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Learning & Development Strategy

2011 2014
Background and Introduction

Training is too often seen as a separate activity, not closely associated with the work staff undertake
or aimed at helping them to do it better. St Mungos is proactively working towards a shift in its
approach to learning that encourages less training and classroom based and more learning and
workplace based.

More people need to get involved in learning and development and across St Mungos and the culture
of improving staff ability and capability will be treated as an important competence for managers.

The overall aim of this strategy is to provide a structured but flexible approach to learning that will
enable staff to meet the operational needs, service standards of the organisation and contribute
strategically to the delivery of St Mungos business objectives and priorities.

St Mungos continues to face challenges both internally and externally. The extension of its business
base to areas outside London is beginning to show results with contracts being won in Reading and
Bristol. The possible financial challenges and the ability of staff to be abstracted from projects will
mean that we will continue to be dynamic in the way we deliver learning and development
interventions.

Our Vision

Our vision is to create a motivated, competent and qualified workforce, that is fully equipped with the
skills and knowledge required to deliver our range of services at a standard of professionalism and
quality that is recognised and emanated within the social care sector.

St.Mungos is therefore committed to Learning and Development activities which balance the
requirements of:

Statutory, mandatory and essential requirements.


Organisational objectives and priorities.
Professional and national occupational standards relevant to the housing, health and social
care sectors.
Individual and personal aspirations for development.

We aim to ensure that learning and development has a measurable impact on the performance of
individuals, teams and the organisation as a whole and that learning and development is nurtured
through a range of organisational processes and systems such as induction, appraisals, supervision,
personal development plans, master classes and action learning, coaching and mentoring.

Fundamentally learning and development will be underpinned by the following set of core principles:

That learning and development is an integral part of the business planning process within
St.Mungos.

To ensure that staff are provided with a range of flexible learning and development options
which grant all employees equal access to learning and development opportunities.

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To ensure that the learning and development achievements of staff are recognised and
rewarded.

To encourage staff and managers to take responsibility for their own learning and
development.

To ensure that managers are responsible for identifying and leading on the learning and
development of their teams/departments.

That appraisal and review process is a critical part of identifying and planning the learning and
development needs of staff at all levels of the organisation.

Scope

This strategy applies to all full-time, part-time permanent staff and long term contract employees of
St.Mungos. Learning and development needs of volunteers/locums and those employees on a short-
term contract will need to be identified as part of their local induction and requests for training and
development made to the training department.

Purpose

The purpose of St.Mungos Learning and Development Strategy is to provide a structured framework
for learning and development that offers employees a range of routes to continuous professional
development and enables continuous improvements to the services currently delivered by
St.Mungos. This strategy will be implemented and reviewed in line with St.Mungos strategic
business objectives for 2010 2014.

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Learning and Development Priorities and alignment to St Mungos strategic business
objectives for 2011/2014

1. Help St Mungos to link all its learning and development directly to its business objectives
and to improve performance

We will do this by:

Ensuring we are clear about why we undertake learning and development interventions. In
order that we meet our business objectives we need staff who have the right competences
and who share our values. So we propose that the reason for any learning and development
should always be to improve the performance of our staff in meeting the business
objectives.

Focusing around performance improvement through the use of competency based delivery
and effective evaluation. Staff and managers will be encouraged to ask the question is this
learning and development idea the best way to improve my/your performance?

Working at senior level - Learning & Development will consult top management about
critical corporate skills issues to meet the business objectives. Executive Management should
expect to receive impact evaluation reports that allow the costs and benefits of corporate wide
learning to be systematically analysed.

Working at area level, group and project level - Learning & Development will collaborate
with Directors, Service Managers and Area Managers to help create Staff Development Plans
that support their services and projects in making their contribution to the business objectives.

Working at individual level - staff will have support in determining what learning and
development solutions will address their performance improvement (including immediate
personal development and longer term career related) issues. They will also be able to see
more clearly and consistently how their own personal improvement fits with their areas
contribution to the business objectives.

Providing bespoke support to all concerned in a more sophisticated manner other than
choosing from a list of classroom-based courses. For example it will include coaching
arrangements and modular e-learning. It will involve support from other practitioners outside
Learning & Development such as mentors; coaches, and in particularly their line managers.

2. To prevent the causes and consequences of homelessness and exclusion

We will do this by:

The Learning & Development function shifting its efforts away from being a course provider
and administrator and towards being more consultative, facilitative and advisory role.

Taking a more proactive and accountable approach to developing its stakeholder contacts
around St Mungos.

Improving the visibility of the Learning & Development function and developing its structure so
as to be in a better position to support the whole organisation. It will spend more time trying to
understand the business of its stakeholders in the various departments before offering

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solutions Advisors will be placed within the business areas to support and advise on specific
needs of teams and individuals.

3. To equip people to realise their potential

We will do this by:

St.Mungos belief that their staff is its most valued asset and that a continuous process of
learning and development is critical in both influencing and enabling the contributions they
make towards the organisations success.

Reiterating that as a learning organisation we strive towards creating a culture where staff
and employees are encouraged to share their skills and knowledge and utilise their expertise
as a measure of influencing and developing best practice.

St.Mungos will operate within a culture of growing our own expertise and will seek to expand
and maximise the potential of its existing workforce and proactively work towards selling our
training expertise externally.

Seeking to ensure that learning and development is embraced at every level of the
organisation and that Managers develop management and leadership skills that enable them
to effectively coach, motivate and continuously develop the competence of their staff through
the use of reflective practice. These may be applied through the use of induction, supervision,
appraisal and personal development plans.

Learning & Development work with stakeholder user groups to, for example;

assess activity reports and costs.

evaluate the effectiveness of learning and development solutions against previously


agreed needs.

agree innovative and cost effective learning and development approaches.

review learning and development policy.

Providing opportunities for more participatory and active learning and assessment, both
online and within physical learning environments. Learning and Development will also;

Build and strengthen the capacity of its internal team and wider stakeholders in
blended approaches and e-learning techniques.

Maintain and review the existing Learning Management System (CLICK).

Review all present and future courses that are delivered via e-learning or through
blended learning approaches.

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4. To put recovery at the heart of everything we do by delivering services which are creative
and of demonstrable quality

We will do this by; 4.

Fostering closer relationships with our stakeholders most especially clients and continue to
share examples of best practice across St Mungos.

Further developing a Learning Management System (LMS) that will enhance stakeholder
contact by providing people across with a ready source of accessible training modules,
information and guidance.

Harnessing existing staff with good training capability (these include Certificate in Training
Practice and Qualifications in Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector, PTTLS).

Whilst significant progress has been made delivering training internally, there is still some
independent delivery of training solutions, which are outside of Learning & Development.

This has resulted in duplication of effort, as well as inconsistent training approaches. In order
to be able to ensure a consistent approach to the delivery of training around the ethos of
recovery and client centred services both to staff and clients, all staff and some clients will
continue to be given the opportunity to advance and develop training skills in line with the
national standards in Adult Education.

Ensuring that Learning & Development is instrumental in the provision of support for the
Apprentice Scheme and will provide fully supported training to all successful apprentices and
also support managers and staff who supervise employed apprentices.

5. To influence policy which affects homeless and excluded people

We will do this by;

Effectively supporting St Mungos to translate relevant policy into practice through a range of
learning and training interventions.

The Learning & Development supporting staff to achieve the capacity to influence and
advocate on both a local and national level. This may be through specific training or coaching.

Ensuring St Mungos management development programme develops staff and managers to


gain strategic and operational leadership skills that facilitate the above priority.