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DELIA CANNINGS, ASSOCIATION OF HEALTHCARE CLEANING PROFESSIONALS (AHCP) LEAD FOR EDUCATION, DISCUSSES WHY WE SHOULD CARE ABOUT CONTINUOUS DEVELOPMENT FOR HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONALS.


Development of the workforce is a fundamental aspect of any business. Funding for training is no longer readily available, with employers now frequently asked to provide financial contribution for training.


This has resulted in the decline in popularity of certain qualifications – and the demise of others – as organisations compete to reach targets, retain their business success and stay ahead of the competition.


However, many committed employers continue to invest in their staff and purchase full-cost courses.


The AHCP provides regular information to its members to keep them up to date with new opportunities and initiatives, including information on funding avenues and potential income streams. Many AHCP members have received assistance with funding for training and development through the JIF income stream and the Women at Work Project. Knowledge of funding, income streams and recent developments will help you get the best deal for your staff.


A range of development opportunities does exist - explore the options with your local provider. Choosing the right option could help you influence the decision over whether to invest in your most valuable asset, your staff...


Apprentices Apprenticeships across a range of occupational areas are available from reputable providers and continue to attract funding, although an employer contribution is occasionally expected. The apprenticeship for cleaning staff


consists of the Level 2 NVQ, an exam-tested certificate in Cleaning Principles. Literacy and numeracy at level 1 is embedded and is also evaluated through examination. The programme can be tailored to meet your organisational needs.


QCF cleaning qualifications These have largely replaced the NVQ Cleaning and Support provision, and present a more flexible approach to study and assessment. The early indicators are that employers prefer this model; although the funding is reduced, many employers absorb the contribution fee, mindful of longer term benefits. Consultation regarding the delivery model which best meets your business needs will contribute to positive outcomes.


BICSc qualifications These courses continue to be the bedrock of cleaning science provision. The current range includes the Cleaning Operator Proficiency Certificate and the Health Care Cleaning Professional Certificate, with the Housekeepers Cleaning Certificate a recent addition. The BICSc qualifications are acknowledged in the industry as an excellent development opportunity to be taken alongside or in advance of other qualifications which require assessment of cleaning competence.


Environmental awareness Environmental sustainability is high on all agendas; environmental studies focus on introducing the skills and knowledge to make a positive contribution towards the environment.


Check the availability of qualifications with


TRAINING & EDUCATION 42 | TOMORROW’S CLEANING | The future of our cleaning industry


your local provider, making sure that they can accommodate the progression factor, and negotiate a deal to ensure cost effective continued development for your workforce. The Foundation Degree in Environmental Science may be an option for budding environmentalists.


Infection prevention This programme details how infection can be prevented and controlled in the workplace. The programme complements many cleaning science courses and provides continuous professional development for many areas of healthcare.


Beware of the silver tongue Check all the options before choosing a course – we recommend looking at BICSC, CIEH, ASCENTIS, EDI, C&G, and OCNW, among others. Investigate tutor credentials, tutor industry experience, success rates and student & employer feedback to ascertain which organisations are the most reliable.


Ascertain whether providers will adapt the provision to your needs – request a training requirements analysis at the start of the relationship. A nominated point of contact is essential for communications and negotiating a deal.


Regularly reviewing the arrangements with your training provider will allow for rapid action and the timely completion of a quality outcome.


To read more on this subject, make sure you visit www.ahcp.co.uk/ etd-resources/300-cpd-for-healthcare


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