When I started working for ARC England last October, as the ‘Media and Communication Administrator’, I was new to the sector and had limited knowledge of adult social care and learning disabilities. So the last few months, you could say, have been a bit of a learning curve. There’s been a lot to learn (not least, the many acronyms!) but helping to manage the social media pages has been a great introduction. I now realise that before I came to ARC, as a member of the general population, I actually knew so little about Adult Social Care and the challenges and complexities it faces. I don’t underestimate there’s still a lot more to learn but my eyes are well and truly open.

My role has grown over the last few months, as I am now involved in the planning of our workshops and training too. One of my biggest tasks recently has been to coordinate the 2016/17 Training Calendar, which has been a huge undertaking, but we now have a comprehensive calendar covering a wide range of subjects. No doubt, you will have seen the various communications hitting your inbox, I have designed most – I hope you find them useful! We knew there was an opportunity to support our members further with developing their workforce – as you will have seen, we have plenty going on.

Organising and promoting ARC’s training events has meant that I’ve had somewhat of a crash course in many of the important areas within the sector. For example, under the ‘Safe’ CQC key line of enquiry I know that MCA and DoLS is one of the key areas of concern for both the CQC and providers alike. This is something I was only vaguely aware of before I started, which seems implausible now as it impacts the majority of decisions made within organisations and most importantly the lives of the people who access support. Similarly, the safe handling of medication continues to be a failing under the inspection regime. Our Supporting Medication: Train the Trainer workshops also address the key safety issue. These two workshops (MCA/DoLS and Medication) make up the bulk of the calendar with dates and locations across the country over the coming year.

In addition to this, for the first time ARC England is offering management training. I have worked closely with one of our Associates and Lisa, our Director, to develop a program of training that is unique and engaging. Once again, linking in to the ‘Well-led’ KLOE – exciting stuff!

I could ‘wax lyrical’ about the workshops we have planned – but I’ll let you see for yourself. Download your copy of the 2016/17 Training Calendar here . I will just mention though, I have been involved with co-ordinating a new raft of specialised training, workshops. The Self-Harm Awareness and Mate Crime Awareness workshops which are based upon the research of ARC’s in-house leading expert on mate crime and exploitation of people with learning disabilities, Rod Landman. We have begun to successfully roll out workshops across the country.

Even though the Training Calendar is now finished, we’re still looking for ways to improve and add to it. At the moment we are looking into mandatory training including accredited Emergency First Aid at Work courses, Fire Safety and Food Hygiene – all in line with the CQC’s fundamental standards. (We are currently taking expressions of interest for these, so please contact us for more information).

Lastly, I am also responsible for collating the evaluation information after ARC training workshops and I can say I am proud to see that delegates are finding our training events engaging and beneficial. But don’t just take my word for it, judge for yourself…

To find out more about any of our training or to discuss your needs, please feel free to contact me directly on emma.kerry@arcuk.org.uk or on 01246 555043. I have all the dates and information at my fingertips!