This is my first article for the magazine, and I hope that there will be many more, as I love to share information on learning and development; which of course is the life blood of the services that we offer to clients. Without learning and development of services, we can not improve on the fantastic services that we currently offer.
We have seen much development over recent years within services for children and young people with the requirement of workers achieving Level 3 National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) Caring for Children and Young People, post qualifying and a range of other learning and development opportunities to enhance the practice of workers and ensure that they hold relevant professional qualifications and can feel confident that they are practising to the value base of social care.
However, there are always new developments happening in any work setting to enable workers to continue their own ‘continuous professional development. The latest development in this field is the introduction of the Registered Managers Award – Residential Child Care (RMA-RCC). Hooray, at last an award that is totally based around what managers actually do in childcare, both for residential care managers and foster care managers.
So, what is this award and who needs to undertake it?
The Care Standards Act has brought with it requirements that minimum standards of competence in practice must be met. This is being implemented by Commission for Social Care Inspection. The requirement for residential managers in child care is that they are appropriately qualified in social care by holding a range of qualifications such as Certificate of Qualification in Social Work, Diploma in Social Work, Certificate in Social Service, NVQ Level 4 Care or a management qualification.
Within practice, there is a real drive now for managers to be able to demonstrate their skills and knowledge in leadership, which encompasses the requirement for management qualification. The majority of practitioners hold the appropriate social care qualifications. However, they do not always have a management qualification, hence the introduction of RMA – RCC.
The RMA – RCC has been developed specifically for the role residential managers undertake and therefore the award reflects this in its content. It is also applicable to foster care managers who do not hold a relevant management award.
The RMA – RCC is an NVQ award which is made up of eleven units of achievement. An NVQ is made up of units of competence. Each unit title addresses the task or activity that needs to be met and is then further broken down in to elements of competence within the task.
NVQ candidates need to be able to demonstrate competence in the performance criteria of each element. Each unit also has requirements for candidates to demonstrate knowledge and understanding to support practice which have to be met. Candidates may already possess much of the knowledge and understanding, but they may need to research new information or undertake knowledge development through a variety of means. We, as an organisation, provide underpinning knowledge workshops to facilitate this, which are built to the requirements of the standards.
Managers will be undertaking the requirements of this award in their everyday work; they will be able to draw their evidence from their practice. NVQs are vocational qualifications, which means that people must be able to demonstrate their competence in their job role. The award requires that managers are observed in their practice by an appropriately qualified assessor, who is occupationally competent (i.e. has done the job), to prove their competence. They also have to be able to provide hard evidence – work products which prove that they are leading and managing in the following areas.
|Key Task A||Provide leadership and management of the residential task.|
|Key Role B||Manage a provision which safeguards and promotes the well being of children and young people and enables them to reach their developmental potential|
|Key Role C||Manage people|
|Key Role D||Manage a quality service|
Along with being able to demonstrate working to the values of social care provision and the principles of good practice, the social care code of conduct reinforces this.
NVQ candidates need to produce a portfolio of evidence to support their competence. Please note, I said ‘a’ portfolio of evidence.
This NVQ has, for me, really illuminated what managers do in child care and can be achieved within 6 – 9 months by candidates. We offer this award as a centre and have enabled candidates to achieve the award within these time scales and less. And please remember, “Everything you do is NVQ”!
Does this award apply to you and your practice? Want to find out more?
You can download the standards at: http://www.skillsforcare.org.uk/ look on the menu at the left hand side and find National Occupational Standards; click on this and you will find the standards there.
I trust that this article will enable you all to further research your needs in continuing professional development.