Aligning with national qualifications – options for learners and trainers

The adoption of the role of Trusted Assessor often forms part of broader local and national transformation programmes designed to accelerate access to home adaptations. Older and disabled people are provided with improvements faster than would be possible without the use of the role enabling significant more timely improvements in their independence due to a prompt assessment. When it works well and is implemented successfully, Occupational Therapists are freed up to focus on more complex cases confident in the knowledge that Assessors know when to refer a case to them for guidance. Newly qualified Assessors enjoy the development and expansion of their previous roles and feel and see the direct impact of their expanded duties. Often staff that had felt their roles were becoming limited now find that they can take a more holistic and involved approach to visiting service users and patients and identifying practical solutions.

Two national qualifications are currently available as part of OCN London’s Health, Early Years and Social Care curriculum, Level 3 and Level 4. Accredited providers such as TACT align with the qualifications and are able to offer these accredited courses offering three and four credits respectively to accredited learners. Qualification Guides are published openly and commissioners considering training programmes can find out more about the course content, requirements and outcomes in the Guides, they can also learn about how the courses are moderated and who the courses are designed for. Publishing this level of detail means that both commissioners of training and service heads can consider and plan the options for any training but also the service development that is enabled by the availability of the new roles. From a career development point of view, accredited Trusted Assessors can combine these new qualifications with broader plans for their future.

Health, social care and housing organisations vary substantially in the way they provide services to their local populations, for them the existence of a national qualifications means that they can confidently recruit staff with those qualifications from out of area and also redeploy staff across services in the knowledge that they are trained to this standard. For national organisations such as charities and housing providers, there is the option to partner with different accredited training providers all aligned to the same qualification.

At TACT we would advocate using an accredited provider but ensuring that the course is also tailored to local conditions and procedures so that products used as examples are in common use and policies, procedures and tools are used within the materials to smooth the transition from learning to practice. Taking an in-house delivery approach to training has the advantage of increased tailoring to the local setup and some potential cost savings if using internal staff and these are real benefits, it is important to consider however the challenges and costs associated with ensuing the in-house trainer keeps up-to-date with the latest thinking and practice and that they have the capacity to undertake the moderating of assignments and ongoing support for learners.

TACT’s policy is that all Trainers are both Occupational Therapists but also have training qualifications and have recent relevant practice in home adaptations. Our Trainers benefit from working with peers and having exposure to multiple training and implementation projects that they are able to reference in training delivery.

As far as ongoing support is concerned, TACT offers its learners access to regular workshops to keep up-to-date and provide support to them as they start to practise the new skills. We also recommend that formal refresher training is undertaken annually.

For more information, or to have a chat about implementing or developing a Trusted Assessor programme within your organization, please reach out to us through our contact form below: