At brighterkind, we get asked many questions about the Care Home Assistant Practitioner programme (CHAP) and what it is all about. If you are a Care Assistant wanting to take the next steps in care, the CHAPS programme may just be for you.
We recently spoke to National Training Manager, Lorna Murphy to find out what is involved and what it takes to become a CHAP in brighterkind
Lorna Murphy - National Training Manager
What is a CHAP and how do you explain the role to a new candidate?
I always explain the CHAPs role as being a support role for the Registered Nurses. CHAPs are able to deliver care, administer medications and write care plans for our nursing residents. This can be daunting to some at the beginning of their journey, so I will always reassure them that they will only ever work alongside a nurse and we will train and support them in all areas of the role until they are confident and competent.
The CHAPs programme is an enhanced health care assistant role that will, after a period of extensive training and competency assessments, enable you to provide care and clinical interventions to enhance the resident experience and the level of care residents receive under supervision of a Registered Nurse. Every day you will, support the nurses acting as a nursing assistant and delivering excellent standards of clinical care.
"This is a great opportunity for anyone with a passion for care and making a difference to the lives of those we look after".
For you, it all starts with unique hands-on training; from administering medication and taking blood pressure, to putting care plans into practice. You’ll support our nurses, and in turn, they’ll continually support you. As the link between our nursing and care teams, you’ll thrive on the chance to quickly develop your leadership skills, confidence and career within social care, with opportunities to progress if you choose, whether that’s progressing into nursing, management or both.
"I attended the CHAPS training programme in 2017. I wasn't entirely sure what career I wanted to take, but once I started the course I knew exactly where I wanted to head.
Now, thanks to the programme it has given me great knowledge and has set me on the right career path. I am now a deputy manager and a home trainer with the CHAP role alongside of me and it shows in everything I do". Georgie Burrell
What does the CHAP programme represent?
The Care Home Assistant Practitioner (CHAP) programme has been designed to train and develop some Care Assistants and Senior Care Assistants to be able to work alongside and support our Registered Nurses to deliver extraordinary care to our nursing residents.
Across the industry there is a shortage of Nurses and to address this there has been a high dependency on agency workers. The true cost of this is an inconsistent approach to care to residents. By training and developing our care team we can ensure that a high level of person-centred care is delivered to everyone in our care.
What do you look for in a potential CHAP?
Team members looking to progress into the CHAP role must have a desire to develop their own skills and want to gain a greater clinical knowledge and display behaviours we expect of a brighterkind leader.
The course is demanding, so a good deal of self-motivation and drive is required, even though there is support available throughout from the brighterkind training team and identified Nurse mentors within their home. We have definitely seen this throughout each group and it has been a pleasure to see the dedication and love every day approach for so many of our care team.
Have you seen any great examples of personal and professional growth from one of our colleagues completing the CHAP Programme?
Yes! I have seen this consistently throughout the rollout of the CHAPs programme. I have also seen individuals progress their careers to Deputy Managers. The improvement in confidence in some individuals has been amazing to see and I feel honoured to have been a part of it.
"Of the 47 team members that have been through the programme only 4 have left the business to pursue their career elsewhere, I think this proves that everyone involved has enjoyed the experience and feels genuinely valued as part of our team".
How do you see the programme developing into the future?
The programme is ever developing and improving. Following each group we take feedback not only from the individuals that have completed the course, also their Nurse mentors and Managers.We would like to get the course accredited so it is recognised outside of the business and we can offer a recognised qualification to those that undertake and succeed in the training programme.
How is our programme different from our competitors?
We no longer do e-learning in our homes, and this approach is different to many of our competitors as they still deliver e-learning training. Through face-to-face training we can support and monitor our team members to make sure that they fully understand the role.
We decided to move away from e-learning as a company in 2016 because we believe this training has no way of checking whether training outcomes have been reached, that different learning styles have been addressed and team members had no way of asking questions and understanding the content. Our face-to-face training approach gives everyone an opportunity to share best practice, to learn from each other and build on team work across the different homes.
What do you enjoy most about training CHAPs?
I enjoy opening doors for people's ongoing development. I think a lot of our care team members believe the only way to develop and progress in the sector is to leave and complete their nurse training. For some this isn’t an option due to their home and family commitments. Therefore, the CHAP programme can offer many the opportunity to learn and grow whilst working with the brighterkind team.
I also enjoy watching people grow and the great sense of achievement at the end of the programme. We always have a celebration day at the end of the programme with our CEO Jeremy there to present the certificates. It is a great day and everyone enjoys it.
Celebrations at Hungerford for the new CHAPs
How does the CHAP role help our Nurses?
All of the Nurse mentors that have been involved in the process have advised how great it is to have the support of the CHAPs. They have built great open and honest working relationships with the team that have undertaken the development and feel it promotes a safer environment for the residents.
Do the residents benefit from having CHAPs within their care team?
The residents definitely benefit from having CHAPs in post. This is because we can ensure we have a team working with them and supporting them that understand not only their care needs but also their likes and dislikes, their life history and aspirations. We are passionate about delivering person-centred care to all and consistency is key.
How can someone apply?
To apply for the CHAP programme the home itself needs to hit a set criteria, for example the home needs to require more than one Nurse per shift, have a Nurse vacancy or high dependency on Nurse agency and they need to have a suitable Nurse mentor to support and coach the team member through their training.
Once a home has been identified as meeting all of this criteria, we ask Home Managers to advertise and interview interested team members at home level. We aim to keep the application process as fair as possible and offer the opportunity to the right team members.
The team member needs to have successfully completed their probation period, all of their statutory and mandatory training with brighterkind and have a minimum of 18 months experience working in the sector.