New Qualification for Commissioners of Care Services

Marjorie Shucksmith is Highfield’s qualification development manager for the health and social care sector, in this article she discusses the role and important of social care commissioners, and the positive impact new standards will have on the sector.

While there had been gradual changes in the focus of social care commissioners towards promoting citizenship, health and wellbeing, the Care Act 2014 put into legislation the duty to promote the wellbeing of individuals. This means ensuring that services maximise the potential for self-care and build on the skills and assets of each individual.

To help address the new challenges this presents, new standards (Commissioning for Better Outcomes) were developed by a team from the Health Services Management Centre at Birmingham University, commissioned by the Local Government Association (LGA) and the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services (ADASS), and funded by the Department of Health. It was launched to assist with the implementation of the changes brought about by the Care Act to achieve high-quality commissioning activities and to drive improvement by encouraging local authorities to follow a self-assessment process. For many, this will result in changes to current practice:

‘…to focus on promoting wellbeing and on outcomes, to be more responsive to community needs, to enable individuals as commissioners of their own care, and to actively promote collaboration across the whole system.’

Commissioning for Better Outcomes, 2015

A commissioner for wellbeing is responsible for ensuring that there is a supply of sufficient provision to meet demand for social care in their local area. This covers both the service type and the capacity of that service. The social care commissioning workforce is responsible, in most local authorities, for the largest element of local authority expenditure and as such have a significant impact on local economies. This is in part through the number of care jobs created as a result of commissioning a service, but also when considering any other local supporting services, such as catering and building services. The role is constantly evolving in response to the needs of their local area, and commissioners must have the knowledge and skills to review local demands to meet them appropriately. Managing supply and demand in a person-centred and outcomes-focused way is key to the role of a commissioner for wellbeing, and partnership arrangements, coproduction and consultation have increased importance in this role.

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‘Effective commissioning can only be achieved by empowering people who need care and support, their carers and families to play a leading role in shaping and driving the changes they want to see Local authorities are responsible for a responsive, diverse and sustainable market of service providers that can provide high quality, personalised care and support that best meets the needs of people.’

Skills for Care, http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/Topics/Commissioners/Commissioners.aspx

As well as those that work in commissioning roles in local authorities, there are similar changes in focus for those who provide adult social care services, in terms of how they commission (subcontract) parts of their own service.

These changes mean there is a potential skills gap in the current workforce and therefore a need for a new qualification to be developed for both existing care commissioners and also with the purpose of providing a clear career path to those aspiring to become care commissioners. HABC is working closely with Skills for Care and a number of local authorities to develop the new Level 5 Certificate in Commissioning for Wellbeing, which will cover key areas such as:

1)      The role of a commissioner for wellbeing

2)      Commissioning together for outcomes

3)      The commissioning cycle

4)      Professional development for effective commissioning

The qualification will be assessed by internally set and assessed pieces of work such as assignments, reports, presentations and research projects. The content of the qualification will be knowledge-based and allow learners the flexibility to apply the knowledge to scenarios and situations to demonstrate their understanding and ability in commissioning for wellbeing.

The qualification will be ready to deliver in October 2016. If you are interested in finding out more, please register your interest at info@highfieldabc.com

Rockin’ the boat for VICTA

Save the date for this year’s annual Dragon Boat Race, which will be returning to Doncaster for a seventh consecutive year on Saturday 9 July 2016.

Highfield team members will be picking up their oars and taking to the water in traditional and beautifully decorated 30-foot Chinese dragon boats all in the name of a good cause. They will be battling against local businesses to see who will be crowned this year’s ‘dragon boat champions’.

Each team will comprise 10 paddlers of all ages and abilities and will complete a 250 metre course, and for what all members of the Highfield team may lack in experience they certainly make up for in enthusiasm and determination!

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Highfield will be raising money for our nominated charity VICTA, a not-for-profit organisation that provides support for families with children and young people who have visual needs. Last year’s event saw teams help raise over £12,000 for the Rotary Club of Doncaster St George’s charity, alongside other charities and good causes, and we hope that with your support we can raise lots of money for a truly deserving charity .

Taking place at Lakeside, Doncaster from 11am – 5pm, the event is free to attend and promises to be a fun day out for all the family. In addition to the on-water action, spectators can expect a range of attractions and entertainment including fun fair rides, craft and charity stalls as well as food and drink aplenty!

For more information about VICTA, or to donate please visit here.

Savers announced as Top Employer for Retail

HABC approved centre Savers was announced as one of the UK’s top 100 employers for school and college leavers at the fourth annual AllAboutSchoolLeavers.co.uk awards ceremony, held at London City Hall on Friday 27th May 2016.

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The awards ceremony celebrated all aspects of learning and development, including career progression, training and skills, as decided by feedback surveys completed by apprentices and school leaver trainees nationwide who have recently completed their qualification programs.

Savers was recognised as ‘Top Employer for Retail’, beating the likes of Harrods and Boots to receive the top accolade. The organization also won ‘Best Level of Support’ and ‘Best for Job Satisfaction’, as well as taking the runner-up spots in two further categories, ‘Best Training’ and ‘Best for Skills Development’.

Further information about the awards and a full list of winners can be found here.

You’re Invited!

Highfield will be on the road again this summer, exhibiting at several industry events where you’ll be able to meet and speak to members of the Highfield team about our bespoke services, view a selection of user-friendly training materials written to support our qualifications, learn more about our digital solutions and see first-hand how working with Highfield can provide added value to your business.

You can come and see us at any of the following events:

Safety & Health Expo

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The Safety & Health Expo is targeted at professionals working within the health and safety industry. The 3-day exhibition allows delegates to discover the latest innovations and products from leading organisations within the industry, network with like-minded colleagues, receive updates on critical legislation and accumulate CPD points.

Date: 21-23 June 2016 Venue: Excel, London Stand: U1720

Health +  Care

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Health + Care is not only the largest national event for health and care in the UK, but also the most comprehensive event for sector professionals. The Commissioning Show, The Residential Care Show, Technology First and The Home Care Show are all part of the event, so attendance at Health + Care will provide delegates with the opportunity to network with key sector stakeholders.

Date: 29-30 June 2016 Venue: Excel, London Stand: B46

AELP National Conference 2016

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This conference features key speeches from government ministers, senior officials and leading academics. There will also be several workshops and an exhibition. The conference is aimed at all those who work within the employment and skills sector and who want to be at the forefront of future developments within the industry.

Date: 27-28 June 2016 Venue: Novotel London West, Hammersmith Stand: 28

If you would like any further information regarding any of these events  or you are planning to attend any of them and would like to arrange a meeting with a member of the Highfield team in advance,  please email danmcdade@highfieldabc.com.

We hope to see you soon.

It worked for me: Highfield Apprenticeship

Rob started working for Highfield in 2012 as an IT apprentice. Demonstrating excellent potential, he secured a permanent position with the company following his apprenticeship placement to become a developer within our e-learning team. Like many of his colleagues within the company, Rob has risen through the ranks of the company due to this exceptional commitment and talent, and he is now set to commence managing a new team of IT apprentices later in the year.

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What were your responsibilities as an apprentice?

During my apprenticeship I was responsible for providing outstanding customer service in both internal and external technical IT support. I was also responsible for the design and creation of the range of new Highfield Apprenti-kit products.

What attracted you to an apprenticeship?

Being able to earn whilst I learn, gain new skills and invaluable experience and obtain qualifications in a professional environment.

What skills and experience did you gain from your apprenticeship?

During my apprenticeship I worked alongside all areas of IT picking up skills and experience in customer service, internal and external technical IT support, product design and development and basic programming.

What did your position involve?

My position involved providing online and over-the-phone technical support to our customers that have purchased our electronic products; I would also provide support to our internal customers looking after their hardware and network systems. I was also in charge of creating a brand new range of products called Apprenti-kits that would help thousands of other apprentices complete their apprenticeships too. These were paper-based at first before I later developed an electronic version that could be completed on a computer device.

What is it like to work for Highfield?

It is a pleasure to work for Highfield and alongside all of Highfield’s employees, we are a tight-knit company inside and outside of the office. There is never a dull day and we are always very busy, which is not a bad thing!

What was the highlight of your apprenticeship?

The highlight of my apprenticeship was when I had finished my very first product, that I knew would help so many other apprentices throughout their apprenticeships.

Do you feel that an apprenticeship was beneficial to your career?

Without completing my apprenticeship at Highfield I would not be in the position that I am in now 4 years on, I am soon to manage my own team of apprentice e-learning developers where I can use my own experience as an apprentice to help guide them through their journey.

How would you describe your apprenticeship in 3 words?

Challenging, enjoyable and rewarding.

As a former apprentice, what advice would you give to anybody considering an apprenticeship?

Go for it, there are so many fantastic opportunities in apprenticeships, you can earn a wage whilst gaining invaluable experience and qualifications, and make sure that you choose an apprenticeship in the area that you want to build a career within and that you will love and enjoy.

It worked for me: Highfield Apprenticeship

To mark National Apprenticeship Week and to celebrate the significance of work-based learning, we’ll be speaking to members of the Highfield team about their apprenticeship experience.

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Prior to starting her apprenticeship in 2012, Emily studied graphic design at college. After completing her studies she was looking for a solution that would allow her to continue her studies in a working environment, which led her to an apprenticeship. Emily was attracted to the Highfield design apprentice role due to the variety of professional projects she had the opportunity to work on. During her apprenticeship, Emily demonstrated a strong work ethic, becoming a fundamental member of the Design team, from which she secured a full-time role with Highfield as a junior designer.

What attracted you to an apprenticeship?

I had just finished two years of studying and felt that I needed to do something a little more practical, which is why an apprenticeship shone far brighter than any university course did.

What did your position involve?

My position really was to get involved and learn from my colleagues. When you first go into an apprenticeship you need to learn how the company itself works and from then on once you have learnt the essential skills, will start to find your place in the team (it just sort of clicks).

What is it like to work for Highfield?

It is a great adventure; you are rarely doing the same type of job. You will get to work on all types of projects with different team members for multiple clients.

What were your main responsibilities as an apprentice?

I looked after the event material, the setting of exam papers and creating a newsletter for Highfield. After a few weeks I also got the chance to join in with other activities such as photo shoots, which I found to be great fun. This was helpful as I got to work with other team members learning what they did in their day-to-day jobs.

What skills and experience did you gain from your apprenticeship?

I have gained so much from working at Highfield it would be hard to pin point only a few items to talk about. Within my initial 12 months I progressed so far and learnt how to produce products and each process that goes into doing so.

What was the highlight of your apprenticeship (biggest achievement etc.)?

I believe my greatest highlight was being offered a full-time position at Highfield. I felt that I had become part of the team and part of the Highfield family.

Do you feel that an apprenticeship was beneficial to your career?

It was really the greatest thing for me at the time as I don’t think I was ready to go to university. I was a rather timid person before I started working at Highfield and over the years I have grown so much both professionally and as an individual. I feel that this has been one of the greatest things I have done in my career so far and am looking forward to future endeavours.

How would you describe your apprenticeship in three words?

Super, smashing, great!!!

As a former apprentice, what advice would you give to anybody considering an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship was so much better for me as I was learning on the job, completing live briefs, being tutored by others with more experience than myself and growing as a person instead of sat in a classroom. Overall I would say consider an apprenticeship with Highfield as my experience here was so helpful for me and I do feel I found myself at Highfield.

HABC events for 2015

HABC has a number of events lined up for summer, covering a range of subjects and aimed at trainers, educators and sector professionals.

For more information on each event and details of how to book, click on the location and date links.

First AidRegulated First Aid Qualification Assessor and IQA CPD Training
Latest guidance for assessors and IQAs of HABC’s updated first-aid qualifications.
HABC Centres £50.00 + VAT
Standard Price £65.00 + VAT

DUDLEY 23 July 2015
NEWCASTLE 6 August 2015
DONCASTER 2 September 2015

Fire Safety

Fire Safety Event
Train the trainer event for those looking to deliver HABC’s fire safety qualifications.
HABC Centres £95.00 + VAT
Standard Price £155.00 + VAT

DONCASTER 5 August 2015

Admin event

Admin Support Event
Event to assist delegates with administrative tasks involved with being a HABC Centre, plus the chance to meet members of the HABC account management team.
FREE

CARDIFF 12 August 2015
STIRLING 6 October 2015
LONDON 24 October 2015

Pool Lifeguarding

Pool Lifeguarding Trainer/Assessor Conversion Day
Conversion days to allow pool lifeguard trainers/assessors to deliver the HABC Level 2 Award in Pool Lifeguarding (QCF).
FREE

BRISTOL 3 September 2015

Education and training

Education and Training 19 September
Aimed at Centres currently delivering (or planning to deliver) the HABC Level 3 Award in Education and Training (QCF) and the HABC Level 4 Certificate in Education and Training (QCF).
HABC Centres £50.00 + VAT
Standard Price £65.00 + VAT

LONDON 19 September

Meeting the security challenge with the HABC National Conference

security challengeHighfield Awarding Body for Compliance (‘HABC’) will be putting the focus on security at its conference later this year with a line up including Professional Security Magazine, New Scotland Yard and Bosch UK Holdings Ltd.

Held at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on 13 November 2014, the HABC National Conference will feature a security seminar – sponsored by MITIE, Marks & Spencer and ProTrainings.eu – with insights and updates on training, legislation and compliance from some of the top names in the industry, including:

•    Mark Rowe, Executive Editor, Professional Security Magazine;
•    DCI Mick Neville, New Scotland Yard;
•    Tony Shepherd, Protection Security Officer, Bosch Holdings UK Ltd;
•    Bob Betts, MD, Elite Academy of Security Training/Elite Bodyguard Ltd;
•    Andy Walker, HABC Security Consultant; and
•    James Rockley, HABC Business Development Director.

Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘The security industry faces huge challenges over the next 18 months and is constantly under scrutiny.  Our line-up of speakers will provide delegates with a detailed update on industry developments covering everything from legal changes to practical guidance including information on working with the police, overseas delivery, CCTV and training innovation’.

The conference is expected to attract an anticipated 600 delegates including blue-chip corporate clients and brand names, leading industry experts and educators and trainers.

The security seminar is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, fire safety/health and safety, first aid, food safety, licensing and  pool lifeguarding.

Cost per attendee is £135+VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £195+VAT for non-Centres, with discounts available for early and multiple bookings.

For more information, click here, call 0845 226 0350 or email events@highfieldabc.com.

 

Law, legislation and licensing at the HABC National Conference

Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) will be putting the latest and proposed legislative changes to the industry under the spotlight at its conference later this year, with a line-up including the Institute of Licensing and the Scottish Grocers Federation.

Held at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, on 13 November 2014, the HABC National Conference will feature a seminar on licensing issues throughout the day – sponsored by the Alliance of Quality Licensing Trainers (AQLT) and Marks & Spencer – with insights and updates on training, legislation and compliance from leading experts including:

proposed legislative changesJohn Drummond, Chief Executive, Scottish Grocers Federation;

 

 

Jon CollinsJon Collins, Chairman, Institute of Licensing Ltd;

 

 

Peter CoulsonPeter Coulson, Editor of the Licensing Review, co-founder of the M&C Report; and

 

 

Mike WroeMike Wroe, Director, HABC.

 

 

Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘The licensing sector faces a number of challenges right across the four nations, both now and in the future, from the legal to the operational.  Our speakers will be addressing those issues and providing guidance for operators and educators on how to meet those challenges’.

The conference is expected to attract an anticipated 600 delegates including blue-chip corporate clients and brand names, leading industry experts and educators and trainers.

The licensing seminar is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, fire safety/health and safety, first aid, food safety, pool lifeguarding and security.