What Are the Essentials for Building an Aged Care Training Plan?

Last Updated: 16 August 2023

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Building a training plan within the aged care space can be challenging, with a variety of considerations required. It's easy for the process to become a complex web of training requirements for each role, leaving you to untangle it and turn it into tangible learning outcomes.

This article aims to simplify the process of developing a mandatory, reoccurring (typically annual) training plan, within an aged care context, into the essential steps. This will give you a solid foundation to work from, which you can then iteratively transform into a training plan tailored to your organisation and its employees, leaving a lasting impact.

Step 1: Define requirements from legislations and standards

Defining what training is required, at a baseline, requires you to understand what is required from legislation and standards. Within aged care, the relevant legislation may include the Aged Care Act 1997, National Health Act 1953 alongside the Work Health and Safety Act, 2011, though looking towards this of legislation from the Department of Health and Aged Care may outline additional legislation relevant to your particular facility.

After this, National Standards relevant to your organisation will be required. These include the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards, Aged Care Quality Standards, Code of Conduct for Aged Care and potentially the NDIS Practice Standards. The majority of these standards have resources available online that assist with developing requisite training.

The Aged Care Quality Standard has linked pages outlining the requirements for each of the eight standards. For example, you could consider Aged Care Quality Standard 4, which focuses on services and supports for daily living. To ensure compliance, you could design or source a training module called ‘Enhancing Daily Living Support in Aged Care.' which would have specific learning objectives aligned with the standard, such as teaching staff techniques for effective communication, daily activity planning, individualised care and final assessments for competence.

Older lady smiling as she collaborates on looking at legislation and standards

Step 2: Supplement with organisational requirements

After looking towards mandatory training which fulfils legislative and standards requirements, next look toward particular organisational requirements.

This may be set by your organisations internal policies and procedures, some of which may align with legislation or standards, or others which may go above those requirements. Review these and see where your organisation may require training that is more specific.

Furthermore, look towards your organisations vision or broader mission. If, for example, your facility is currently heavily focussed on ensuring care for growing numbers of residents with dementia, make sure to prioritise this within your training plan creation.

Step 3: Build your training matrix

Now that you know what types of training are required, it’s time to build out your simple training matrix. Whatever tool you are using, you can place on the vertical axis various job roles in your organisation, and on the horizontal the training required. In each intersecting cell you can place a mark to signify which role requires what training. This visualisation will help you to easily identify gaps and overlaps. From here you can include due dates and timelines for each training module per role.

Streamlining this process is vital for the practical implementation of the training matrix. Job roles with similar responsibilities can often share training modules, so there’s no need to reinvent the wheel for each title. Group these roles together to simplify your matrix. For example, gardeners and maintenance officers might share many common learning needs around safety protocols. By bunching similar roles together, you take the load off creating multiple branches of similar training plans.

An 8x8 LED matrix

Step 4: Assign your training plan

After creating your training matrix, it's time to roll out the plan to your staff. It’s important not only to clearly communicate its importance, but you also must be strategic with its timing, factoring in not just workloads but also any compliance deadlines.

Staggering the training can make it easier for staff to participate, though you must keep track of progress with set timelines and regular follow-ups. Simple bi-weekly email reminders or quarterly review meetings are a great approach to keep everyone accountable.

And be ready for obstacles. Your training plan may not always go to plan. Scheduling conflicts or unexpected operational demands can throw things out of whack, so having flexible learning options, such as e-learning, can keep things on track. Keep an open line of communication with your staff to adapt their plan as needed.

Step 5: Iterate

We hope this guide has provided you with the building blocks necessary for developing an effective training plan, tailored to aged care!

But the work doesn't stop here.

From this foundational article we’ll be looking to discuss training plans a bit deeper, with topics including:

  • Custom Training Plans: How do you create training plans that reflect the unique needs and skill gaps of individuals within your facility?
  • Refreshing Your Training Plan: How do you update existing training plans alongside continually-changing legislation?
  • Scheduling Training Plans: How can you optimise scheduling of training plans to create the best learning outcomes?
  • Measuring and Metrics: How do you know your training plan is working?

Stay tuned for these upcoming insights as we continue our deep dive into the art of crafting effective, compliant, and impactful training plans.

See you in the next article! For any feedback, suggestions or if you’d like to enquiry about the Ausmed LMS capabilities, contact us

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