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Carers Federation Specialist Workshops

by Ruth Stanforth -

Why are we offering this training?

We appreciate that advocacy services are currently in a ‘transitional’ period in terms of how advocates are trained. Brand new advocates will be completing the new Level 4 award, but there is a cohort of practicing advocates who may need support to train on what used to be ‘additional units’ under the Level 3 qualification. It is now no longer possible to qualify with City & Guilds on a unit-by-unit basis. However, Carers Federation is offering standalone training to fill any gaps in skillsets and knowledge. Following the success of our 2022 courses launch, we now have multiple dates for live remote training and assessed course options into 2023.

How has the training been designed?

The materials cover information about the relevant legislation and how these can be applied by the advocate, based on criteria across the new qualification. There will also be opportunities to complete activities and discuss case studies to consolidate learning. The codes of practice stipulate that advocates need ‘appropriate training’ to undertake these advocacy roles. Any of the below options could represent ‘appropriate training’, depending on the advocate’s experience, so services are encouraged to consider if they want candidates to just complete live training, or if they would benefit from practice assessment.

Who is the training for?

· Experienced advocates who have already qualified at Level 3, but who require additional training in a different specialism

· Candidates who have received remote training on a unit, but would benefit from additional live remote training

What are the costs?

Attending the remote workshop only - £200

Workshop plus practice competence assessment - £550

Please contact for the latest training dates. 

New for Spring 2020 - DoLS Awareness and NHS Complaints Training

by Ruth Stanforth -

New for Spring 2020, we have carefully crafted some courses to help learners understand topics relevant to the Health and Social Care sector. 

Our compact DoLS Awareness course is designed to outline the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) framework and explain the various professional roles attached to DoLS. For those familiar with the Mental Capacity Act, it is a useful refresher around the obligations imposed by DoLS. Independent Advocates will also benefit from this course if they intend to work as a paid Relevant Person’s Representative or IMCA.

For those wanting to raise an NHS Complaint or develop a new independent advocacy skill, we have created an NHS Complaints training course. This course is based on the collective expertise of several NHS Complaints advocates and our advocacy trainers. It explains how to raise an NHS Complaint, and navigate the NHS Complaints procedure. It also outlines the role of the Independent NHS Complaints Advocate and how you might use this information to self-advocate during the complaints process.

Tips for a Productive Home Working Environment

by Ruth Stanforth -

The Coronavirus pandemic has forced a lot of people to rethink their working environment. Many businesses, charities and organisations have had no choice but to move their workforce to a work-from-home scenario. For some of us, this hasn’t meant a stark change; some offices have always offered a remote-working option and many will be used to the routine. However, the vast majority will now have to figure out how to carry out their work at home. This is no small challenge with the added pressures of childcare and social isolation. But, it is not impossible! Here are our five top tips for successfully working from home:

Have a permanent workspace

A common misconception of “WFH” days is that people “work from bed” or in their pyjamas. This is not the case. Anyone who works from home regularly will tell you that having an allotted desk space is a must. Having a set work space helps you get into the right frame of mind for productivity, and it can help you differentiate between your work day ending and your free time starting. Finishing work at 5pm and being in the same place (or same set of pyjamas…) isn’t great for morale!

Structure, Structure, Structure

Many workplaces have relaxed their working hours now that remote working is the ‘norm’. But, whatever your working hours are, try your best to stick to them. This isn’t easy for people with children, or those with other caring responsibilities. Nevertheless, where possible, stick to a routine. Try and make sure you get up at the same time every day, have a lunch break and regular – scheduled – breaks for exercise.

Move around!

That brings us nicely onto our third tip, which is: don’t stay sat down staring at screens all day! Stretching is important, and is encouraged for office working generally to alleviate chronic health problems and avoid burnout. Now you can have a big stretch and groan/shout without being embarrassed or disturbing half the office. Do anything you can for a brief change of scenery – take advantage of your one exercise outing a day, do yoga, or take a short trip to the garden if you have one.

Be in touch

No doubt your employers will have created a communication tool for you to keep in touch – something a little more immediate than e-mail. Whether it’s Teams, Slack, Zoom or a combination of all three, make sure you’re checking in on your colleagues and that they’ll check in on you. Communication can be difficult at the best of times, so it’s really important to make the extra effort when we’re all miles apart.

Take advantage of online training

There is an unprecedented level of empty time that comes with working from home in this scenario. The rules have changed and there are things you simply won’t be able to do anymore depending on your role. At the very least, lockdown probably means significantly less commuting time! If you’ve found yourself at a loose end without any work to do, see if your line manager can arrange some of that online training you’ve been meaning to do for the past three years – the one you keep mentioning in your appraisal! Likewise, if you’re stuck for something to do on an evening, widen your horizons with distance-learning courses in subjects you’re passionate about.

No one really has all the answers for fully effective working during a lockdown – we all have different roles and demands, and the pandemic is something we have never experienced before. But, as a starting point, these basic tips will stand you in good stead as you adapt to you new home-working adventure.

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