We have recently been approached by an adult social care department about some work to evaluate the impact of their training on safeguarding investigations.
Sadly this is an unusual request. Rarely is the impact of training and development evaluated, despite the large amount of time and money that is invested, year after year by every council in the land. Donald Kirkpatrick’s model, developed in the late 1950’s is probably best known and has been adapted and modified by a number of different writers but how often have any of these tools been used in social care? In preparing a methodology, I am also reminded of how little we ever seem to gather and use feedback from people at the centre of safeguarding processes.
There is potential for using this feedback to set standards and create indicators that could improve our performance in a primary area of public service and our ‘customer-focus’. This might also go some way in repairing the poor relationship many frontline staff have with performance management. Or maybe that’s too optimistic, just now!
The recently published review of ‘No Secrets’ – and the consultation conducted as part of this work highlighted the appetite for a more outcome focussed approach at both a strategic and individual level and it was encouraging to read that there was also a recognition that more needed to be done to understand the effectiveness of the training provided to the workforce. So maybe this request for external support to evaluate the impact of training will become more widespread?
As a small company committed to performance improvement in public services, we would love to hear from anyone interested in pursuing a dialogue about what works and about different models and approaches.