Movement to Online Training in Major Charities

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2024 National Community Conference and Seminar
15 November 2023

Since the start of the COVID crisis, many aspects of working life are increasingly delivered digitally.

This has had many positive consequences, including enabling some members to achieve better work life balance through increased home working, and improving work access for disabled members or members with caring responsibilities.

However there are also risks in “digital by default”. Some members are less able to operate digitally, and there are risks of widening divides between those with necessarily face-to-face front line roles and supporting or office staff able to take advantage of greater flexibility on hours or work location.

One particular trend of concern among members working for major charities is the increasing desire to deliver training remotely. In some cases this is a very suitable method of delivery, but in others this is less clear. For example, training in the use of hoists or dispensing of medicines, where it is important that the person being trained can demonstrate practical and physical competence, not just theoretical understanding, before they can be considered properly qualified.

In some cases, for example in Dimensions, a blended approach of online theoretical training followed by testing of competence face-to-face, has been employed. This has met the concerns of reps across all areas about the adequacy of the training provided, though they continue to press for fully face-to-face training where this is the most appropriate teaching model.

Conference calls upon the Community Service Group Executive to:

a)Support reps and branches in pressing for continued face-to-face training where that is the best option to achieve training objectives.

b)Support reps and branches to push for appropriate assessment, including face-to-face, where an online model is used by the employer.

c)Gather any examples of good or poor practice which arise and to share and publicise best practice examples with branches

d)Work with the bargaining support unit to update relevant bargaining guidance on this issue