07th November 2013 Written by Dawn Bratcher

The Skills for Health Quality Mark launch - who is 'training the trainers' and benchmarking their success...

Battling the Storm

"The notorious storm of October 28th may have brought much of Britain to a standstill - but it was no deterrent for the recipients (from as far afield as Northern Ireland and Scotland!) of the first ever Skills for Health Quality Mark awards, which were officially presented at an event in Central London.

The new Quality Mark - with co-investment from the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES) - aims to provide the 'gold standard' for training across the healthcare sector and is the first of its kind in the UK. Holders of the Skills for Health Quality Mark will also be able to use its logo on materials and advertising to demonstrate their accreditation to this unique health sector framework.

The Launch Event

Image: Quality Mark Launch.The event, hosted by the CEO of Skills for Health John Rogers, presented a fantastic platform for discussion about the key issues facing training providers (whether within the NHS, colleges of Further / Higher education and even private companies). One recurring point was the overall importance of receiving the type of third party endorsement now offered by the new Quality Mark.

The post-ceremony 'round table', also led to an informal opportunity for the provider organisations to share examples of good practice as well as "comparing notes" on their individual experiences as pioneers in this new programme of quality assurance within the health sector.

What the Quality Mark mean to our providers

Another common theme which emerged from the informed and insightful discussions was the need to ensure that those providing training and specific courses were ALL meeting the highest possible standards and were delivering the right knowledge and skills set to their 'trainees'. A great cause of concern was the lack of accreditation within the wide range of training (often provided by private organisations) that is currently available to both employees and potential employees.

Again, this conversation underlined the need for a Quality Mark right across the sector to reassure employers that their workforce had been trained appropriately and to give them the utmost confidence in the courses they chose to invest in - leading ultimately to better training and better patient care.

Finally

It was hugely encouraging to see such enthusiasm from all the organisations, as well as their additional commitment to advising others going through the same process in the future and doing all they could to help disseminate information, guidance and encouragement where necessary.

As Karen Glide, from Somerset College, summed up; "Receiving the Skills for Health Quality Mark has had a hugely positive impact. The thorough process we all went through in order to gain this recognition has really served to "rubber stamp" the quality of training we deliver to those wanting to access the health sector or who are already working within it."

A huge thank you to all who made the event such a fantastic day!