The Benefits Of E-Learning In Social Care
Improving the quality of learning and development opportunities in Social Care is one of the industry’s most deep-rooted challenges. The Care sector is heavily reliant on staff competence and training is continually required to ensure workforces meet the latest regulatory requirements, which are constantly being revised by different governing bodies. The very nature of the job also dictates that there can be severe consequences if the recommended guidelines aren’t followed in areas such as medication, food hygiene and infection control. This all adds up to the fact that improving carer knowledge and taking an ‘always-on’ approach to Care training has never been more important.
Technology is now beginning to shape various areas of the Care sector and online training is a trend which has certainly picked up pace in the last couple of years. Before we explore some of the benefits of E-Learning in care, we need to understand some of the limitations of the traditional methods historically used by Care providers. Over the years a large portion of carer training has been centred around bringing an external trainer into Care organisations to host structured face to face training sessions with Care staff. Unfortunately, this approach to training does offer some significant disadvantages:
- Firstly, Care staff are always going to have different levels of experience and knowledge. Training-wise this causes complications, as some training topics may already be well-covered across the team. However, if there are certain topics which only a handful of staff need training on - then this can prove extremely costly.
- Secondly, face-to-face-based training is extremely rigid. Care organisations need a set date and time for when a trainer will come into the organisation and unfortunately if staff are on annual leave or involved in important day to day Care activities, then organising a set time can be difficult. If you can manage the training sessions yourself, it’s relatively easy to setup multiple session so everyone is accommodated.
- And finally, when a professional training session is hosted on the premises of a Care organisation, it often involves large sections of the workforce having to leave their roles for a significant period of time. This can cause disruption and a reduced service to care receivers as there are less staff on hand to support them.
It’s clear that in the current climate, more Care organisations are finding it difficult to juggle the growing demands of face-to-face training. There has been a growing shift across the main UK Care groups to prioritise digital methods of training, with more managers now understanding the benefits of E-Learning in care. Some of the more prominent advantages are:
Training Materials Can Be Re-Used – Once a training course has been purchased by an organisation, it can be re-used time and time again. This is extremely important in the Care sector, where staff turnover levels appear to be increasing nationwide. Any new starters will have access to a wide variety of previous training courses and the organisation needn’t pay twice to secure the services of a professional trainer for new staff.
Greater Flexibility – Another benefit of E-Learning in care environments, is that the actual learning content can be consumed at any given time. Internal classroom training can be scheduled when staff are less busy, and at a time which works for them. Importantly, if any E-Learning or video courses are already purchased, then less time is needed to organise and approve a training session than with an external provider. If staff feel like they need extra support, there are less restrictions in organising an internal session swiftly.
Learning Content Is Usually Mapped To The Latest Care Standards – Care managers can also gain greater confidence in the fact that they know beforehand that courses have been produced with the latest regulations in mind. The majority of digital courses offer learning content which complies with each of the regional bodies’ learning requirements. This may not always be the case when using multiple external training partners, as the level of service often differs.
It Makes Even More Sense For Large Care Groups – a lot of Care groups within the UK contain over 30 individual care homes or domiciliary care organisations. When a group has a large number of staff it needs to train, who are all based in different regions, then keeping a level of consistency to training can be extremely problematic. With E-Learning, the training courses can be procured at a group level and evenly distributed to each of the individual Care organisations, which ensures all staff have the same learning experience. This is extremely easier to manage and more cost-effective than hiring a professional trainer to visit each individual site in a Care group
E-Learning Courses Can Be Combined With Video Content – by utilising digital training methods, E-Learning content can be combined with modern training videos for a better overall experience. In some cases, it can be hard to visualise training scenarios however video content can make this much easier. E-Learning and video content usually go hand in hand, with care staff usually receiving professional supporting materials such as lesson plans, handouts and assessments which can help ensure the learning continues – even after an E-Learning session has drawn to a close.
We hope you enjoyed this post outlining the benefits of E-Learning in care. This post was created by the team at BVS Training, the UK’s only video-based trainer currently endorsed by Skills for Care.