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5b Training and development subgroup

This subgroup captures the main themes and messages around safeguarding at a strategic level via the Board and other subgroups, particularly the quality monitoring subgroup. Key influences on its work are: new legislation, the SAB Business Plan, external audit/review processes, national and regional projects and guidance, learning points from any Serious Case Reviews, changes to local policies and procedures, and needs identified by the workforce. We then translate the priorities into appropriate multi-agency training programmes.


The training subgroup has representation from South Gloucestershire Council, Avon and Somerset Constabulary, Sirona Care & Health (South Glos), Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) and the independent, voluntary and private (IVP) sectors. The group meets on a quarterly basis.


The group has maintained the multi-agency training “pathway” which consists of five core programmes that are available to a wide range of local organisations. Delegate numbers overall in 2014-15 are on a par with the previous year (total 819). 69% of all delegates work for local adult social care independent, voluntary and private (IVP) agencies (up 8.5% on 2013-14). There was a 6% increase in attendance from council staff, and a 5% drop in the proportion of NHS employees accessing these courses. However, it is hoped a recent workshop specifically for GP Safeguarding Leads will lead to a renewed focus within GP Practices in 2015-16, albeit via a more appropriate “single agency” route.

Training has continued to be arranged by the council for individual agencies. When this happens, attendance data is monitored and the core courses can be adapted to reflect specific work contexts, policies and agreed ways of working. Many agencies across all sectors purchase or organise their own single-agency training as well as, or instead of, accessing the multi-agency courses arranged by the council on behalf of the SAB – hence the decision to coordinate a second Safeguarding Adults Workforce & Training Survey (see below).

Delegate feedback on the core multi-agency courses has remained positive overall in terms of the quality of training, and the degree to which managers and employees in a wide range of agencies report that they are getting the information they need. Responses to follow-up surveys conducted around 3 months after the training continue to show broadly encouraging results on the extent to which the training programmes are increasing confidence and changing practice across workforces (managers and their staff). Full details of the multi-agency courses and information on delegate feedback and evaluation of impact is in Appendix 4.

In addition to the “core” activity this year, the subgroup has:

  • delivered the re-designed Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Update workshops, aimed at experienced practitioners. These focused on the first of a number of locally-identified “themes and priorities”: Safeguarding Adults (SGA) and Dementia, and SGA and Personalisation
  • worked with IVP sector SAB representatives to co-produce the second SAB Workforce & Training Survey. This audit is in two parts: a questionnaire to gain data and views from individual employees across workforces in South Gloucestershire (over 400 responses in late-2014), and a 2nd phase that asks all managers of local services (statutory and IVP sectors) to provide information about the training and development arrangements they make for their staff around safeguarding adults (questionnaire “live” between March and May 2015)
  • maintained a leading role in building on the work of the recently-established “Top South West” Safeguarding Adults Trainers Network
  • supported ongoing engagement with safeguarding adults training by key statutory sector agencies, including the CCG, Police, Sirona Care & Health, Prison Services and AWP
  • continued to focus, with IVP sector representatives, on any new approaches to training and assessing employee knowledge and competence around safeguarding adults issues

Areas for improvement and future development

  1. Complete the coordination of the second South Gloucestershire SAB Workforce & Training Survey, collate the results and make arrangements to share the key messages, learning points and examples of good practice across agencies and via the SAB.
  2. Refresh the multi-agency Workforce Development & Training Plan so that it covers 2015-18 (including reference to the National Capability Framework for safeguarding adults where necessary).
  3. Work together with the SAB and other subgroups to plan and deliver the first South Gloucestershire SAB Annual Conference (October 2015).
  4. Maintain the emphasis on ensuring experienced practitioners stay engaged with safeguarding adults learning by:
  • running more CPD Update workshops: focusing on the next two themes of SGA and Domestic Abuse, and Self-Neglect (autumn/winter 2015)
  • commissioning additional multi-agency training programmes on specific SGA-related topics, in response to any identified needs from operational managers and partner agencies
  1. Use the council’s new learning management system to build on existing SAB data about how multi-agency training increases worker confidence and leads to changes in practice. The aim is to get more in-depth and robust intelligence from agencies that better demonstrates the real impact of training on how workforces are safeguarding adults locally (link to priority 1, above).
  2. Jointly develop better collaboration and resource-sharing to ensure South Gloucestershire is at the centre of joint initiatives and provides consistent messages to workforces locally:
  • sub-regionally through the Top South West SGA Trainers Network (a SGA Trainer Conference is being planned for autumn 2015), and
  • with other West of England local authorities (jointly-commissioned “Duty To Refer” workshops are running June 2015 with the Disclosure & Barring Service)
  1. Develop the core multi-agency training programmes as needed to ensure these properly reflect both national direction (e.g. Care Act/Making Safeguarding Personal) and local priorities and processes.
  2. Explore different methods and resources employers can use to support and assess their workforce’s learning and development around Safeguarding Adults, and share such methods across sectors as required.

Nick Thorne, Training Manager, South Gloucestershire Council, Chair of subgroup