Unit 3: Personal development in health, social care, or children’s and young people’s settings

Course: NVQ Level 4 Diploma In Health And Social Care (RQF)

Personal development in health, social care, children’s and young people’s settings is important for everyone involved in these professions. Personal development can help you develop your career to the next level or it could be a life-changing experience that changes your direction completely. We all need support and guidance sometimes to make us better at what we do and personal development will help with this.

Personal development involves increasing your knowledge, skills, and behaviors in order to use them effectively. The course you are studying is the perfect opportunity to improve yourself whether it’s within or outside of work. It could be attending a training course or learning new skills by reading some articles on the internet for example. Setting clear objectives will help you achieve your goal and focus on what you need to do. It is important to gain support from your line manager when it comes to organizing any training or self-development activities.

The NVQ Level 4 Diploma in Health and Social Care unit “Personal Development for health, social care or children’s and young people’s setting” explores several topics related to professional development, including roles and responsibilities, reflective practice, personal development planning (PDP), and evidence-based practice. It also gives learners an opportunity to reflect on their own practice and personal development.

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LO1: Understand what is required for competence in own work role

When you understand what is required for competence in your work role you can make sure that the training and development you need is offered. Your line manager will support and guide you along with offering any training he/she deems necessary for your role.

When you experience training in your work role this should encourage you to seek support from a line manager when planning any future activities for yourself. You can also seek feedback from others on how they feel training went and what improvements could be made.

Explain the duties and responsibilities of own work role

You should be familiar with the duties and responsibilities of your own work role. This will help you determine whether further training is necessary, what kind of training would benefit your role, and how to access any required training. Don’t forget to offer support when needed and ask others for feedback on how they found the training sessions too!

Your role as a care worker is more than just physical tasks like helping the client with showering or washing, you also give your client moral support and build an emotional connection with him/her. A good relationship with the client is key to his happiness and well-being.

Good interpersonal skills can be developed by attending training courses on effective communication and being a caring and empathetic person.

Explain expectations about own work role as expressed in relevant standards

There are a number of relevant standards that you should be aware of when working as a care worker, including The Care Certificate and Skills for Care Standards. You can find them on the internet or ask your line manager to show them to you.

A lot of companies have their own standards for employees, which you should also be aware of. Your line manager will inform you of any relevant standards that are related to your work role.

Develop own behavioral patterns in line with expressed expectations about the work role. It’s important to develop your own behaviors in line with the expectations about your role as expressed in the relevant standards, your line manager’s expectations, or what you have seen from other care workers.

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Describe ways to ensure that personal attitudes or beliefs do not obstruct the quality of your own work

A lot of care workers have to work with people they don’t have a connection with or actually dislike, for example working with people who have a different culture. Although this may be difficult it is important you don’t let your personal attitudes and beliefs obstruct the quality of your work as a care worker.

You can discuss this with your line manager or ask for help from a senior care worker who has experience in this kind of situation. Your line manager will offer assistance if needed.

If you don’t feel comfortable with the client try to get in touch with his/her culture and find something in common to form a bond with him/her. You can also try to find out if there is something you could do for the client which he/she would really enjoy, such as a daily walk or working on a hobby.

Explain why competence includes using own behavior to model person-centered values and practice

One of the things you will be expected to do as a care worker is model person-centered values. This doesn’t only mean caring for your clients but also doing what is best for them and staying in tune with their feelings.

To make sure that your behavior models the morals and values of a good care worker you must keep in mind that care work is not about you, but the client. This will help when having to make difficult decisions for your client’s benefit and it might be necessary to set standards when working with them to ensure their well-being.

Even if you don’t feel like doing more than what is expected of you, it’s important that you reflect the morals and values of a good care worker while on duty. This will also help your clients to develop trust in you.

LO2: Be able to reflect on practice

Describe examples of reflection in your own work role, including identifying what went well and ways to improve practice. Reflecting on your day-to-day work is important because it can help you identify what went well or not so well for you personally, as well as the client. This also includes reflecting on how you dealt with different situations.

You can use the end-of-day reflections sheet (given to you by your line manager) to write down what went well and what did not do well for you. It’s also a good idea to keep a diary where you can describe how certain situations were handled, which will help you grow in confidence as a care worker.

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Explain the cyclical process of reflection

One of the most important things about reflection is that it’s a cyclical process. This means that after reflecting on your day you will have to reflect again before you go on duty the next day.

For example, if you have noticed that you are not very confident in meeting with clients on their own this might be something that bothers you, which you can reflect on. After reflecting on the possible causes of your lack of confidence you will have to think of how this could be prevented and what steps you should take to avoid it next time around.

After having reflected on what happened during a certain situation, as well as ways to improve for the future, the cycle has come full circle and you should be ready for your next day at work.

Explain the importance of reflective practice in continuously improving the quality of service provided

Reflecting on your work as a care worker is not only important to improve the quality of your service, but also for shaping your personal development. It allows you to look at what you have achieved so far and how this could be improved in the future.

Talking with line managers about your personal achievements is another way you can reflect positively on your work. This can be done by asking yourself questions such as, “Are there any areas I would like to improve?” or “What are three things that went well today?”

This will help you become aware of your boundaries and might even give you an idea about something new you want to try out in the future.

Being aware of your strengths and possible areas to improve will allow you to grow as a person and it’s why reflection is such an important part of care work.

Reflect on day to day work practice

Use what you know about person-centered values to discuss how these might be reflected during work practice.

One of the most important aspects of care work is to treat your clients with respect and help them develop trust in you. This can be done by simply getting involved with them, asking questions that are appropriate for the situation at hand, paying attention to what they need, and reacting in a calm manner.

By remaining professional and showing that their comfort is important to you, clients will feel safe at all times while working with you. Being attentive and sensitive to your client’s needs also means better care for them, which is why person-centered values are so important when doing care work.

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LO3: Be able to evaluate own performance

Describe your experience in evaluating your own performance and the criticism received from others. Evaluating your own performance is important because it will help you improve yourself and find areas for improvement. Criticism from others can be a valuable source of learning, especially when it comes from someone who knows what they are talking about.

For example, if you have been told that you can sometimes be quite impulsive when talking with your client, it might be the result of not being aware of triggers that cause you to act this way. By reflecting on what happened and identifying what caused this reaction, you will be able to avoid the same situation in the future by simply thinking first before reacting.

Evaluating your own performance also means being aware of what you have achieved so far, which can be done by asking yourself questions such as, “What are the three things I have learned this week?” Doing so will help you look at everything in a positive manner and give you an idea about how much progress you have made since your first day.

Evaluate own knowledge, understanding, and performance against relevant standards

Identify a situation in which you had to use your knowledge, understanding, and performance against relevant standards at work. This could for example be when a client falls or has an accident of some kind and needs immediate help from you. Being able to carry out basic first aid is essential for care workers as it can really make the difference between life and death.

In those situations, it is important to remain calm as being emotional will not help the client in any way. Acting quickly and efficiently will ensure that your actions have a positive impact, which is why it’s so crucial to know what to do in specific situations before they actually happen.

Knowing how to handle medical emergencies is one of the most important skills to have when working in care and it’s why reflection plays such a crucial part.

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Use feedback to evaluate own performance and inform development

Describe how you have used feedback to evaluate your own performance and inform your development. Feedback can be both positive and negative, but it will always give you the opportunity to look at things in different ways.

For example, if a client tells you that they enjoyed spending time with you yesterday, this is valuable feedback because they are sharing their opinion with you in a way that is honest and straightforward. It will therefore help you to develop your skills in a positive manner because you know what works well for your clients.

Informal feedback from colleagues is also important, as it could reveal certain aspects of the work environment that require further attention. For instance, if several people tell you they don’t like the fact that you raise your voice when clients become too demanding, this will allow you to realize that it is something that needs to be addressed.

LO4: Be able to use reflective practice to contribute to personal development

Describe a time when you used reflective practice to contribute to your personal development. Reflecting on past experiences is an effective way of understanding how skills have progressed over time and what areas need more attention.

Reflective practice can be carried out throughout the week in order to identify learning opportunities that should be focused on. For example, if your performance appraisal points out that you have been struggling with a certain skill, you can use the time between one evaluation and another to figure out what you need to do in order to improve.

Reflective practice is also useful when it comes, for example, finding new clients or continuing existing client relationships. Taking time to think about what went well and how you could have done better will ensure that your actions remain efficient and effective.

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Evaluate how learning activities have affected practice

Describe how learning activities have affected your practice. Learning activities are essential as they provide you with the opportunity to understand new things, but they can also be used to reinforce and develop existing skills.

For example, if you want to refine your understanding of a particular subject, such as first aid or care procedures, online courses, or e-learning activities can be a good way of achieving this.

On the other hand, if you want to develop your skills in a more practical manner, attending local training sessions or events could prove to be just as effective. These types of learning activities have the advantage that they allow you to practice new skills under supervision from an experienced trainer or peer.

Demonstrate how reflective practice has contributed to improved ways of working

Describe how you have used reflective practice to identify opportunities for improvement that will help your organization deliver high-quality care. Reflective practice is more than just looking into the past and discussing things with colleagues, it is also about using feedback from learners and clients to improve existing ways of working.

For example, if a client tells you that they are not happy with the fact that some of their requests are not met in a timely manner, you can use this feedback to improve your performance. You could also find out if there is anything you need to change in order to deliver the results they expect.

It is vital that managers encourage staff to engage in reflective practice because it will ensure that the care provided by their team is of a high standard.

Record progress in relation to personal development

Describe how your learning journal has contributed to personal development. Learning journals are useful because they allow staff to monitor progress made in relation to their development plan. They can also be used on a daily basis in order to record important information that would otherwise be lost, such as feedback from clients and colleagues.

A learning journal also helps you keep track of your achievements so that you can see how far you have come in a specific time period. This will allow you to reflect on the areas where progress has been made and think about how this could be improved further.

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LO5: Be able to agree a personal development plan

The personal development plan should be agreed between the individual and their line manager. It should include goals for learning activities that will help the individual progress in their career. The plans should be reviewed every six months in order to make sure that the right opportunities are being taken.

Using a reflective learning journal will ensure that you remember what has been achieved and help you set out a path for future development. These activities can include carrying out case studies, spotting trends in client feedback, or going on training courses.

The development plan will also need to be compatible with the organization’s career structure so that it does not conflict with existing business priorities.

Use data and information to plan and review own development

To use information and data to plan and review progress towards development goals, staff need to understand the purpose of their role within the care sector. They must also have access to relevant performance data, including client feedback. Given this information, staff should be able to make informed decisions about how they are performing in relation to their peers.

For example, if you are reviewing feedback from clients about care standards within your organization, you could examine the results of this to see what areas need improving. Evidence can be gained by looking at specific service user issues or service user groups. This might then inform how training needs are identified and met.

Work with others to review and prioritize own learning needs, professional interests, and development opportunities

Staff should be encouraged to share information about their learning interests and development needs with line managers. This might be done in the form of a personal development plan or within informal meetings. By working with others, staff can identify areas where they need support from more experienced members of the team.

Managers should also contribute by identifying the best people to support staff with their development plans. This might be done by using existing resources, such as learning and development coordinators. It could also be done by sharing information with other members of the team.

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Work with others to agree own personal development plan

In order to agree a personal development plan, staff needs to be given the opportunity to express their ideas in relation to career aspirations and development opportunities. This might be done during a one-to-one meeting or through the use of an electronic learning journal.

Personal development plans should include career goals that have been specifically tailored for individual staff. Staff should also be encouraged to consider how their current role feeds into this career goal and how they can use skills gained in one area of work to improve performance in another.

Personal development plans could include specific tasks that staff is expected to complete over a set time period. These might relate directly to professional interests or more general learning needs. For example, staff might be asked to attend certain training sessions, read specific case studies, or reflect on their own performance. Managers should take responsibility for checking that the tasks have been completed and make sure that any necessary action is taken.

Take steps to develop own leadership and mentoring skills

Staff should be encouraged to contribute towards their own development by taking responsibility for evaluating the effectiveness of their leadership style. This might involve self-assessment activities or one-to-one feedback sessions with line managers. There are many tools that can be used to assess leadership capabilities, including the Equips toolkit, Leadership Styles Questionnaire, and Situational Leadership Theory.

Ideally, staff should be encouraged to develop their own action plan for continuous improvement and given the opportunity to reflect on management actions through a process of constructive appraisal. This might be done as part of a formal appraisal meeting or as an informal one-to-one discussion.

LO6: Be able to use evidence-based practice

Professional organizations publish a large amount of research and guidance about good practice, which can be used to support staff with their learning and development.

For example, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) is an NHS organization that publishes evidence-based guidelines on quality standards, clinical procedures, and best practices in specific areas of work. These guidelines can then be used to support staff with their learning and development needs, such as those related to communication skills, teamwork, and risk management.

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Analyse how evidence-based practice can be used to inform your practice

The way that evidence-based practice can be used to inform personal development will depend on how it is presented. Staff may have to conduct their own research, based on reading relevant publications, before being able to apply the findings of the research in a practical context. This might be done through reflective activities or role-playing.

The use of evidence-based practice should be linked to a personal development plan, which staff can choose to adapt according to their own needs.

Successful use of evidence-based practice requires line managers and staff members to work closely together. Staff members need opportunities to reflect on their own performance and how it relates to the findings of specific research studies, as well as time set aside for independent learning outside working hours. It is also important that the limitations of evidence-based practices are made clear from the outset, as not all sources of evidence will be relevant or applicable in a particular situation.

Apply evidence-based practice in your practice

Personal development plans are ideally set up in consultation with line managers, who can provide input on specific tasks that staff members should work on. For example, they might advise on suitable study materials, help to organize access to relevant resources, or agree to observe staff members during role-play activities.

It is important for staff to have the opportunity to reflect on their own learning and development activities, making use of a process that is agreed upon in advance. This might be done by giving feedback through discussion or observation activities such as mock interviews, which can take place before the real thing.

Evaluate the use of the evidence-based practice in own setting

The impact of using evidence-based practice in training and development will vary considerably depending on the specific task or situation. It is important for staff members to analyze issues that arose during the development process, including how they felt about particular activities, what their learning needs were, how effective the outcomes were, and whether there are any areas for improvement.

It is helpful to keep a record of the practice activities that have taken place in order to determine whether or not they were effective. This can be done with a reflective log, which includes a summary of the task and its aims, reflections on the activity itself, and an evaluation of its effectiveness.

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