From workplace to workplace, structure to structure and individual to individual, the way employers support their team will vary hugely. Through our work with managers and employers, we often see this in practice - there are so many inspiring ways in which leaders provide their support, from daily wellbeing check-ins to collective reflection in team meetings.
Supporting your team to understand and embed the HCPC’s updated standards of proficiency is no different: there will be as many ways to help employees as there are managers to do the helping.
In this article, we provide three examples from real-life employers of HCPC registrants. They describe how they are contextualising the standards and helping their team. You may find ideas, plans or ways of thinking that can be adapted to support your own team.
Fal Mehta, MSK Clinical Lead & APP for North West London, Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Trust
A key function of physiotherapy is to support patients with changes and adaptations to their physical health. Similarly, we are very aware of the changes we are seeing within our workplace and in our patients’ beliefs and expectations. Our service was therefore pleased to see that the updated HCPC standards have now been extended to reflect changes in society, and are defined in more active terms.
One of the best ways to support staff is to raise awareness through team meetings and ensure regular two-way communication. It’s a great opportunity to reflect on what we do and how we deliver care.
Our team of physiostherapy staff (including bands 5, 6, 7, 8a and assistants) recently discussed what the changes in HCPC standards mean to us, and how they would affect our work. This was a useful exercise which engaged the team and helped them think about how the standards could support improvements in the care they provide.
Equality, diversity, and inclusion is one of the key changes that we particularly welcome at CNWL. Being based in North West London we work with a mixed demographic of service users and have a diverse staff team. As a service we want to ensure we work towards cultural sensitivity and are able to adapt to patients' cultural needs where possible. I have asked my staff to reflect on how they may be able to do this in their individual practice, and I will discuss this with them in one-to-ones.
All therapy services should make time for CPD and supervision, and during this time therapists can focus on learning about the updates, reflecting on how they might apply to clinical practice when discussing patient cases, and embedding any adaptations.
We intend to do some work around recognising the impact of culture and diversity in our clinical practice and how we can deliver this in a caring and inclusive manner. One of the things I will be looking at is staff reflections about patient care, how this has been implemented in the past and how we can develop our collective practice to support these HCPC standards further.
Overall, spending time looking at the standards and applying them to everyday work and clinical practice is allowing our AHPs to embed these values into patient care effectively, on an ongoing basis.
Dan Western, AHP Workforce Development Lead, Lewisham & Greenwich NHS Trust
We have been preparing HCPC-registered employees for several months following the publication of the updated standards in a number of ways. Our acute and community NHS Trust has approximately 700 registered AHPs, working across 8 professions, in a number of different divisions.
Firstly, we contextualised the updates to registrants. We acknowledged that, since the previous standards of proficiency were published in 2013, each of the professions regulated by the HCPC have advanced so much in scope, skillset, and areas of work; it is great to see developments recognised.
We discussed how the updated standards will align with, and better represent, the work we do as healthcare professionals. As employers and registrants, the updated standards will allow us to ensure the professional frameworks we use are up-to-date and effective, which will assure the quality of the work we do, and ensure our ongoing confidence in them. This will in turn support the confidence the public has in us and our regulation.
We made it clear that, while maintaining proficiency in each of the relevant standards is ultimately the responsibility of the registrant, we will support each individual where possible.
We raised awareness of the resources the HCPC has on its website, especially the summaries, fact sheets and webinars. We encouraged registrants to discuss the changes with colleagues and in team meetings.
We invited all registrants to complete a gap analysis in order to identify any areas of development which they can focus their CPD on, with support from managers as required.
As an NHS Trust, we also embedded the updates into some of the core training programmes that are provided to employees, such as the AHP Preceptorship and international recruitment induction programme, with support from the HCPC Professional Liaison team.
We plan on further embedding the new standards into educational programmes and mapping them against what is already provided, which will help registrants evidence them within their CPD portfolios. We have also signposted registrants to professional bodies for further support.
Claire Eckersley, Strategic Workforce Partnerships Manager, Alliance Medical
Alliance Medical is an independent diagnostic imaging provider. We have a diverse workforce, with over 40 nationalities represented in our staff. It is important to us that they are supported with their HCPC registration and their understanding of the UK workforce.
Alliance Medical’s values, the culture we promote and the behaviours we encourage in our colleagues is reflected back in the guiding principles and standards of the HCPC. It is important to us that we reinforce these expectations, and that our registrants deliver high professional standards of care and conduct.
Recently we provided all our managers with a HCPC refresher and signposting to the wealth of content and resources available from the HCPC.
We have also been discussing the development of bespoke educational content for our teams that covers the updated standards of proficiency, specifically around leadership, culture, equality and diversity, and health and wellbeing. This may also cover subjects such as managing concerns, supervision, delegation and the HCPC standards of conduct, performance and ethics.
We are working on building a dedicated internal HCPC page, which will link to valuable content and updates for all staff. We are also planning a presentation by the HCPC at one of our next managers’ meetings.
For further tips on helping your employees with the updated standards, we recommend looking through the background, five-step process and the example in our article What employers need to know before the updated standards of proficiency come into effect.
Are you and your team ready for the updated standards of proficiency?
As the updated standards of proficiency come into effect on 1 September 2023, you might be wondering what you need to do as a manager or employer of HCPC registrants. In this article we share ideas, tips and strategies to help you and your team prepare to embed the updated standards into everyday practice.
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