Innovation Exchange

Learning and Development for Protecting People

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

Dundee City Council has developed a groundbreaking Protecting People Learning and Development Framework and accompanying Web Based Interactive Tool. These give staff in all the agencies concerned with Protecting People much improved access to the training resources which ensure they have the skills and knowledge to keep vulnerable people safe.  The framework and tool is easily accessible to everyone, including staff in all Council services, partner and voluntary agencies, and lets them access learning and development that will contribute to improved practice and ultimately greater protection for people.

Theme: Workforce Planning and Management

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Following the decision of the Dundee Chief Officers’ Group to develop a Protecting People approach, a small project group from Learning and Organisational Development and the Protecting People team were tasked with bringing together learning and development activities from the four strands of Child Protection, Adult Support and Protection, Violence Against Women and MAPPA. A key objective was to develop a more streamlined, strategic approach to equipping the workforce with the competence, knowledge and skills applicable to their role in protecting people.

 

The team decided to pursue a Learning and Workforce Development Framework approach. This would address identified issues such as staff being unsure what they needed to know and do, and how staff find out what learning and development is available. It would also encourage creative thinking around learning and development and offer a degree of quality control of learning and development activity. The idea of a readily accessible interactive web tool followed. It was agreed that adoption of such a framework and tool would promote a consistency of approach and response to protecting people issues, both within and across agencies.

 

Focused Action Plans at each stage, tasks allocated based on members’ strengths and expertise, encouraging creativity, working in partnership with colleagues (e.g. drawing on IT expertise for the interactive web based tool) and ongoing support from the Chief Officers’ Group all supported the effective delivery of the project.

 

Once the Framework was drafted, the process of mapping current learning and development opportunities to the Framework began. An event was held for stakeholders, attended by 22 multi agency representatives, to consult on the draft Framework and identify the next steps required to support its implementation. From the stakeholder event a Multi Agency Protecting People Learning and Workforce Development Framework Implementation Group was formed to:

 

  • finalise the framework
  • further develop and implement the electronic system associated with the framework, including administrative implications, and
  • complete and analyse the mapping process of activity across agencies, including making recommendations regarding rationalisation of existing activity.

 

The Framework and interactive tool was formally launched in December 2015 and it:

 

  • Is accessible to all staff from all agencies via the Dundee Protects website.
  • Supports staff to identify their Protecting People learning and development needs.
  • Directs staff to learning and development activities that will meet those needs.
  • Reinforces the message that Protecting People is everyone’s responsibility.
  • Provides the means for staff to have the right competencies, knowledge and skills to meet that responsibility.
  • Can be, and is continually being, developed and improved.
  • Will improve practice and help us protect people from harm

 

The team have organised roadshows and presentations to services and organisations to help them benefit from using the Framework.

The Learning and Organisational Development Service has achieved what it set out to do in an innovative and effective way. The project has resulted in an improvement in how all staff, whichever agency they work for, find out what they need to know and do to meet their responsibility for Protecting People and it gives them access to a wide range of Learning and Development resources.

 

There is still ongoing work in relation to identifying and mapping further Protecting People Learning and Development resources, particularly from other agencies, and this will be progressed through the Protecting People Learning and Workforce Development Task Group.

 

But the framework and interactive web based tool is already promoting a consistency of approach and response to the issue of protecting people, both within and across agencies. It will help staff access learning and development resources which will support them in meeting the level of competency they need to carry out their duties and responsibilities to protect people. Consequently it will have a positive impact upon practice and upon the lives of some of Dundee’s most vulnerable people.

 

In terms of evidencing the impact we are having, it is still early days, with the Learning and Development Framework having only formally been launched last December. However feedback during the roadshows and presentations has been very promising, with the Framework and Interactive Tool being welcomed as an excellent and very practical innovation supporting staff and managers.

 

We are able to monitor the number of hits there has been to the web site, where they originate from and how long visitors spend on the site. By the end of April 2016, 638 people had used the site, with over 4,000 page views. In the short time it has been live, there has already been an increase in the number of staff from external agencies booking on to briefings, courses and workshops – to the extent that extra dates have had to be added to meet demand - which suggests that the accessibility of the Framework is already beginning to address the issue of these staff saying they were not aware of what Protecting People Learning and Development was available.

 

The impact the Framework is having on practice will be measured through case-based self evaluation, case file audits, qualitative evaluations of specific learning and development opportunities and inspections. Further work is also underway to develop a section within the Framework which will be for members of the public/carers/volunteers, emphasising the point that Protecting People is everyone’s responsibility.

 The Protecting People Learning and Development Framework and Interactive Web Based Tool is the first in Scotland. Other Local Authority areas are looking to follow our lead and adopt a similar approach to protecting children and adults at risk of harm.

 

Prior to adopting this approach, learning and development delivery across the four strands of Protecting People were disconnected, with little knowledge about what was being delivered across all agencies and about the quality of this work. An Adult Support and Protection case-based self evaluation last year identified that voluntary and private provider staff said they were not aware of the substantial range of learning and development opportunities offered by our learning and organisational service, including the e learning, workshops and briefings which they could access. We envisage that the accessibility of the Framework and Interactive Tool to everyone will significantly improve this situation and lead to a positive impact on practice in relation to all aspects of protecting people.

 

The focus of the framework is on achieving greater co-operation and a strategic approach to equipping the multi-agency workforce with the competence, knowledge and skills applicable to the protection of people. The framework supports workers and their managers /supervisors in all relevant organisations to pro-actively identify what they need to know and do and encourages them to think creatively about ways they can meet their Protecting People learning and development requirements. It strongly promotes the message that attending training is not the only way to learn.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Niall Reid

Support Advisor, Learning and Organisational Development Service

Dundee City Council

01382 438186

Case study added to site: June 2016

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