skip to main content

Quality Standards

If you are thinking of developing a training programme for carers, then introducing Quality Standards at an early stage will help you to measure the impact of the training you deliver.

 

Getting Started

The aim of Carer Training Quality Standards is to support organisations to deliver high quality training for carers. These standards are not intended to prescribe specifically how training should be developed. Instead, they aim to reflect the diversity of agencies currently delivering training, and provide carer training standards and good practice examples, which will allow you to benchmark the quality of your training.

The standards have been developed in the form of a self‐assessment framework to help providers of carer training to measure their training against a set of quality areas and indicators, which cover all stages of the training cycle. This framework allows you to work through each of the quality areas to objectively assess how well you meet each of the indicators for the standards, with examples of evidence you could use to demonstrate this.

Your self‐assessment should involve two or more people from your organisation. They should have a good understanding of your service or have regular contact with carers. Self‐assessment helps you to identify the areas where you fully meet the standard as well as those where you would want to make some improvements. You can find a sample self‐assessment form [here] .

Who are the Quality Standards for?

The Carer Training Quality Standards have been designed for any organisation involved in providing training for carers. Whether you work in the public or voluntary sector, by embracing these standards you will give a clear message of your commitment and continuous striving for improvement.

Benefits for training providers

Applying the Quality Standards to your approach in carer training helps ensure you:

• Respond effectively to the training needs of carers
• Develop and deliver high quality training
• Evidence the outcome benefits to carers
• Promote good practice
• Evidence your commitment to continuous quality improvement.

Benefits for Carers

Applying the quality standards will help ensure:

• Consistency in the quality of training delivered to carers
• Increased access to training opportunities
• Carers have a positive experience from the training opportunity.

How the Quality Standards work

The Quality Standards are set within six key areas of training activity. These are areas you would expect to engage in when developing and delivering training for carers.

THE KEY QUALITY AREAS



Consult, communicate and engage with carers including BME carers and those currently under-represented to identify potential training needs.  Proactively respond to training needs as a result of changes in policy or legislation.

Indicators:

  1. You take a systematic approach to identify carer training needs. Information from this enables you to set clearly defined outcomes for carers.
  2. Your approach to identifying training needs covers the range of impact that caring can have, such as emotional, financial and practical.
  3. Your approach to identifying training needs is inclusive of the diversity of the local carer population.



Plan and design training programmes to meet the identified needs and expectations of carers. Engage with carers and other partners in planning the content and delivery. Ensure participants are kept safe when planning training for young carers.

Indicators:

  1. You set clear and comprehensive aims, objectives and targets that meet carer needs and expectations (SMART). *SMART stands for (Specific, Measureable, Achievable etc)
  2. Your training aims, objectives and carer outcomes are clearly defined and communicated so that carers know what to expect.
  3. You consult with carers when planning training content and delivery. The training content is targeted at the appropriate stage in the carer’s journey, recognising that different training will be required at different stages.
  4. You consider how best to meet the training needs of specific groups of carers such as BME cares, young adult carers, remote and rural carers and other groups who may require additional support.
  5. Training is responsive to the changes in the policy and statutory environment and the content is developed and reviewed regularly to reflect change.
  6. Training content reflects carers’ experiences.



Actively identify participants through effective publicity about training opportunities for carers.

Indicators:

  1. You consider a wide range of methods to effectively publicise and promote the training.
  2. Publicity about training programmes targets minority and hard-to-reach carer communities.
  3. Publicity about training highlights the benefits to carers and reaches the general public, not just carers in the system.



Training programmes are accessible, flexible and inclusive, and are free at the point of access. The training content and delivery method meets the needs of participants. Training providers are appropriately skilled and competent.

Indicators:

  1. There is flexibility about the times, method of delivery and location of training to meet the needs of carers. There is engagement with carers to identify and resolve any potential barriers such as arrangements for alternative care provision.
  2. Training providers promote equality and diversity. The training content and delivery method meets the diverse needs of participants.
  3. Barriers to participation are recorded to inform future training.
  4. Tutors or facilitators who deliver training have appropriate knowledge and experience of the training content being delivered.
  5. The tutor is flexible enough to respond to changes in the needs and expectations of participants on the day.
  6. Tutors deliver content in a way which participants can understand.
  7. Any training needs of tutors or facilitators are identified prior to training commencing to ensure they can meet the needs of all participants, e.g. working effectively with interpreters.
  8. Training schedules build in opportunities and time for carers to reflect on their learning and link it to their own personal experiences. Carers can access emotional support during and/or after training as necessary.



Take a systematic approach to carer outcome evaluation.

Indicators:

  1. Plan how you will monitor and measure progress against training aims, objectives and carer outcomes to be achieved.
  2. Gather and analyse the information to determine the effectiveness of the training, identify areas for improvement and future training needs.
  3. In addition to the specific learning outcomes from training sessions, the carer outcomes you evaluate should include: being more positive about caring, feeling more confident in the caring role and having a more positive impact on the carers’ health and ability to continue caring.
  4. Evaluation information is able to evidence the extent to which carers feel better supported in their caring role and more confident.
  5. Evaluation methods are developed to meet the needs of all participants, e.g. provision for carers with low levels of literacy.



Monitor and evaluate your practice and the effectiveness of your training. Actively encourage continuous improvement in training and development and delivery.

Indicators:

  1. You use feedback from carers to build upon your strengths and address any areas for improvement.
  2. You are able to demonstrate sustained good practice.
  3. Continuous improvement plans are in place and acted upon and reviewed regularly.
  4. You engage staff and carers in the process of continuous improvement.
  5. You have learning development plans in place for relevant staff.


The standards and indicators

Each quality area contains a number of standards. These describe the level of quality you set out to achieve in each of the quality areas. Alongside each of the standards are a number of indicators. These describe the kind of activities you might expect to undertake in order to meet the standard to benchmark the quality of your training provision.

Examples of evidence

We have offered some examples of the types of evidence you might look for to help you decide how well you meet a particular indicator. This is not a prescriptive list and you may have other documents or a procedure to demonstrate how you meet a particular indicator.


Consult, communicate and engage with carers including BME carers and those currently under-represented to identify potential training needs. Proactively respond to training needs as a result of changes in policy or legislation.

  • You take a systematic approach to identify carer training needs. Information from this enables you to set clearly defined outcomes for carers.
  • Your approach to identifying training needs covers the range of impact that caring can have, such as emotional, financial and practical.
  • Your approach to identifying training needs is inclusive of the diversity of the local carer population.


Plan and design training programmes to meet the identified needs and expectations of carers. Engage with carers and other partners in planning the content and delivery. Ensure participants are kept safe when planning training for young carers.

  • You set clear and comprehensive aims, objectives and targets that meet carer needs and expectations (SMART).
  • Your training aims, objectives and carer outcomes are clearly defined and communicated so that carers know what to expect.
  • You consult with carers when planning training content and delivery. The training content is targeted at the appropriate stage in the carer’s journey, recognising that different training will be required at different stages.
  • You consider how best to meet the training needs of specific groups of carers such as BME cares, young adult carers, remote and rural carers and other groups who may require additional support.
  • Training is responsive to the changes in the policy and statutory environment and the content is developed and reviewed regularly to reflect change.
  • Training content reflects carers’ experiences.


Actively identify participants through effective publicity about training opportunities for carers.

  • You consider a wide range of methods to effectively publicise and promote the training.
  • Publicity about training programmes targets minority and hard-to-reach carer communities.
  • Publicity about training highlights the benefits to carers and reaches the general public, not just carers in the system.


Training programmes are accessible, flexible and inclusive, and are free at the point of access. The training content and delivery method meets the needs of participants. Training providers are appropriately skilled and competent.

  • There is flexibility about the times, method of delivery and location of training to meet the needs of carers. There is engagement with carers to identify and resolve any potential barriers such as arrangements for alternative care provision.
  • Training providers promote equality and diversity. The training content and delivery method meets the diverse needs of participants.
  • Barriers to participation are recorded to inform future training.
  • Tutors or facilitators who deliver training have appropriate knowledge and experience of the training content being delivered.
  • The tutor is flexible enough to respond to changes in the needs and expectations of participants on the day.
  • Tutors deliver content in a way which participants can understand.
  • Any training needs of tutors or facilitators are identified prior to training commencing to ensure they can meet the needs of all participants, e.g. working effectively with interpreters.
  • Training schedules build in opportunities and time for carers to reflect on their learning and link it to their own personal experiences. Carers can access emotional support during and/or after training as necessary.


Take a systematic approach to carer outcome evaluation.

  • Plan how you will monitor and measure progress against training aims, objectives and carer outcomes to be achieved.
  • Gather and analyse the information to determine the effectiveness of the training, identify areas for improvement and future training needs.
  • In addition to the specific learning outcomes from training sessions, the carer outcomes you evaluate should include: being more positive about caring, feeling more confident in the caring role and having a more positive impact on the carers’ health and ability to continue caring.
  • Evaluation information is able to evidence the extent to which carers feel better supported in their caring role and more confident.
  • Evaluation methods are developed to meet the needs of all participants e.g. provision for carer with low levels of literacy.


Monitor and evaluate your practice and the effectiveness of your training. Actively encourage continuous improvement in training and development and delivery.

  • You use feedback from carers to build upon your strengths and address any areas for improvement.
  • You are able to demonstrate sustained good practice.
  • Continuous improvement plans are in place and acted upon and reviewed regularly.
  • You engage staff and carers in the process of continuous improvement.
  • You have learning development plans in place for relevant staff.

Why were the standards developed?

Carers, though unpaid, are a key part of social care provision of the future, and as such should enjoy rights to free, good quality training to build their knowledge, confidence and ability in their caring role.

Many national and local organisations, NHS boards and local authorities provide training programmes for carers. Across this range of providers, there is wide diversity not only in the size of the organisation itself but in the unique challenges they face in delivering their services to carers. There are also differing levels of training standards, quality and accessibility.

The Scottish Government’s strategies for carers and young carers state that ‘carers should have similar opportunities for training as the paid workforce’. These strategies set out various actions to help ensure carers achieve positive outcomes from training. To help implement these actions the National Carer Organisations Training Consortium was assigned to:

  • develop a quality assurance framework promoting high standards for carer training
  • promote training which provides systematic outcome evaluation
  • promote training which dovetails with the NHS Board Carer Information Strategies.

Quality standards FAQs



A carer is someone who provides unpaid support to a family member or friend. They may care for an older person, someone who is disabled, has a long term illness, mental ill-health, or is affected by alcohol or substance misuse.
Carers can be any age, from children to older people and from every culture and community. Some carers may be disabled or have care needs themselves. They may be parents, spouses, grandparents, daughters, brothers, same sex partners, friends or neighbours.
A young carer is a child or young person who has a significant role in looking after someone in their family who has an illness, disability or is affected by mental ill-health or substance misuse. Young carers often take on practical and/or emotional caring responsibilities that would normally be expected of an adult.


Each organisation is different and the timescale you set will depend on your capacity and resources available. Try to build time for implementation into the planning for your organisation and its services.


Yes. The standards look at all aspects of activity involved in providing carer training, from identifying the need, through to evaluating the benefits to carers. Not every organisation will be involved in carrying out each activity. For example, some may commission an external agency to deliver the content. They should however ensure that the standard principles are applied by whoever is delivering the training.


Self-assessment is a learning and development process. Going through the process helps people develop confidence in what they are doing well, and identify areas they would want to improve.


Self-assessment is an internal process and external support is unlikely to be needed.


No, the self-assessment process asks you to give examples of the evidence to demonstrate that you meet the standard. You do not have to produce the evidence but should be able to make reference to where the evidence can be found i.e. its physical or computer location and the name of the document.


By undertaking a self-assessment and implementing any improvements identified, you are demonstrating your commitment to delivering quality services. Deciding how often you would carry out a self-assessment against the carer training standards will depend on your capacity as well as changes or developments in your service.


The Quality Standards have been designed as a self-assessment process but may at a future date be developed into an externally accredited quality system.

Contact Us