Learning and development framework for occupational therapists imageA new practical resource from RCOT and Skills for Care, the ‘Learning and development framework for occupational therapists: New or returning to social care’, has been launched for use across the UK.

Occupational therapists (OTs) play a central role in supporting people who use care and support services to do the things they want and need to do. They do this by focusing on the people they work with, identifying strengths, balancing choice and risk, and by facilitating their connections with their families, friends and communities that enables them to keep healthy and well, says Skills for Care.

The learning and development framework provides profession-specific support and guidance for:

  • newly qualified OTs
  • OTs new to working in social care
  • OTs coming back to work in social care
  • managers of occupational therapy staff

This new framework acts as a guide for OTs’ learning and development, helps them identify the knowledge and skills needed to work effectively in a social care environment, and encourages them to take responsibility for their own learning and development.

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It was jointly developed by Skills for Care and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists (RCOT), who co-created it with OTs, managers, learning and development, and workforce staff from the social care sector.

Skills for Care Interim CEO Andy Tilden said: “We know the 3500 occupational therapists in England alone punch well above their weight making a vital contribution to our sector day in and day out.

“This practical framework is another positive result of our longstanding working relationship with the Royal College of Occupational Therapists that will support the learning and development needs of this key group of registered professionals at different stages of their careers”

It’s anticipated that it will take approximately 12 months for individuals to work through all the elements of the framework, but this will depend upon factors such as working hours, patterns of work and specific employer requirements.

Karin Bishop, RCOT Director of Professional Operations, said: “We are proud to work with Skills for Care to deliver this practical resource for both occupational therapists who work in social care and their managers.

“Occupational therapists play a crucial role in supporting people who access social care to lead the lives they want. The new framework will support their learning, enabling them to deliver safe and effective services for the people who access them.”

The framework is aligned with the HCPC Standards for CPD (HCPC 2017) and is based on the four pillars of practice in the RCOT Career Development Framework (RCOT 2017). These pillars are widely used to guide career, learning and development for Allied Health Professionals (AHPs), including occupational therapists.

RCOT’s for pillars of practice are:

Professional Practice pillar

The ability to maintain occupation at the centre of practice, delivering safe, effective, person-centred and ethical practice, using and recording professional judgement, reasoning and decision making.

Facilitation of Learning pillar

The ability to teach, mentor, supervise and/or assess others. To recognise and facilitate learning opportunities and create, develop and evaluate learning environments, tools and materials.

Leadership pillar

The ability to identify, monitor and enhance own knowledge and skills. To work with others, guide, direct and/or facilitate teamwork. Design, implement and manage professional and/or organisational change. Connect people and services.

Evidence, Research and Development pillar

The ability to access, create, use and translate research evidence to inform practice. Identify and plan own learning and development needs/goals. Actively engage in the process of CPD demonstrating benefit to self and others. Contribute to service improvement and delivery. Recognise informal as well as formal learning and development opportunities.

The new framework can be accessed here

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