Transfer of training: the missing link between training and the quality of adult social care
Health & Social Care in the Community
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UK social care reforms characterised by a policy of increasing personalisation and choice in care have been accompanied by major reorganisation and investment in workforce training and development. Driving much of this focus in training and expectations of transformation is an assumed link between training and quality of care. This assumption has a long pedigree in social care but rarely does it receive the scrutiny necessary in order for us to understand better the nature of this relationship. This paper focuses on the potential for in-service training to contribute to the transformation in social care as expected by policy makers. Reviewing findings from the evaluation of training in social care show that problems continue to persist in demonstrating that training results in changes in behaviour on the job. Findings within the social care literature mirror that found more widely in suggesting learner characteristics, intervention design and deliver and the workplace environment combine to influence whether training transfers to use on the job. The argument advanced here is that without a focus on the transfer of training, the contribution of training to quality of care outcomes will remain illusory. A shift is required in mindsets away from training to a focus on training transfer in directing workforce development strategies. It might then be possible to begin to identify how and in what configurations training may be associated with quality care outcomes.
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