Frequently asked questions
When we’re out and about in the sector, we find there are a number of commonly occurring queries about Let’s get real and its implementation.
In this section we seek to answer your questions and assist your understanding of Let's get real. If you still have questions please contact David Bradley or your local regional workforce coordinator. We will continue to update this section as needed.
What's the difference between the Let's get real framework and the Let's get real enablers?
We already have professional competencies - how does Let's get real relate to these?
I'm a registered health practitioner working in a mental health and/or addiction treatment service and i'm already required to be competent - does Let's get real apply to me?
I've been working in mental health and addiction for 20 years - will I have to do this?
We do this kind of thing already - won't this be duplicating work?
It sounds like using the enablers will take a lot of time. We don't have time for this in our service.
Everyone is too busy and overburdened in our service - how are we supposed to find time to do this?
Can we get funding to help our service implement Let's get real?
Our budgets are tight and we can't afford extra FTE for implementation - what can we do?
If we use the learning modules, do these identify a whole lot of training we can't afford?
We already have a performance appraisal system - why do we need the Let's get real framework on top of that?
How will I use the Real Skills as part of current human resource processes?
Will Let's get real be linked to pay?
"What's the difference between the Let's get real framework and the Let's get real enablers?"
The Let’s get real framework is a foundation document for mental health and addiction workforce development. It describes the essential knowledge, skills and attitudes required to deliver effective mental health and addiction services. It applies to everyone working in these services, whatever their role, discipline or position in the organisation.
The Let's get real framework consists of seven Real Skills, each of which has a number of performance indicators at three different levels. All the Real Skills are underpinned by fundamental values and attitudes.
Implementing Let’s get real means bringing it to life within mental health and addiction services and within relevant education and training. The Let’s get real enablers were developed to support implementation. The enablers are a series of tools designed to assist services and education providers incorporate the Let’s get real framework into:
- curricula of education and training
- human resources processes within services
- organisational and team development within services.
It is important to become familiar with the Let’s get real framework in the first instance: the values and attitudes and the performance indicators of the seven Real Skills. The performance indicators are the essence of what it means to work in a 'Let’s get real' way. The enablers are not ‘compulsory’. If your service meets the performance indicators of Let's get real, you may not need to use them. However, even if your service does meet the performance indicators, you should not discount the enablers. You may find that they are great resources for workforce development and planning.
Read more about the implementation of Let's get real and the role of the enablers.
Visit the Ministry of Health website to download the foundation document - Let's get real: Real Skills for people working in mental health and addiction.
"We already have professional competencies - how does Let’s get real relate to these?"
"I’m a registered health practitioner working in a mental health and/or addiction treatment service and I’m already required to be competent – does Let’s get real apply to me?"
Let’s get real is intended to complement professional competencies by having a specific focus on the essential skills and attitudes required of everyone working in mental health and addiction.
The Real Skills in Let’s get real have been informed by the competencies developed by the professions regulated by the HPCA Act 2003 who work in mental health and addiction services (nurses, doctors/psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, occupational therapists), as well as the competencies developed for social workers.
Many elements of Let’s get real will already be reflected in your current professional competency framework. The Let’s get real human resources tool has a section that shows alignment between professional competencies and some of the Real Skills (Appendix H). This is a good starting point for assessing how the Real Skills sit alongside your competencies. Where professional competencies overlap with the knowledge, skills and attitudes in Let’s get real, professionals can avoid duplication of effort by using their portfolios and other evidence to demonstrate their Real Skills. Where you or your organisation identify areas of the Real Skills that sit outside your competencies or that need development, the Let’s get real learning modules provide a resource.
A real life example
Some may find that developing the Real Skills in Let’s get real may actually assist them to better meet their professional competencies. One clinical psychologist explained to us that in reviewing her continuing competency requirements, she found that the knowledge, skills and attitudes involved in providing culturally safe practice could be enhanced by reviewing the 'Working with MÄori' practitioner learning module. She discussed this with her supervisor and used completion of the module as evidence of that she had upskilled in this area.
This clinical psychologist also found that the Real Skills can provide a useful reflection point for skills not covered in professional competencies. The Real Skills learning modules 'Working with family/whÄnau' and 'Challenging stigma and discrimination' were easy to provide evidence for from her clinical practice, even though there was no formal requirement of this in the psychologists’ continuing competency. This highlighted previously unacknowledged skills.
"I’ve been working in mental health and addiction for 20 years - will I have to do this?"
The vision for Let’s get real is that everyone working in mental health and addiction shares common understandings of how to work effectively in services. We know that many people are already working in the way outlined by Let’s get real.
In this sense the framework affirms and values your individual practice. Let’s get real will work best when your organisation or service supports you to work in this way.
For more information please also see our alignment to other competencies and frameworks page.
"We do this kind of thing already - won’t this be duplicating work?"
"It sounds like using the enablers will take a lot of time. We don’t have time for this in our service."
"Everyone is too busy and overburdened in our service - how are we supposed to find the time to do this?"
Let’s get real is not designed to create extra work for people - or to create unnecessary duplication.
What is key is that organisations and teams find the time to get to know and understand what it means to work in a Let’s get real way. We ask that you spare some time to focus on the values and attitudes and performance indicators of the Real Skills.
The Let’s get real enablers are there as a resource, which only need to be used if required. Feel free to take a pick’n’mix approach to using the enablers. None, all or only some may be relevant to your service or team, depending on how your work aligns with the Real Skills and values and attitudes.
One aim of Let’s get real is that it provides a focus and structure for linking workforce development activities: education/training, HR strategies, organisational development, research and evaluation. Therefore, we hope that ultimately the Let’s get real framework will assist with the streamlining and simplification of all these processes by providing a strong and unifying foundation.
"Can we get funding to help our service implement Let’s get real?"
"Our budgets are tight and we can’t afford extra FTE for implementation - what can we do?"
There is no specific source of funding that services can access to assist with implementation.
Resources to support implementation of Let’s get real take the form of the enablers, Te Pou staff and the regional workforce co-ordinators. We are happy to work alongside organisations to assist with using the enablers and understanding how best to proceed with implementation.
Remember that you don’t need to ‘reinvent the wheel’ or do it all at once. Your service may have training or processes in place that already align with Let’s get real.
If a need for change is identified, it is hoped that organisations and/or services can shift to working in a Let’s get real way without having to incur cost. As Let’s get real is fundamentally about relationships, partnerships and the way people work, even small changes can make a difference and can be done without funding. For example, you may focus on improving relationships with community stakeholders.
"If we use the learning modules, do these identify a whole lot of training we can’t afford?"
While the learning modules may identify gaps within a staff member’s existing knowledge base, this does not generally mean that the service then has to pay for training to meet this need.
The learning modules are a resource to be used if considered helpful.They have been designed to be completed through self-directed learning. The activities within the modules encourage participants to continually reflect on their current work practices and then determine actions to improve their performance with reference to each of the seven Real Skills.
How changes occur will be determined by individual organisations - suggestions are included in the learning modules. Flexibility and creativity in using the modules is encouraged!
More about the learning modules
Firstly, the learning modules provide links and references to material that is in the public domain (can be accessed online or by applying to relevant bodies such as the Ministry of Health).
Second, much of the material in the learning modules prompts self-reflection around the way people work (rather than requiring the learning of technical skills). This can often be followed up through performance management, supervision or team meetings. Suggestions are given in the ‘Getting started’ section of the learning modules.
Third, some of the gaps identified may not be met by training, but by actions and new ways of doing things. For example, in the 'Working with MÄori' module, people are prompted to take action to strengthen relationships - “Identify three MÄori groups in your community that you could develop a relationship with over the next year”.
None of the above involves cost to the organisation or service.
"We already have a performance appraisal system – why do we need the Let’s get real framework on top of that?"
"How will I use the Real Skills as part of current human resources processes?"
Let’s get real is not intended to replace your organisation’s human resources system. It is intended to complement and integrate with existing performance management, recruitment and orientation systems.
Let’s get real was intentionally designed to be flexible enough to be used as part of day to day practice, as part of regular supervision meetings or peer supervision sessions, and as part of a performance appraisal. Health Practitioner Competency Assurance Act portfolio and competence requirements can be used to demonstrate how you are practicing in terms of the Real Skills.
To assist with bringing Let’s get real into organisations’ human resources, we have developed a Human Resources Tool in collaboration with the sector. Rather than ‘reinventing the wheel’, this tool is designed to help organisations with existing human resources systems and processes identify how to bring Let’s get real into these. In recognition that there is large variation in human resource capability among mental health and addiction organisations and teams, the Human Resources Tool also has comprehensive templates that can be downloaded and adapted for immediate use.
"Will Let’s get real be linked to pay?"
It has the potential to be, but pay arrangements aren't part of the Let’s get real framework. Pay arrangements and performance appraisals remain a matter for employers to discuss and negotiate with their employees.