Carers First is a UK registered charity working with unpaid carers to provide them with practical information and advice. This includes providing advice on potential support available, working with carers to identify the best way forward for them as individuals and supporting them with practical information on employment issues, how to access respite and navigating sensitive conversations with doctors, hospitals and social care professionals. Carers First works with some 23,000+ carers across several London Boroughs, Essex, Kent and Lincolnshire.
As well as providing information and advice to carers, Carers First runs local support groups and events, many of them supported by volunteers. To provide this wide range of activities, both staff and volunteers require training, much of it mandatory for compliance purposes. Carers First already accessed specialist training delivered mainly in a classroom setting, but wanted to introduce online training and be able to develop its own training for delivery online.
Ferne Haxby, Learning and Development Adviser, oversees training for the organisation and works with all operational staff to ensure they have appropriate training. Training can be localised, cross-organisational or developmental.
“We wanted My Learning Hub so that we could have training online,” says Ferne. “Being able to author training was important for us so we had control over it. And we were impressed with the library of training they had that we could access.”
The implementation of My Learning Hub in April 2020 coincided with the UK’s first Coronavirus lockdown, which actually helped the move from classroom to online training quickly. As lockdown began, it started delivering training by live video with material added to My Learning Hub for learners to refer back to to reinforce or refresh their knowledge.
Ferne also started to create original material on My Learning Hub, slowly at first, then faster as familiarity with the system grew. The challenge of introducing learners to a different way of learning was made easier by lockdown, as the disruption required them to change approaches to work and enabled them to familiarise themselves with the new LMS as they worked from home.
Carers First now has some 40 courses online, including 10 mandatory courses. Topics range from equality and diversity to safeguarding, mental capacity, The Care Act, working safely with display screen equipment, GDPR (data protection and privacy). When specific training is delivered by third party specialist training providers, Carers First adds an online resource on My Learning Hub for learners to refresh their learning. It is also building a training glossary on the LMS which learners can dip into as a reference guide.