November 23, 2017

From application to CHAP graduation | The journey of the Care Home Assistant Practitioner Programme

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Todays the day! Six of our Four Seasons Care Assistants are graduating from the Care Home Assistant Practitioner (CHAP) Programme, and I, for one, couldn’t be happier for them.  As I shake the hand of our newly qualified CHAPs I find the need to reflect on the CHAP Programme journey so far…

Care Home Assistant Practitioner (CHAP) Programme | The beginning

It is no secret that the care home industry is constantly under immense pressure with an ageing population, nurse shortages, rising public expectations, limited funding support and new regulations under the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Enter the CHAP Programme

The CHAP Programme was developed, first and foremost, with our residents in mind, and reflects their changing needs. It also recognises a need to establish a professional development path for our experienced Care Assistants (with a level 3 qualification in Health and Social Care), empowering them to take on more responsibility, learn new skills and further support our Registered Nurses.

What is the CHAP Programme? Bridging the gap between carers and nurses

So, what is the CHAP Programme and what does it entail?

The CHAP Programme was first introduced in 2015, and thanks to the commitment of our learning and development team, the role has evolved into a highly converted position among our Care Assistant teams. Since the CHAP programme was introduced over 200 Care Assistants have graduated and are supporting nurses in delivering special resident experiences.  The programme is to be completed over 12 weeks and is divided into six modules; Enhancing Resident Experiences, Leadership, Clinical Procedures, Management of Conditions, Communication and Maintaining a Safe Environment.

CHAP Resources | Supporting ongoing training and development

Of course, we don’t expect our trainee CHAPs to complete the training all by themselves – in fact there are many resources to support their blended learning along the way. Firstly, and somewhat most importantly, they are supported by a Mentor who will provide on-the-job training and work alongside them for the duration of the programme providing feedback to ensure they are on track. Trainee CHAPs are provided with a portfolio and reflective diary to help guide them through the whole training process, and are given at least 4 hours of protected time, which they are expected to dedicate to the CHAP Programme. There is also support from the Resident Experience Team, furthermore peer support is available online in the CHAP forum and CHAP Chats.

CHAP Today | CHAPter One

Recently we announced the launch of the CHAPter 1 programme. This is a voluntary programme for Care Assistants who are thinking about becoming CHAPs, or who may have been unsuccessful with their original application. We have designed CHAPter 1 using Four Seasons Health Care's visions and values at its heart. It aims to give potential CHAPS the knowledge, skills and confidence to be able to successfully complete a CHAP application, assessment and interview.

We now have CHAPter 1, CHAPter 2 and also CHAP Mentors forums where CHAPs, aspiring CHAPs, trainee CHAPs and CHAP Mentors can network and keep up to date with the latest developments. The forums are informal and friendly, great for keeping in touch with CHAP Leads and colleagues!

Our CHAPS

The CHAP role is proving to be extremely valuable not only in helping deliver great care for all our residents, improving resident and family satisfaction, but also in increasing team morale! I look forward to attending many more graduations as we continue to roll-out the programme across the UK. At the heart of everything we do are our residents and colleagues. With this in mind the role will continue to evolve and I am looking forward to the next CHAPter!

If you are currently working at Four Seasons Health Care speak to your Home Manager about enrolling in the CHAP programme. If you are currently looking for a vacancy and are interested in becoming a CHAP with Four Seasons Health Care, you can browse our current CHAP vacancies here.

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Author:

Louise Morris

As Care Home Assistant Practitioner (CHAP) Lead I work to support the rollout of the CHAP Qualification across the UK. The CHAP role aims to provide Care Assistants with the knowledge, skills and confidence to take on more responsibility within our homes. We couldn’t provide outstanding care without the work of every member of the care team and we want to support all our colleagues in their professional development. I am lucky enough to see our Care Assistants take this next exciting step in their professional care career.

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Four Seasons Health Care has over 260 care homes across the UK with 17,000 colleagues providing care and support for 16,000 residents

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