Welcome to the second episode of the 'Inspection inside out' podcast. This time, Abi will focus on explaining what are qualifications, skills experience and competencies. And what is expected by the CQC.
Welcome to my podcast Inspection Inside Out.
My name is Abi Spence, and I am a Registration and Inspection Specialist working with QCS to deliver all you need to know about becoming a Registered Manager in this series.
In the last podcast we talked about good character and fitness, this time we will discuss what qualifications, skills experience and competencies are and what CQC will want to see.
Just like good character…there is a lot left up to the imagination in Regulation 7 of the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 and the associated CQC guidance. You can find more on this at https://www.cqc.org.uk/guidance-providers/regulations-enforcement/regulation-7-requirements-relating-registered-managers#guidance. But take my word…they aren’t spoon feeding!
So, what is the good news? The good news is that you have already been for a job interview and got the job as manager... but now you are going through the ringer to be a registered manager. The difference? You are managing a regulated activity – like personal care so it is about your relationship with CQC requirements, understanding notifications, the law and what is in your remit.
So, let’s tackle qualifications/training
What is important here is what you will be doing, and that is you will be ‘managing’ (number 1), the ‘regulated activity’ (number 2). Let’s break this down.
Qualifications are not the be all and end all, we know that, but they are a great way of showing you have completed systematic approved learning – the building blocks of a set way of doing things – best practice and an audit trail all in one!
If I hear one more time you absolutely have to have Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management for Adult Care I may eat someone’s care badge – maybe even the former health secretary’s. Yes, it is recommended, it was specifically developed for the care sector, so it’s got all the elements you will need, but actually, there is nothing laid out currently by CQC, or skills for care that says you have to. But if you don’t, you should have an equivalent, so no that 25 metres swimming badge really will not do.
Skills for care have put together a list of management qualifications which CQC may also recognise and you can find more information on this here.
Mandatory training is essential to keep up to date with current practice, just as you would expect all staff to.
There have been times when I was a registration inspector where I had interviewed even seasoned managers that had not refreshed their learning as they should. Some got a shock when told what they had was not OK. Throwing very old certificates in safeguarding or manual handling or just lots of inappropriate certificates won’t get you through. I have even seen a cycling proficiency certificate and a 25 metres swimming one. These, however lovely, do not cut the mustard, and immediately put this thought into my mind – ‘what is this person actually thinking of by showing me them?’.
Have a look at Skills for Care to consider what you need. If you have just completed a level 5 you will have ticked a lot of the boxes. Remember, this should be pick and mix for your service! Take a look at https://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/resources/documents/Developing-your-workforce/Guide-to-developing-your-staff/Core-and-mandatory-training.pdf.
Now beyond this there may be specialist training you will undertake as well as refreshing your mandatory training. So, for example, I have interviewed people who want to work with people with dementia but they have no specific dementia training and have not planned any for their staff, you get my gist right?
OK so you have got the message and signed up for the qualification... But qualifications on their own are not enough. If you are managing something as important as the care and support of vulnerable adults, I would expect you to have experience which shows me you have done this well before, or you have been a deputy and have been mentored into managing.
I am going to look down your CV and check out you have management experience…and it definitely should be more than a day or two! CQC make thorough checks relating to your employment. If you have been a registered manager before they will also check your history on their system.
Let’s make our way onto skills.
They could be ones you naturally have, and ones you have learnt. Skills can be transferable. It is not the easiest of routes always, but if you have worked in a similar setting and you can demonstrate your skill set is transferable then don’t let it stop you. For example, if you have not worked directly in a domiciliary setting for adults, but you have managed an intermediate care setting or worked within health care.
Demonstrate is the key word here. If I was sat in front of you now, can you tell me how your skills can move across to your new service?
Finally, I just want to touch briefly on competencies.
You may have the qualifications; you may have a set of skills that on paper look amazing but if you can’t show me you are competent that paper will not get you through.
Competency is the ability to take the skills you have which can be applied in different areas of life – and make them work within your job to be successful.
With all of this you must keep your competencies skills and your knowledge up to date and explain how you will do this.
CQC will ask you competency based questions. That means they will ask you to tell them a situation when you have demonstrated a certain point – such as when you delivered person-centred care considering a person’s culture or beliefs say, or they will give you a scenario and ask what you would do. If you have the skills, training and knowledge behind you, whatever is thrown at you, you can think how you would respond. CQC will ask you questions about the Health and Social Care Act, your responsibilities under it, safeguarding, equality and diversity, and many more.
I can’t stress enough how important all the elements are together to make for the best outcome at interview, and more importantly to competently do your job. It’s like the 5th element (if you haven’t seen it – I do recommend) all the 5 elements in the film need to be together to stop the great evil from destroying the world…actually maybe that’s not quite the case with Reg 7…close enough though!
And you can catch me next time when we will be looking at your health and your application to be a registered manager.
For more information and support go to www.qcs.co.uk