available to our approved centres, alongside many other courses . Please get in touch to learn more.
How do the CQC’s new assessing services work?
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) recently introduced a new approach to regulation. This is yet to impact all care providers, but will soon become the standard method of regulation and assessment. Advantage Accreditation has already provided a resource about these changes: New CQC Quality Statements. Read on to learn more about the CQC’s new assessing services.
The goal of the new assessment framework is to allow more frequent assessments, often based on people’s experiences of the care provider. The frequency of assessment will no longer depend on the care provider’s CQC rating and service type, but on the information previously collected about the care provider.
Evidence may be collected on site (e.g. observations) or off site (e.g. patient reported outcome measures, national clinical audits, etc.) based on the required evidence and type of service. As some evidence can be collected entirely off site, the CQC can update a care providers’ rating without visiting in-person. Site visits will occur more frequently if there are concerns about risk, evidence received, etc. Advisors, such as Experts by Experience, may help the CQC decide what evidence to collect and how to analyse it.
Care providers will receive Outstanding, Good, Requires Improvement, or Inadequate ratings for the key questions: Safe, Effective, Caring, Responsive, and Well-Led. Numerical scores will be provided to increase openness and clarity, and to show if a care provider’s rating is close to moving up or down. Each evidence category will receive a score from 1 (significant shortfalls) to 4 (exceptional). Each score will then be combined to provide an overall score for each quality statement within each key question.
For example, if the CQC assess evidence from three different categories, the maximum potential overall score is 12. The actual scores may vary.
In this example, the care provider received a score of 9 out of 12, or 75%. The percentage is converted back into a score so that multiple quality statements can be combined into a score for each key question. In this case, 75% is converted into a score of 3. Each quality statement (QS) receives a score.
In this example, the care provider received a score of 15 out of 20, or 75%. The percentage is converted into a rating. In this case, 75% is converted into a rating of Good.
Planned and Responsive Activity
The CQC will plan to collect evidence, including first-hand accounts from people who have received care, policies, processes and procedures, and other evidence types. The frequency of assessment will depend on national priorities and levels of risk in different areas of the country. The CQC plans to assess every service at least once every two years.
In response to any reported concerns, including whistleblowing, safeguarding, feedback, etc, the CQC may collect evidence from the care provider.
We would be more than happy to provide answers to any questions you may have. Please get in touch with Advantage Accreditation. Further information about the CQC’s assessing services is available on their website.
Update on Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training
The Health and Care Act 2022 introduced the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism. This placed a requirement on all CQC registered service providers’ staff to complete relevant training in response to Oliver McGowan and his family’s experience. You can read Oliver McGowan’s story here.
The new training aims to equip staff with the necessary knowledge and skills to care for people with learning disabilities or autism within their roles. Standardised training has been developed to provide consistent content and learning outcomes. This training is endorsed by the government.
Mandatory training was promised by the government back in 2019. The government pledged to draw on existing best practice and input from people with learning disabilities or autism, their family and carers, and subject experts.
The new standardised training has been developed and delivered with the help of people with lived experience of learning disability and autism. The training also features Paula McGowan OBE, who shares Oliver’s story and explains the need for this training.
Staff will need to complete Tier 1 or Tier 2 training, depending on their role.
Provides general awareness of how to support people with learning disabilities or autism:
eLearning package: available now and required for all staff
1-hour online interactive session
For staff who may need to provide care for people with learning disabilities or autism
eLearning package: available now and required for all staff
1-day face-to-face training
Tier 2 training includes Tier 1 training, so staff only need to complete Tier 1 or Tier 2.
Integrated Care Boards are currently working to increase their training capacity in order to deliver online and face-to-face sessions from early 2023. These sessions will all be co-delivered by someone with a learning disability or autism.
The eLearning package is live on the eLearning for healthcare website now. Employers should organise staff training and ensure it is recorded appropriately.
Health Education England (HEE) are currently accepting applications for anyone wishing to provide this training. If you are an expert by experience, an employer, or an education provider, you can fill out their expression of interest form.
Accreditation for Beauty and Aesthetics Training Courses
Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation is especially popular within the beauty industry. This is perhaps due to the requirements of the Hair and Beauty Industry Authority and the Guild of Beauty Therapists for professionals to complete 30 hours of CPD training every year. With ever-changing trends, methods and treatments, keeping up-to-date is crucial.
Accreditation is available for original courses in all areas of beauty therapy, from nails, to make up, to aesthetics. By becoming an accredited CPD training centre with Advantage, you can offer courses awarding CPD hours or CPD points. At the moment, we accredit several beauty training providers in the UK.
Aya Beauty, London:
Certificate in Waxing
Being Venus Aesthetics & Training Academy, Cheshire:
Foundation Dermal Filler
Bodygoalstudios Academy, London:
Fat Dissolve Mesotherapy
Vacuum Therapy (Brazilian Butt Lift and Wonder Breast Lift)
Cinderella Salon, West Sussex:
Brazilian Bum Lift & Breast Enhancement Cupping Massage
Warm Bamboo Massage
Moon Aesthetics, Essex:
Anatomy and Physiology Foundation
Fat Dissolving Injections
The Basement, Wiltshire:
Chemical Peel and Facial
Luxury Facial Dermaplaning and Lash Defining
Unique Beauty Academy, Greater Manchester:
You can find more accredited training centres in our directory.
Advantage Accreditation provides ongoing support to our centres. This means, even after you have gained accreditation, we will continue to provide access to our online training management software. We will also research and keep you updated on any changes within your industry relevant to your courses.
Using Logos in Marketing and Certificates
At Advantage Accreditation, we provide our centres with a range of materials branded with our logo.
Approved Centre Logo
When an organisation becomes an Advantage Accredited training centre they can display our Approved Centre logo. It’s up to the individual organisation to decide where they will display this. Many of our centres use the logo on their websites, social media, and even printed signs at their venues.
This logo is designed to show your customers, learners, service users, and anyone else who may be interested that you are committed to high quality training. The Approved Centre logo shows you have completed the accreditation process and you provide externally verified training. This logo will set you apart from similar organisations hoping to provide training courses.
Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) logo is available to all of our approved centres. It is especially popular among those who have designed their own courses and received bespoke accreditation through Advantage. Organisations may choose to display our CPD logo on their training resources, such as workbooks and presentation slides.
Marketing your courses as CPD accredited will appeal to the many people required to complete professional development each year. In the UK healthcare sector alone there are over 1.5 million people required to complete CPD.
We provide an online certification portal where centres can keep track of learners and print certificates directly. Each certificate features our Advantage Accreditation logo, providing our seal of approval. All certificates for CPD accredited courses prominently feature our CPD logo too.
Our certificates can be dual-branded to feature our logos as well as your own.
Access to these materials is just one of the benefits of accreditation. We offer a wide range of services to help you provide quality training and save you time and money. If you are interested in becoming an Advantage centre, please get in touch today.
CPD at Work
What is a teacher CDP?
In order to allow students to learn and gain knowledge efficiently, it is vastly important that both Primary and Secondary teachers are also learning- this can be done via CDP courses. Teachers are immersed in their work in such a way through traditional TED days, alongside easily accessible and convenient e-learning. This ensures teachers are up to date with current curriculum and new teaching methods which could allow their lessons to run smoothly and efficiently. This improves student performance and therefore the overall achievement and reputation of a school. There are no necessary requirements for a teacher CDP in England in Wales, however Scotland requires 35 hours annually.
What is a primary school CPD?
CDP allows teachers to broaden their knowledge on the subjects they teach students, allowing them to provide a high-quality education and better the understanding of the students they teach. This is especially important in a primary school setting, in which children are going through the key stages of their development, and qualified educators are necessary. As well as educational courses, primary school CDP can provide supervision skills in safeguarding, such as increasing awareness and providing training in advanced autism awareness practice within schools.
What is a beauty CDP?
The beauty industry is ever-changing, there is a strong need for professionals to stay up to date with new treatments and procedures. In the UK, Hair and Beauty Industry Authority and Guild of Beauty Therapists require each professional in the beauty industry to complete 30 hours of CDP training annually. CDP courses for beauty professionals may be composed of courses in salon management, electrical facials, etc.
Click here to learn about CPD in other sectors and industries.
Where can I get CDP points?
CDP courses can be accessed via any accredited CDP providers. Through these providers, you can complete CDP hours equating to CDP points.
How does CDP help employers?
CDP is beneficial not only to employees themselves, but their employers and respective businesses. CDP shows employers that their staff are committed to their careers and own personal self-developments. CDP also ensures employers employ staff who are knowledgeable in their field of work and have extensive experience, and also allows companies to keep their working practices up to date.
The cost of courses adds up very quickly. If you are required to provide CPD for your employees, creating your own accredited courses can save you huge amounts of money. Plus, you’ll be able to provide in-house training tailored to your organisation. If you’re interested, please contact Advantage Accreditation.