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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.

Workforce Development Fund Continues

In August 2022, the Department of Health and Social Care released information about training in the adult social care sector. Through improved training, the government aim to improve the development and wellbeing of social care staff across England.

Introduced in 2020, the Workforce Development Fund financed over 18,000 training programmes in 2020-21 (Skills For Care). This included qualifications in Health and Social Care, Leadership and Management, Medication, Dementia, End of Life Care, and many other topics. The government has announced the Workforce Development Fund will continue in 2022-23. £500 million will be spent in upcoming years to continue the improvement of adult social care staff training.

This funding intends to create more development opportunities for staff. As Minister for Health Gillian Keegan points out, “Dedicating your life to caring for others is not just a job, it is a calling but it also needs to be a career” (gov.uk). Staff can improve their skills while remaining in the same role, or to intentionally progress in their career. For example, registered managers can access a funded Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management in Adult Care.

Understaffing and staff turnover continues to be a problem in adult social care. Turnover rate for 2021 was 28.5% (Skills For Care), much higher than the national average of 14.4% (Business Leader). Chief Nurse for Ault Social Care, Deborah Sturdy, said, “Providing care is a skill which requires nurturing and if we want to retain the best of the profession we need to care for them too” (gov.uk). The government hopes that improved development opportunities will improve the wellbeing and morale of social care workers. This should, in turn, reduce staff turnover and attract more people to join the sector.

Further plans include:
• New knowledge and skills framework with clear paths to progress
• Funding Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
• New Care Certificate qualification so that staff do not need to repeat this training when changing roles within adult social care
• Digital register of staff skills and qualifications
At Advantage Accreditation, we specialise in accreditation for Health and Social Care training. We are excited to see training opportunities continue to develop in this sector and ultimately see the standard of care improve across England. If you would like more information on becoming an accredited training centre to deliver your own in house courses please contact Advantage.

Train the Trainer

What is a Train the Trainer course?
A Train the Trainer course will allow members of your team to become accredited trainers and provide high quality training of their own. A Train the Trainer course will provide the necessary knowledge and skills needed to deliver effective training to other adults within a specific field of work, and provide prospective trainers with an accredited training qualification, enhancing their credibility.

Why do we need Train the Trainer?
Train the Trainer courses are vital in ensuring the quality of training provided is high and that participants can maximise the benefits of partaking in these courses. Train the Trainer courses can be delivered in-house, saving money and time training staff, and provide trainers with dual branded certificates, showing that they have the necessary skills to deliver training and allowing trainers to stand out in this competitive market.

What skills do trainers need?
It is essential that trainers have a broad knowledge of the course they are going to be teaching, including extended knowledge of surrounding subjects to allow them to explain any concepts in detail. There also are many other skills useful to a trainer, including:
-Strong communication skills
-Confident delivery and good presentation skills
-Organisation
-Ability to craft specific feedback for each participant
-A passion and enthusiasm towards the course they are teaching
And many more.

What are the roles and responsibilities of a trainer?
Trainers should:
-Come equipped with presentations and learning materials for courses
-Form individual feedback for course participants and be capable of evaluating student performance
-Communicate well with students to improve their course for future students
-Be prepared to answer a variety of questions relating to their course, including specific skills-based questions and more general questions in relation to the topic of the course

What are 3 important characteristics of a trainer?
The core characteristics of a proficient trainer are as follows:
-A vast knowledge relating to their specific course and other related topics – This knowledge should be in-depth to allow the trainer to answer questions and explain in detail any skills or concepts involved.
-Very strong communication and presentation skills – It’s important not only that the content of the course is thorough, but that the information is presented in a concise and easily understandable way, that allows the students to get the best from the course. It is also essential that the trainer can communicate well with students to answer any questions and ensure they leave the course with a strong understanding.
-Flexibility and creativity – The course should be individual to the trainer’s company and interest the attendees. It should be immersive and place importance on the skills and experience gained and not just the content-based aspect of the course.

How can I be good at training?
Train the Trainer courses provide accreditation, making sure trainers have the necessary knowledge and providing training in presentation skills ensuring they give high quality training on their courses. Sign up online to learn more about becoming an accredited trainer.

Purpose of CPD

What is the purpose of CPD?
CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, allows individuals to gain and develop essential skills, knowledge and experiences which aid them in becoming proficient in their profession. CPD is something an individual will continue throughout their career, allowing them to progress to future employment within their sector.

What are the benefits of CPD?
CPD provides countless benefits for individuals, including:
-Demonstrating and developing self-improvement
-Growing knowledge and learning new skills
-Increased ability to perform well at work
-Ability to stay up to date with your company’s way of working
-Demonstrating that your company is committed to supporting staff
-Provides employees with a greater sense of professional direction

How do I know if my certificate is CPD?
A CPD certificate will include the name of attendee, the name of the CPD provider and the title of the training course of lecture. It should also include the organisation providing the CPD, the date and the number of CPD hours. Our CPD accredited centres can access certificates with our CPD approved logo.

How do I get my CPD certificate?
After participating in a CPD training course or lecture, all attendees should be given a CPD Certificate of Attendance by the CPD provider, including all the relevant information on the attendee, the CPD provider and the course itself.

How do CPD credits work?
CPD credits, or CPD points, equate to hours of active learning (1 CPD credit is equal to 1 hour of active learning). Active learning refers to the actual time spent learning relevant content for an individual CPD course. It is necessary for attendees to record their CPD points after a course in order to track their personal development, as well as for the employer’s records. Certain employers may set annual CDP credit requirements for their employees.

Is CPD certification free?
We provide CDP accreditation at different prices based on the number of courses you have accredited. We offer monthly memberships following a set-up fee of £400.

Got a question? We would be very happy to help. Get in touch online.

What does CPD mean?

What does CPD mean?
CPD, or Continuing Professional Development, involves developing and maintaining skills, knowledge and experience gained as you work. CPD encourages going beyond the necessary training, providing employees with clear guidelines on how to succeed within their roles and progress to higher ones. CPD activities range hugely, from formal educational courses, such as workshops and seminars, to more informal self-directed studies, and work-based mentoring.

What does CPD certified mean?
If training is CPD certified, this means that it has reached the standards required by Advantage Accreditation. This means that all participants in CPD certified activities will have completed a CPD course.

What does CPD accredited mean?
Accredited CPD content has been evaluated for relevance and quality, meaning participants can be assured that the benefits provided by a course or activity will be applicable to their individual work. The learning value of such courses is high, and the courses are guaranteed to be a credible knowledge source.

Is CPD a qualification?
It is not possible to equate CPD to a qualification due to the difference in learning style. Although not classed as a qualification, CPD is recognised as highly valuable as it involves primarily skill-based learning. Education and training is an essential part of any career. The knowledge and experience you will gain from a CPD activity may not provide you with a qualification but will provide you with a plethora of credible skills applicable to your career.

Is CPD Certification recognised in the UK?
Accredited CPD courses are recognised internationally. We have several UK-based CPD centres and many international CPD accredited centres.

Can you put CPD on your CV?
CPD is a valuable attribute on any CV as it showcases various achievements, including those specific to your current or future sector of work. CPD shows your dedication to your work and your extended industry-specific knowledge and experience in your field.

Are CPD diplomas recognized?
Certificates from CPD accredited courses are credible to employers and businesses as they which have been assessed to ensure high quality and integrity. Although in the past employers may have been hesitant to accept online courses, the increasingly prevalent value added to employees through these such courses has greatly increased their appeal.

Can CPD points be used for university?
Just as CPD cannot be equated to a qualification, CPD points cannot be equated to UCAS points when applying to a UK University. However, CPD accredited courses can be discussed in your personal statement and will give universities an insight into your commitment to your future course or career through the extra skills and knowledge you have developed.

What is a CPD qualification equivalent to?
The number of hours spent on accredited CPD courses are equated to CPD points. Certain employers may require employees to reach a set number of CPD points annually, others may suggest recording these points for personal development.

Is CPD accreditation recognised?
Due to the knowledge and skills gained, CPD is recognised by prospective employers as a valuable and credible achievement which has the opportunity to enhance your workplace skills and adapt you to such an environment.

Are CPD courses legit?
Accredited CPD courses are legitimately recognised as fully certified achievements. Accreditation provides a stamp of approval, assuring prospective students of CPD courses that the courses are genuine and valuable. Advantage Accreditation checks checks training content, course materials and trainers to ensure high quality.

You can sign up for CPD accreditation online.

Healthcare Accreditation

What does accreditation mean in healthcare?

Healthcare accreditation ensures patients are receiving quality treatment from well-trained industry professionals and allows the maintenance of this high standard of service. Through seeking accreditation, a company’s standards of care can be increased, whilst decreasing the potential risks, and allowing healthcare organisations to work under the correct regulatory guidelines.

 

What is the difference between accreditation and certification in a healthcare organisation?

Certification is the written endorsement (a form of documentation) of a company’s product or service by a third party, signifying that a product or service meets a specific set of requirements. Accreditation, however, recognises a company’s ability to carry out certain technical activities, via an impartial and qualified third party. The accreditation process involves we checking for a company’s quality against our standards, alongside national frameworks, and regulations. Trainers are also checked against CQC (Care Quality Commission), Skills for Care, NICE (The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) and various other industry bodies.

 

What are different healthcare accreditations?

There are various accreditations catered towards healthcare – CQC, NICE and Skills for Care being several of the most recognised. However, healthcare accreditations can be built around each individual company’s needs and requirements, in order to maximise the quality of healthcare and care training given.

 

Is accreditation mandatory for healthcare facilities?

Although not mandatory, accreditation is often voluntarily sought by healthcare organisations as it can be a necessity for licencing and certification. This also aids an organisation’s credibility and ensures care receivers feel confident about the quality of the care that they are receiving.

 

What are the benefits of accreditation in healthcare?

Not only does accreditation provide benefits such as improving an organisation’s CQC rating, improving staff skills, increasing the brand’s image and guarantee quality assurance for service users, it also benefits many other areas of a healthcare organisation’s service. These benefits include: increasing knowledge and ability and retention among staff, proving support for staff and care receivers, creating ready to use and accessible courses, and ensuring more time in spent on care. These factors increase the sustainability of the training services a company provides.

 

What are accreditation requirements in healthcare?

There are various criteria we uphold for healthcare organisations, focusing on the trainers, the centres, and the courses themselves:

  • How qualified are the staff involved in the training in healthcare?
  • Who is providing the training?
  • How qualified is the training provider in healthcare?
  • Is the centre appropriate for the training?
  • Is all necessary medical equipment available?
  • Are all safety procedures followed in this environment?
  • Does the course provide the necessary skills and knowledge needed by healthcare workers?
  • Is the quality of the course high?
  • Is the course well-presented?

 

How do you maintain healthcare accreditation?

The most important factor in maintaining healthcare accreditation is consistency. Companies should prioritize focusing on the accreditation requirements of the accreditation provider, completing annual reports to verify that these standards are being consistently maintained to a high standard and applying for approval for any significant changes in training courses.

 

How do you obtain healthcare accreditation?

You can sign up online for healthcare accreditation.

 

Further reading: Accreditation for Health and Social Care providers

CPD Across the World

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) courses are one of the best ways to improve your skill set and, as a by-product, boost your job prospects in today’s ever-increasingly competitive job market. CPD certificates are recognised as valuable attributes of employees to employers nowadays. Many employers will look for accredited CPD courses on a prospective employee’s application. Your current employer may even outline a specific requirement for CPD points you must, or are advised to, obtain annually, or throughout your career. Essential or not, CPD courses remain advantageous for individuals to get ahead in their professional role.

 

Is CPD internationally recognised?

Many CPD courses have been accredited in several countries across the globe, making them a useful asset for those wishing to work outside of the UK. CPD courses with accreditation from a trustworthy accreditation provider are much more likely to be valued by international organisations. However, CPD recognition ultimately depends on your specific employer, so it is best to verify the validity of your completed CPD courses with the establishment you are applying to, to ensure the courses you have completed are beneficial to your role or future role with the company.

 

CPD in the UK and Ireland

CPD is recognised and respected as a favourable qualification by over 1000 institutes across the UK and Ireland. Many businesses and organisations in the UK now require their employees to complete a set number of CPD courses due to its skill-enhancing nature.  In the UK and Ireland, these courses can be completed via online and in-person seminars, lectures or conferences, or through more practical approaches, including workshops, in-house training, mentoring and various events.

 

Is CPD recognised in the USA?

A similar qualification is used in the US: Continuing Education (CE) or Continuing Professional Education (CPE), as well as industry specific classification such as Continuing Medical Education (CME), Continuing Legal Education (CLE), etc. These qualifications are slightly different from CPD in that they are generally post-secondary learning for adults wishing to expand their knowledge after formal education, whereas CPD focuses on professional skills surrounding management, communication and similar topics. CPD points can be transferred into CPE points, meaning CPD courses completed in the UK (or via a UK provider) are still beneficial to those who go on to work in the US. Furthermore, CE courses are like CPD in that they are often requirements for professionals, particularly in certain industries.

 

Is CPD recognised in Australia and New Zealand?

In Australia and New Zealand, a similar system is followed to that in the UK and Ireland. There are many CPD schemes led in these countries with similar requirements and outcomes to CPD courses in the UK. CPD is also a highly valued practice here, and there are several opportunities and various methods through which to complete this training across the region.

 

CPD elsewhere in the world

Following CPD’s growth in the UK, many other countries are beginning to recognise the importance of CPD and similar courses. In Africa, CPD is an emerging practice, with some UK providers already delivering courses in this continent. Similarly, there is an increasing demand for CPD training in the Middle East- many of the practices already taking place in this region reflect UK CPD practices. We have a number of CPD accredited centres based in the Middle East already.

 

Are online CPD courses internationally recognised?

In the past, many professional bodies have been hesitant to accept online training as a form of CPD. However, accreditation allows for the reliability in these courses that employers are seeking. Online courses are ideal for post-university students, as well as industry professionals desiring to get ahead and gain experience in their respective industry. Online courses are convenient and easily accessible. Online and distance learning qualifications are often only recognised internationally if these courses are accredited. Therefore, it is advisable to engage in CPD material which has been accredited by a competent external body.

 

In summary, CPD qualifications or equivalent are recognised internationally, across several continents. Although in some countries, qualifications may go by a different name or have a slightly different focus, such as CPE and CE courses in the USA, these qualifications can be equated to CPD points, or vice versa. This makes CPD courses the perfect way to acquire valuable knowledge, skills and experience to aid you throughout your career, including for individuals interested in working internationally. If you are still unsure if your current or future employer accepts your completed CPD courses, it is best to check with your employers themselves. We are more than happy to answer any questions, so please contact us.

Further reading: The CPD Standards Office: CPD Across the Globe

Medical Terms Explained

Many of us see the terms illness, disease, disorder, syndrome and condition as interchangeable. We often say “disease” when referring to a disorder or syndrome. However, when it comes to healthcare, it’s important to know the distinction.

Disease
Problems in the structure or function of the body, causing specific symptoms. This must be measurable and recognisable to healthcare staff.

Disorder
Any disruption in the body’s structure or function. We can use “disorder” when there is not enough evidence to make a diagnosis.

Syndrome
A group of symptoms assumed to have the same cause. Knowing the syndrome is essential before diagnosing a disease.

Condition
This describes the state of a person’s health. For example “stable” or “critical” condition.

A Hierarchy of Terms
It all begins with symptoms. When we have a specific group of symptoms at the same time, this is known as a syndrome. Healthcare staff consider your syndrome and your overall health and determine the disorder. Finally, once we know the cause of the disorder, we can diagnose a disease. The process, from first noticing a symptom to receiving a disease diagnosis, can take years.
The term illness can be used at any point. A person can say they are ill when experiencing one symptom, and when they have received a diagnosis. This state does not change unless they recover.

Advantage Accreditation offers a wide range of accredited learning materials. Our accredited centres use these to train their staff and external learners. If you are interested in becoming a training centre, please get in touch.

Which Cosmetic Treatments Require a Licence?

The government has introduced new legislation requiring those providing cosmetic treatments to have a licence. Please note this legislation is not yet enforced.

If you work in beauty and cosmetics, reading through the Health and Social Care Act 2022 may not be on your to-do list. However, there is a clause that directly affects you. The Act states the need to “licence those providing non-surgical cosmetic procedures such as those involving injection or application of a substance, insertion of needles into the skin, insertion of thread under the skin, or application of light, electricity, cold or heat.”

If any of those treatments sound familiar, here’s what you need to know:

While you may have completed training and taken all necessary precautions in your work, this was not required by law. In 2020, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health and the Institute of Licensing found that there was a serious need to regulate cosmetic treatments. These regulations are intended to protect the public from harm. If cosmetic treatments are carried out incorrectly, or in unsafe settings, the customer is at risk of serious harm.

Under the Health and Social Care Act 2022, specific cosmetic procedures are prohibited without a licence. These procedures include:
– Anti-wrinkle injections
– Dermal fillers
– HIFU facials
– Microneedling
– Chemical peels
– Phototherapy
– Plasma injections

Any treatment that involves injections, threads under the skin, application of a substance that penetrates the skin, and applications of light, electricity, cold or heat will soon require a licence.

At Advantage Accreditation, we keep on top of updates like this to make sure your training materials are correct. If you are interested in becoming a CPD accredited trainer or training centre, please get in touch.

Oliver McGowan’s Story

Appeals from the family of Oliver McGowan have led to new mandatory training in learning disability and autism.

As an infant, Oliver suffered meningitis and received diagnoses of mild hemiplegia, focal partial epilepsy, a mild learning disability and high functioning autism. Throughout his childhood, Oliver developed a good sense of humour and aspirations for the future. As a teenager, with several sporting accomplishments under his belt, Oliver began to train as a Paralympian.

Oliver was admitted to a children’s hospital in October 2015. He was experiencing partial focal seizures and felt scared and confused. He was discharged after a few weeks and given antidepressants. His seizures worsened and he was readmitted that December. Despite having no diagnosis of mental illness or psychosis, he was given antipsychotic medication and held against his will. This had a hugely negative impact on his mood. Doctors noted he was sensitive to antipsychotics. After the removal of the medication, his mood and seizure activity returned to normal.

In April 2016, Oliver was admitted again with partial seizures. He was given antipsychotics again. He suffered an Oculogyric Crisis causing his eyes to roll upwards and stay there. After 6 hours, during which the doctor believed his symptoms were behavioural, he was eventually given Procyclidine to counteract the reaction. Oliver suffered other potential side effects including hallucinations, up to 30 seizures a day, problems urinating, extremely high blood pressure and sweating. Oliver was moved to a specialist adult hospital. Staff restrained him, gave him no privacy and prescribed different antipsychotic medication.

Oliver was then transferred to a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit. Here, staff immediately saw he did not need to be detained and they reduced all antipsychotic medications. He received support from a specialist learning disability team.

That October, Oliver experienced a cluster of partial seizures and was admitted to general hospital. He developed pneumonia and was intubated. Staff sedated him and gave him antipsychotic medication. Oliver’s temperature reached 42°. He suffered tonic-clonic seizures. His brain was badly swollen. He would be severely disabled. Doctors suspected neuroleptic malignant syndrome, a life-threatening reaction to antipsychotic medication.

After a week on life support, Oliver died on 11th November 2016. He was 18 years old.

The McGowan family strongly believe the hospital staff are to blame for Oliver’s death, especially those who prescribed antipsychotics after his previous bad reactions. They believe staff did not make reasonable adjustments to accommodate for the needs of someone with a learning disability and autism. The family have campaigned for years to see improvements made in healthcare.

Their hard work has paid off. The Health and Care Act 2022 has written the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training in Learning Disability and Autism into law. This is a standardised training package developed by Health Education England and Skills for Care. The training was designed, delivered and evaluated with the help of people with learning disabilities and autism.

In trials across the UK, researchers have seen positive results. 61-88% of learners reported changing their behaviours after the training. 80-94% said the training provided new information, helped them recognise unconscious bias, made them aware of the needs of autistic people in healthcare settings, and gave them new ideas about how to support autistic people.

We are happy to see these results as this training can prevent further deaths. We applaud the McGowan family for their dedication to changing our healthcare system and hope they are comforted by this result.

High quality training courses are absolutely vital, especially in health and care settings. If you share our passion for training and would like to become an accredited centre, please get in touch.

You can find out more about Oliver McGowan and his family’s work at olivermcgowan.org

Accreditation Process

How does accreditation work? What are your next steps? The information below will help you understand the process of becoming an accredited training centre with Advantage Accreditation. We recommend first reading our guidance on What is Accreditation? and Why get Accredited?

What are accreditation requirements? What are the accreditation standards?
We have our own criteria for centres, trainers and courses.

Centres:
Do you have the necessary set up, processes and polices for training?
Do you have an appropriate equipment and space?
Is the environment up to safety standards?

Trainers:
Do you know who will be conducting training?
Are staff qualified to train others?
Do staff have enough specific subject knowledge?

Courses:
Does the course provide learners with appropriate knowledge?
Does the course grow the learners’ skills?
Is the course well-presented? I.e. no typos or grammatical errors, high quality images, clear structure

Our team will support you through the various stages of accreditation.

How do you prepare for accreditation? How long does it take to prepare for accreditation?
To get started, make sure you have the right staff who are capable of conducting training. You may want to hire someone with teaching experience and qualifications, or train your existing staff.

Next, you can begin to plan and prepare a curriculum. This is not essential, as we provide our own Advantage accredited awards which you can use. If you are looking to create a new course, you will need to create the relevant learning resources. For example, a lesson plan, presentation slides, worksheets, etc.

Once this is all complete, you can sign up online here

This may take a few weeks or months, depending on your organisation’s needs and capacity.

How do you get accreditation? What happens during accreditation process? What are the steps to the accreditation process?
Advantage Accreditation uses a simple, four-step process:

1. Centre Approval
Our team will visit you on site to ensure you are equipped to carry out training. We will discuss any changes or improvements you need to make, and support you in making these improvements.

2. Trainer Approval
You will need to register your trainers with us. This often involves staff at your organisation completing a Train the Trainer course. We will ensure staff have sufficient subject knowledge and teaching skills.

3. Select Courses
This works differently depending on whether you are creating your own bespoke courses. If so, our Curriculum Team will check every detail of your learning materials to ensure they are of a high standard. If not, you can use our own awards. These are already accredited and used by many of our approved centres.

4. Deliver Accredited Training
After this, you can begin training. We will continue to support you through our online portal. Here, you can arrange training, view reports, and create certificates featuring our stamp of approval.

If you have any questions about the process of gaining accreditation, please get in touch with our team today.