Training and development
Bond Solon trains 5,000 health and social care professionals every year in legal and safeguarding duties, skills and knowledge. They required external approval for its Best Interest Assessor (BIA) course. It is the only BIA qualification, delivered by a training company, approved by the Department of Health and Social Care. The Masters Level 7 programme (worth 20 postgraduate credits) develops knowledge and skills to work with adults who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves about their care or treatment.
The course can be delivered in-house and comprises of four interactive face-to-face training days, over consecutive days or in two blocks of two days over the course of the same month. The initial challenge with the qualification was the short turnaround from completing the course to receiving the award, without hindering the quality of the programme.
Bond Solon are very niche, so it was important for them to find a specialist partner. They chose Teesside University as they found they were flexible with a high quality process. They worked closely with the University to adjust its approaches to award ratification, with Teesside bringing together an approval board, which means that there is now a three-month timeframe from start to finish. Bond Solon delivers the content, but the University provides access to its online learning system, e-library and student support as well as the award of a BIA qualification. It is seen as the gold standard for Best Interest Assessors and has trained over hundreds of professionals.
The BIA qualification was hugely beneficial for Bond Solon and they will work with Teesside University in the future.
They have moved into new markets with Teesside’s accreditation and customers come back for other training. There are some legal changes on the horizon around the BIA and Bond Solon are working with the University to address these, for example conversion courses and what qualifications may be needed as a result of new legislation. They have a good relationship with Teesside University, and are in discussions about expanding the University’s involvement in their other courses.
The University also re-designed its Blackboard (virtual learning environment) provision following delegate feedback, and now provides step-by-step guidance for students.
Today, the law is embedded across health and social services, and those professionals engage with, and have to correctly interpret and apply the law on a daily basis. The study and practical application of the law by non-lawyers can be a challenge, yet this is a challenge that must be met. It is important that all health and social care practitioners are equipped with the key legal skills to enhance their day-to-day professional roles and to act effectively, lawfully and to best practice standards. We needed an external partner to develop the BIA qualification with and Teesside University was my first choice.”