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03rd November 2015

A Pathway for Improving Practice

The introduction of a new pathway for developing people who work with those with learning disabilities will be of interest to service managers in health and social care .

I’m a fan of competency frameworks. I like the fact that there is an evidence-based and quality-checked set of competencies that staff can work to achieve. The legwork around making sure the content is up to date and relevant has been done, so I don’t risk having staff using outdated information and practice.

So I am particularly keen to have a look at the Generic Service Interventions Pathway, a new learning disability skills and competency framework which has been created to complement the ‘Minimum Core Standards’, and details a range of competencies that support outcome-focused, person-centred care delivery.

The Pathway document sets out the skills and competences required to deliver generic service interventions to people with learning disabilities.  It details the knowledge requirements of people delivering support and services, which has been mapped to National Occupational Standards.

What does it cover?

The Framework outlines eight areas covering assessment, planning, interventions in a variety of areas, monitoring and measurement of outcomes. It covers clinical learning disability, staff roles in delivery of care for people with complex needs and has as its core aim the development of a caring, compassionate and knowledgeable workforce. It specifically excludes organisational skills instead focussing on the direct delivery of support. The developers are keen to point out how the work has been contextualised by the 6 ‘C’s – Care, Compassion, Competence, Communication, Courage and Commitment.

A particular feature of this Pathway is the fact that it has been co-produced with people with learning disabilities and their families, through the ‘I Story Framework’, which runs alongside the Pathway and links the things that are important to service users with the elements of good practice identified by ‘industry’ experts.

An example of this is in the area of Accommodation and Welfare Interventions, where the ‘I Story’ measure is “I choose where I want to live and get help to pay for the things I need.” This parallels the generic pathway interventions of Accessing Benefits and Practical Housing Support. In this way, learners will be able to link the knowledge base with the desired outcomes of the people they support. It helps to keep the framework focussed and relevant to user needs.

Where can you find out more?

An animated film made to support the launch shows the Pathway in action.  The film follows the journey of a person with learning disabilities through a series of interventions and shows the skills and knowledge needed by a range of workers in order for them to deliver these activities effectively.

It’s a weighty tome and takes a large amount of reading through, but as a means of guiding managers’ thoughts in terms of skills development in the workforce, it could provide some interesting ideas. The film can be viewed at:

The Pathway PDF can be accessed here:

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

Ginny Tyler

Learning Disabilities Specialist

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