Aged care reform: drive rapid skills development

Aged care pviders advised to continuously upskill workers to best cope with ongoing changes.

Employing innovative ways to continuously upskill your workforce will set your aged care organisation up to cope with ongoing changes, industry experts Tash Edwards and Jennene Buckley write in the tenth and final article in this series.

Priority 10: Drive rapid skills development

Finding innovative ways to continuously upskill your workforce is a key factor in futureproofing your organisation against the rapidly changing environment.

Aged care reform is translating into a significant level of investment in organisation-wide training of the workforce to effectively implement new regulations, reporting requirements and quality standards. As well as the new funding model, service models and related information systems.

Tash Edwards

In addition to these system changes, there is an expectation of an industry-wide uplift in care worker skills. Key areas include dementia, palliative and trauma-informed care, cultural awareness and mental health. 

Micro-learning could be a game-changer for providers.

How do providers find the time within rosters for this critical and continuous need for training while also battling with constant workforce pressures?  

The concepts of micro-learning and rapid skills development refer to training programs broken into short and targeted skills and knowledge-based topics and modules that can be consumed in bitesize pieces. We know:

  • traditional learning is becoming cost prohibitive to both develop and deliver
  • there are constant pressures to find the time to allocate to long periods of training
  • employees need to embed training into their week in order to keep their skills up to date
  • the pace and sheer breadth of changes in the aged care reform agenda need an agile solution.

Micro-learning could be a game-changer for providers. It has the potential to develop an agile learning culture and enable or contribute to continuous learning by creating more accessible and convenient options for skills development. It can:

Jennene Buckley
  • reduce training development time 
  • get content to the learner more quickly and as needed
  • have less of an impact on workload as staff have the ability to fit training around shifts
  • provide just-in-time learning to enable workers to add on knowledge when they need it.

An interesting case study is Singapore workforce platform Caregiver Asia who have developed a comprehensive library of on-demand care worker micro-learning and micro-credentials, including basic care skills training, therapeutic, clinical and dementia topics. 

Upon completion of each topic, care workers receive points that accumulate to different tiers of badges. These badges are displayed on the caregiver’s public profile for existing or potential clients to see. Caregiver Asia notes that displaying accreditation badges instils greater trust in both their brand and workforce. The accreditation badging is also a reward system that motivates workers to take ownership of their skills and knowledge development. 

The short micro-courses, which can be watched or listened to whilst cooking dinner, before or after a shift or at times convenient to the worker, can help drive higher training attendance and/or course completion.

Tash Edwards and Jennene Buckley are founding partners at Enkindle Consulting, which provides business advisory, strategic and operational planning, and transformation service to the aged care sector.

Read previous: Reimagine your workforce strategy

Tags: jennene buckley, skills, tash edwards, workforce,

1 thought on “Aged care reform: drive rapid skills development

  1. Sure micro-learning or micro courses could be a game changer but only up to a point, and sometimes as a starting point. I’d be really cautious about expectations that micro credentials in trauma-informed care and mental health can substitute for in-depth and substantial learning. It’s a starting point for sure but really needs the intervention of skilled professionals . Perhaps we also need to value professionals who are not yet a part of the aged care workforce e.g. Counsellors, Social Workers, etc and find ways to bring them into the fold, so to speak. I imagine that one day it will be quite natural that Counsellors are recognised as distinct element of the aged care workforce, not something some of us have to constantly lobby for inclusion.

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