The author and project manager of the programme, Carol Cunningham, Care UK’s Learning and Development Manager for Residential Care Services, said: “Care UK is very committed to staff development. There are so many reasons to invest in your staff.”
“Everyone who took part on the course has at least an NVQ3 and is a dedicated and excellent nurse or carer. But being a manager takes a wider knowledge and we want to take the best people we have and help them to develop into top managers.”
Care UK currently runs 59 nursing or care homes and in the next five years aims to significantly increase that number. It wants to be in the position to recruit more managers internally during that time, to maximise it’s internal capability.
Carol said: “We anticipate that by offering a clear career path we will attract excellent candidates and keep those who have already joined us.”
“Care UK has a wonderful ethos and by nurturing and preparing the future managers we will maintain and strengthen that ethos, ensuring our residents have the very best of care with a continuity of provision.”
To be selected, candidates had to undergo a rigorous selection process that involved recommendation by a manager or regional director, aptitude and personality testing and a structured interview with Carol and a senior operational manager.
After that the successful candidates put together a detailed development plan with Carol and their manager before taking a six-part course over six months designed to give them the tools and strategies to be excellent home managers. The modules looked at:
- The responsibilities of a manager and levels of commitment required
- Commercial awareness and business acumen
- Personal management styles
- Performance management
- Tools for managers including time and change management, planning and delegation
- How teams work, including an activity to produce a promotional DVD, then individual presentations to directors on what they had learned.
Carol said of Module 2: “A candidate may be an exemplary carer but until you reach a certain level you are not exposed to the rigours of commercial thinking. This module is designed to give them some exposure to marketing and funding issues before they have to face them commercially.”
Another popular unit examined personal management styles. Carol said: “We gave the participants the same personality profiling test that we give our senior managers. They were all amazed at the results and immediately saw how they could use it to improve their own style of management.”
Certificates were awarded to the successful students at a special ceremony in London. But the work does not end there: Carol will be visiting each candidate to re-assess their development plan in the light of what they have learned.
Carol said: “It was a course designed to positively challenge people and everyone has committed to it 100%. We have already had our first success, with one member recently being appointed a home manager. We are proud of our achievements so far and will continue to commit to the development of our future managers as our business grows”.
Photo caption: Trainee managers pictured with Care UK Chief Executive, Mike Parish