IDEA Services used funding from Te Pou's training grant to develop and pilot a programme to assist employees of IDEA services and Timata Hou gain the National Certificate in Health, Disability and Aged Support (NCHDAS) Level 3 Core Competencies qualification. The 157 staff selected for the pilot were longer serving staff who hadn’t had the opportunity to do the Foundation Skills Level 2 Qualification.

IDEA Services and Timata Hou are both service delivery divisions of IHC. IDEA Services supports people with an intellectual disability to live, learn, work and be part of the community. They provide services nationally and employ around 5,300 people. Timata Hou provides intensive rehabilitative support to people who have complex behaviour as well as an intellectual disability and employs around 300 people.

The training

IDEA Services developed learning and assessment material for the Core Competencies Level 3 programme internally. The training consisted of an initial training workshop, followed by a number of small group tutorials and some one-to-one assessor support where required. Participants were also encouraged to form study groups. IDEA Services hoped this small scale pilot would be an effective way to support staff to achieve a Level 3 qualification, provide a next step in the career pathway and also show respect and value for longer serving staff who hadn’t completed a formal qualification.

I was approached by my manager to gauge my interest in the Level 3 Core Competencies pilot. I thought, why not improve my transferable skills and improve my chances of moving up the ladder within the organisation? The course itself was very challenging, considering I left school so many, many years ago, but help was at hand with a good support system with the learning and development advisor (my assessor) and my manager encouraging me to persevere to finish the course.”

Isa, training participant

Benefits of the training for participants

Training participant Taani Lavulavu started working for Timata Hou in 2009 without previous work experience in disability or knowledge about intellectual disabilities or high and complex behavioural needs. Timata Hou, which is also part of IHC, is a regional intellectual disability supported accommodation service. Taani’s role changed in 2012 to programme developer and he says the training has helped him with his new role.

The level 3 National Certificate in Health, Disability and Aged Support (Core Competencies) gave me a better understanding about the way we support people we work with at Timata Hou. This helped me in my role and gave me a better understanding of our clients to help them gain more opportunities and achieve positive outcomes”

Taani Lavulavu, programme developer

Taani Lavulavu, Programme Developer, RIDSAS Lifeskills -Timata Hou Specialist Services

Taani found the way the course was delivered very useful, particularly the opportunities to apply the learning from the training in his job. He encourages anyone who supports people with disabilities or works in aged support or health to do this course.

The Level 3 NCHDAS qualification has also inspired me to take on more study in this field and has also given me the confidence to do my job better."

Taani Lavulavu, programme developer

As part of the training programme, IDEA Services assessed the value of the training for the organisation and its employees. Feedback collected from managers and their staff showed that the training helped participants to:

  • Gain new skills and knowledge and improve their understanding of intellectual disability and its associated support needs. Trainees improved their transferrable skills and their knowledge of the key factors which can impact on the quality of life of the people they support. Trainees also developed more awareness about how personal values can impact on the support they provide and how to minimise negative impact.
  • Increase awareness and understanding about what they are doing and what is required. Trainees also reflected on their own workplace practice, ways in which they support people to achieve their personal goals and whether or not they meet the cultural needs of the people they support. Trainees identified their own good practices as well as areas for improvement.
  • Increase confidence and competence in their work and gain a better understanding about how to provide quality support for people. Trainees had a sense of success, pride and confidence after they completed the qualification. They also felt valued by the organisation through being offered the opportunity to gain a national qualification.

I amazed myself, doing the Core Competencies – I did know a lot and what I didn’t know I was able to easily find the documents…I am now more confident, I have a better attitude and I’m more precise in all I do. I am using a lot of information gained from the course in my daily role”

Mark, training participant

  • Improve the service for people they support by understanding how to provide quality support, how to meet peoples’ needs and how to ensure quality outcomes. Trainees were better able to identify barriers to quality life for people and how to minimise these barriers, maximise independence and help people they support to participate in their communities and speak up for themselves.

“…[the training] has taught me more about conditions that are beyond our control and can have both negative and positive impacts on people I support. I now have more depth of understanding […] and some knowledge of how to help people to cope/achieve goals. It has been a great learning experience and has enriched me in many ways e.g. patience, time management, planning.”

Mark, training participant

  • Identify career development opportunities and improve their chances in moving ‘up the ladder’ within the organisation. In general, trainees felt more positive about their job or role and many indicated interest in work towards other qualifications at the next level.

The course has given me a confidence boost and I am now looking into other job opportunities within the organisation.”

Isa, training participant

Benefits of the training – for the organisation

IDEA Services are reviewing the impact of the training by comparing the support provided to people by staff that have and haven’t completed the qualification. IDEA Services know the organisation has benefited from the training and the qualification. Staff that completed the training reflect more on their work practice and consider ways of improving quality of life for service users, which has had a positive impact on the day to day support they provide. Trainees gave feedback on how they provide opportunities and support for people to achieve personal goals, maximise their independence, participate in their communities and speak up for themselves.

Staff who achieved the NCHDAS Core Competencies Level 3 qualification via the pilot appreciated the opportunity to reflect on and improve their support practice. More staff have now expressed interest in taking part in the qualification.