Adult care staff have been invited to sign an online commitment to improve their practice as part of a national initiative to improve workforce quality launched this week.
The Social Care Commitment, developed by Skills for Care, is designed to help implement the code of conduct and national minimum standards for staff launched earlier this year, by encouraging employers to make public commitments to develop their staff and employees to make private pledges to improve.
Employers who sign up will have to promise to make improvements against seven standards – including supporting staff to develop their skills, providing supervision and making sure staff understand safety and quality standards – with deadlines for completing them. Their commitment will be published on the Social Care Commitment website in order to hold them accountable.
Once employers have made the commitment, individual care staff in these organisations will be invited to do the same. The seven commitments for staff are: working responsibly, upholding dignity, working co-operatively, communicating effectively, protecting privacy, continuing to learn and treating people fairly.
For each commitment, staff will need to commit at least one of a series of tasks set out by Skills for Care, by an agreed deadline. Examples of tasks include:-
- Identify with my employer, supervisor or colleagues three examples of what it means to act in the best interests of people using care and support (upholding dignity);
- Agree with my employer, supervisor or colleagues the kind of concerns that I should report at once and who I should report them to and how (communicating effectively);
- Arrange with my employer or supervisor a time to observe someone who does the job well and then share what I have learned with my employer, supervisor or colleagues (continuing to learn).
Staff who wish to commit will be given a code by their employer to register their pledge on the Social Care Commitment website; but their commitment will not be disclosed to anyone besides their employer.
Among the first employers to sign up is learning disability care provider MacIntyre, whose managing director, Bill Mumford, is also chair of the Voluntary Organisations Disability Group.
He said: “The recent code of conduct, jointly produced by Skills for Care and Skills for Health, is an excellent document that, in my view, should be incorporated into all job descriptions, but to turn these fine words into action the Social Care Commitment goes one step further: it encourages us all to make a public declaration of how we will be true to our values and make them an everyday reality.”
Skills for Care will shortly provide a way for people to search for care providers who have signed up to the commitment on this webpage.