In this article
After reading this Care Certificate Standard 2 – Your Personal Development, you should be able to:
- Agree a personal development plan.
- Develop your knowledge, skills and understanding.
The Care Certificate standards detail what you must achieve and be assessed against to meet these learning outcomes.
If you have any concerns or queries, you should discuss these with your employer and/or assessor.
What is a personal development plan?
Personal development (PD) is a continuous lifelong process. At work, your PD will begin by you agreeing your aims and objectives with your employer. You should also think about your strengths and development needs.
To achieve your aims, you should set goals so that you can fulfil your objectives. Setting goals will ensure that you are making the most of your talent in your role and throughout your career.
To help you get organised, and to identify your learning and development needs, you should have an action plan, which is also known as a personal development plan (PDP).
Your PDP will:
- Help you to perform better in your role.
- Help you in your career.
- Track your progress.
If you are new to the health and social care sector, this Care Certificate is the start of your journey, This standard is normally explored as part of your induction.
Beyond your induction, a good employer will want to develop your learning and skills as you progress in your role. A personal development plan (PDP) may be discussed and agreed upon during your induction or later during a review of your progress.
Firstly, you should discuss and come to an agreement with your employer on:
- How you are going to complete the Care Certificate.
- How long it will take you to complete.
- Any additional induction training you will need.
As you progress in your health and social care role, it is essential that you develop your skills and abilities, which may involve:
- Further training.
- Specialist courses.
Creating and reviewing your personal development plan
Your employer will create your personal development plan (PDP) with you, as they will:
- Be aware of what they expect of you.
- Assist you in setting targets.
- Help you to find necessary learning opportunities.
Your PDP should be updated and reviewed annually, as most of them cover a 12-month period. However, your employer may choose to carry out a review more frequently.
Many different people will play a part in your PDP, e.g. your manager, other workers and the individuals you provide care and support for. However, the most important person involved in your PDP is you.
Developing your skills, knowledge, and competency
As a health and social care worker, your skills and knowledge will need to be developed throughout your working life, so you can competently carry out your role.
The reasons for the continual development of your knowledge and skills are that there may be:
- Changes in legislation or national standards.
- Changes to organisational policies or procedures.
- Changes in your job role.
- Changes to the needs of the individuals you are caring for and supporting.
A personal development plan (PDP) should set out the areas you will be required to develop and how you will go about achieving this.
- The areas you will need to develop for your role.
- What you want to achieve. These are your objectives, and they should be SMART. You will look at this in the next unit.
- How and when you will achieve your objectives.
Developing your knowledge and skills is linked to how and when you will achieve your objectives.
There are numerous opportunities for developing your knowledge and skills, which is an important part of your personal development plan (PDP), for example:
- Training courses.
- Mentoring and shadowing.
- Guidance during supervision.
- Team meetings.
- Online forums.
- Social media.
- Training courses.
- Online learning opportunities.
- Speaking to workers in different roles.
To agree your personal development plan (PDP) and get the most out of the exercise, you should contribute to the discussion by asking yourself the following questions:
- What do I want to achieve in my role?
- Do I have the necessary standards, skills and knowledge for my current role? Are there any gaps?
- What opportunities are available for learning and development in my role?
- What are my ambitions and goals?
- Am I making the correct choices so I can get there?
When you are asking yourself about whether your skills and knowledge meet the requirements for your role, you should check:
- The relevant standards for the role.
- Your job description.
Your PDP is important, as it:
- Ensures that your skills, knowledge and understanding meet the requirements of your role.
- Develops your skills and helps with your career progression.
What is a supervision in health and social care?
A more senior staff member will supervise you whilst you carry out your work activities. There are two different meanings of supervision in health and social care: working under supervision and supervision sessions.
Working under supervision
- This means that a more experienced colleague oversees your work whilst you are in sight of them. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your manager who supervises you.
- Regular supervision is vital in any role, as it allows:
– Concerns to be addressed.
– Progress to be checked.
– Additional support to be arranged where required.
- Regardless of whether you are working at a single location or in the community, your employer must allow you the opportunity for regular supervision.
- These are pre-arranged meetings where you discuss your performance and development with your manager or supervisor.
- These sessions provide a frequent opportunity to discuss:
– Any part of your work.
– Your role.
– The individuals who you are caring for and supporting.
- They may be one-to-one sessions with your manager or team meetings.
- These sessions should be at a time, and frequency, agreed with your manager.
- Notes should be kept of these sessions.
What is an appraisal in health and social care?
There will be times where you will have one-to-one meetings with your manager. These meetings are known as appraisals and usually occur on an annual basis. However, they can occur more frequently, and this will depend on your employer’s procedures.
The aim of an appraisal is to see how well you are doing in your role and to discuss the progress that you are making. During the meeting, your manager will support you in planning your next steps and updating your personal development plan (PDP).
You should think about the things you want to achieve in your role, which are your objectives.
Your objectives should be SMART, which is an acronym for:
If you keep your objectives SMART, then they will be easier to agree and achieve.
Once you have your clear SMART objectives, you should break them down into action points, which will make them more manageable. You should then record this in your personal development plan (PDP).
There are four steps to setting SMART objectives, which are:
- Step 1 – Agreeing your aims and objectives.
- Step 2 – Planning your activities to meet your objectives.
- Step 3 – Setting timescales to achieve outcomes and review.
- Step 4 – Outcome.
Step 1 – Agreeing your aims and objectives
You should agree your objectives with your manager. For this step, it will be you and your manager who are involved.
An example of an objective would be:
- To write and review care plans with the individuals who are receiving care and support in my workplace.
Step 2 – Planning your activities to meet your objectives
To meet your objectives, you should plan your activities. For this step, you, your colleagues, trainers and mentors will be involved.
Going back to the example of writing and reviewing care plans, for this step, you could:
- Read through the instructions and processes for care planning in your workplace. You could also discuss with a more experienced worker and ask them questions.
- Work with your manager and select three individuals with care plans. You could then obtain permission from these individuals so that you can discuss their care plans with them.
- Organise with your manager about how and when you should report back, including discussing any queries or learning points with them.
Step 3 – Setting timescales to achieve outcomes and review
You should set your timescales to achieve your outcomes. For this step, it will be you, your colleagues and your manager who are involved.
An example would be achieving one of the four listed activities each week, which would take you four weeks to complete. You should note down the dates of these four weeks.
You should also agree to complete the activities within the planned timescales.
Step 4 – Outcome
Going back to the example of the three care plans. In this situation, you would discuss, with your manager, the care plans examined and the comments from the individuals being supported by them.
You could also update the care plans with your manager and review what you have learned from the process.
The importance of developing your core skills
Regardless of what your role is in health and social care, or the type of workplace you work in, it is crucial to have the correct skill level regarding:
As a health and social care worker, your core literacy skills may include:
- Reading and contributing to people’s care plans.
- Ensuring that data is recorded accurately, clearly and legibly.
- Completing forms, writing emails or taking notes.
- Reading and understanding any instructions relating to your agreed ways of working.
As a health and social care worker, your core numeracy skills may include:
- Monitoring an individual’s weight, recording any loss or gain, and calculating their overall progress.
- Taking and recording an individual’s temperature or blood pressure at regular intervals and reporting any concerns.
- Recording the amount of fluids an individual has drunk.
- Measuring medicine dosage.
- Understanding the difference between many different measures, e.g. grams and milligrams, and calculating simple conversions.
As a health and social care worker, your core communication skills may include:
- Discussing with individuals regarding their care and support.
- Discussing work activities with your colleagues or manager.
- Talking about your personal development plan (PDP) and agreeing on it with your manager.
- Involvement in team meetings, supervision and appraisals.
Good communication is one of the 6C’s. It is of vital importance that information is exchanged, accurate and not misleading. That way, you will better understand an individual’s needs and avoid care that is not person-centred.
You can check your literacy, numeracy and communication skills on a variety of websites on the internet.
You can also get help from these websites so that you can develop your skills further if required. There are also materials available offline and face-to-face learning opportunities.
Your skills may have to be at a certain level for your particular role. You may also be provided with support so that you can enhance your skills further. You should discuss further opportunities, resources and the support available with your manager.
Learning and development in health and social care
To help you with your learning and development, your employer may be able to offer internal training, and you should discuss this with your manager and colleagues.
To further your knowledge and skills, you can also look for information outside of your organisation.
You can find a wealth of guidance and information from:
- The Care Quality Commission (CQC) (www.cqc.org.uk).
- Your trade union or staff association (where applicable).
- The Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) (www.scie.org.uk).
- Other workers and networks.
Good sources of information regarding suitable qualifications, courses and apprenticeships for your role can be found from sector bodies, such as:
We are all different, and we all learn in different ways. There are numerous opportunities available which enable you to mix and match the different learning methods to suit you and your preferred ways of learning. This is known as blended learning.
Resources for learning
You can carry out numerous formal and informal activities, as part of a blended approach to learning. The type of activities available to you will depend on your role.
To help you develop your knowledge and understanding, you can access different resources for learning, such as:
- Reading materials.
- Television (TV).
- Video clips.
- Internet research.
- Mobile phone apps.
You may also learn from social media forums, such as Twitter, Facebook and other platforms. These are live learning resources, which can develop your awareness of other people’s approaches.
You should always check the agreed ways of working in your workplace if you are unsure of what you have read. Remember that you must never break anyone’s confidentiality at your workplace.
Types of learning
In addition to the types of learning you have already looked at, there is also the following:
- Structured learning – includes work shadowing (working alongside a worker who has more experience) or e-learning (computer-based learning).
- Formal learning, courses and qualifications – these can enhance your knowledge and skills. This type of learning confirms your competence to carry out your role.
- Active learning – involves writing, describing, discussing, listening and reflecting on presented information. This type of learning enables you to explore new areas and fresh ideas. Your self-confidence in your work will improve if you discuss ideas with others, as it will help you become more knowledgeable and gain a greater understanding. If you put the theory you have learned into practice, it will improve your overall work.
Using your past experiences to assist you in developing your skills and obtaining a greater understanding of your abilities is a useful learning tool known as reflection.
This is a form of development, and it requires you to think about:
- Your actions.
- How you relate to those who are receiving care and support and to your work colleagues and others.
Reflection also requires you to look back on an activity or a situation, consider how it was done and think about what could have been done differently. It also helps you to consider the quality of your work and what improvements you should make.
Developing your skills, by using reflection, is an example of how a learning activity can change how you work. This can improve your skills, knowledge and understanding of your role.
You can speak to your manager and colleagues regarding their recommendations for further learning.
When you start work in a new workplace, and when you are learning new skills, you will need helpful feedback. You should receive frequent feedback from your manager or assessor, as you advance through the Care Certificate and your workplace induction.
Regular feedback will help you:
- Develop your skills.
- Provide clarity.
- Provide you with the ability to meet the required standards.
If you don’t receive any feedback, this can result in a false assessment of your abilities. Working in health and social care requires you to use your combined knowledge, skills and understanding so that you can manage difficult and stressful situations in a caring and compassionate way.
Receiving constructive feedback is an essential part of your learning and development, as it:
- Helps build your confidence.
- Provides you with the ability to solve issues.
- Helps you look at your strengths.
- Makes you aware of areas for improvement.
Feedback helps you to consider what others think of the way you work. There are two main types of feedback, formal and informal.
- Formal feedback – this would normally be provided in writing. It may form part of an assessment, an appraisal or maybe noted down on a comments sheet. This type of feedback can also be provided verbally in supervision sessions where notes are taken.
- Informal feedback – this happens in everyday discussions with your managers, colleagues and the individuals who you provide care and support for.
As you have learned from the previous slide, feedback can also be helpful and constructive.
For feedback to be beneficial, it should be:
- Timely – feedback should be provided as soon as possible, after the event, whilst it is still fresh in people’s minds.
- Positive – feedback should detail what you could change to improve your work performance. It should not focus on your personal factors, e.g. your intelligence or confidence.
- Constructive – feedback should be based on the facts. It should also describe what you did well and what you could do differently.
What is a workplace induction?
Your workplace induction should be completed in the first 12 weeks of your employment. The purpose of an induction is to provide you with the basic skills, knowledge and competency for your role and specific workplace.
Some examples of what will be included in your induction are:
- Workplace induction – this will cover the policies and procedures that are applicable in your workplace. It should include health and safety, fire safety and the specifics of your role.
- The Care Certificate – this sets out the values, abilities and behaviours that you, as a health and social care worker, will require to provide good quality and compassionate care.
The Care Certificate
The Care Certificate is a vital part of the induction process, and your learning, which your employer must provide.
It consists of 15 standards, which cover a range of relevant topics; from your own role and development, to equality, diversity and dignity values, to health and safety and infection prevention.
It is expected that anyone new to health and social care will complete the Care Certificate and be assessed before being permitted to work without direct supervision.
Your employer may choose to use the Care Certificate workbooks and activities, which contain the knowledge content.
They may also choose to provide you with additional detail on each part. Regardless of what training materials your employer uses, to support your learning, it is vital they give you sufficient time to learn during your induction. They will also need to give you sufficient time for frequent progress checks, learning reviews and feedback.
To enable you to develop the crucial skills so that you can successfully carry out your role, you should have a combination of:
- Knowledge content.
- Practical training.
- Workplace assessment.
Some workers may require more support than others as they work through the Care Certificate or other training. An important part of supervision requires your manager to identify when further assistance is needed. However, you should always inform them if you require more support in your learning and development.
Continuing your learning
It is vital that you develop your training and qualifications further as a health and social care worker.
You can achieve this by continuing professional development (CPD). This is the ongoing process of updating your skills and knowledge and a record of your learning, development and achievements.
Your CPD is usually kept in a folder that keeps track of your progress beyond your initial training.
It will include:
- Ongoing development.
- Refresher training.
Your personal development plan (PDP) will assist you in focussing on areas for learning and development.
In health and social care, changes occur regularly, e.g. changes in legislation, development of ways of working and improvements in completing documentation. This is why continual learning and ongoing development is crucial.
As your CPD file develops, it will provide valuable evidence of what you have achieved to enhance your knowledge and skills.
Part of your continuing professional development (CPD) will include training and practices, such as:
- Specialist training – this is specific to the requirements of your role and workplace.
- Reflective practice/reflection – this is learning from your experiences.
- Refresher training – this is training that is repeated regularly so that knowledge and skills stay fresh in your mind. It is also a requirement for some high-risk tasks to ensure that they are carried out safely, for example:
– Manual handling.
– First aid.
– Administering medication.
– Fire safety.