SCIE press release

E-Readiness in the Social Care Sector for SCIE - Ipsos Mori Report

22 April 2013

"Substantial uptake of eLearning"

Two thirds of employers in social care use some form of eLearning, and over half of their staff are using it to improve the service they offer.

Those are the key findings in a new Ipsos / MORI survey commissioned by SCIE. The study, published today, also finds that while more traditional methods such as face-to-face or on-the-job training remain widely used, there is an increased share taken by eLearning. ELearning means using information and computer technology (ICT) as the key element in improving care skills and knowledge, which might be using audio, video and interactive technology in training. Mobile technology is particularly important for people like domiciliary workers, whose jobs are "on-the-go".

SCIE's Director of Corporate Services, Stephen Goulder, says:

Social care is, by its nature, about people and eLearning can support on the job training and the sharing of sharing good practice. The Ipsos / Mori survey results are encouraging, because they provide evidence that more of us are comfortable with learning using ICT and have the necessary access to the internet. We promote e-learning because we all need to challenge the way we work, be innovative and improve the experiences of everyone who uses services, or cares for someone who does. The SCIE eLearning modules cover topics from adult safeguarding to residential childcare. Managers have a key role to play in supporting their staff to develop their ICT skills, and then in using them to support their learning. We have also provided guidance on how the lives of users of services, including those with dementia, can be enhanced through the use of ICT.

Among the findings were:

Employers and employees in registered residential and domiciliary care services in England were surveyed. Employers say that eLearning has an advantage over other learning methods at times, because it offers flexibility and control, particularly over where and when learning takes place, and because of the ability to vary the pace that e-Learning offers. It is also seen as more likely to be up-to-date and to offer opportunities to monitor care staff's progress.

Electronic learning is used by 81% of employers with managerial staff, and by 68% of employers with operational staff. A third of employers use it for at least half of all their training. However, computer skill-levels are a significant factor in employees' willingness to train using new technology and their confidence in taking up eLearning opportunities.

Findings from the survey have helped to identify where e-Learning can be most useful and can make a real difference. This is particularly in domiciliary care, supported by mobile technology, so that face-to-face and on-the-job training benefit. The findings also support the importance of making sure that care staff have ICT skills. They can then confidently use those skills, along with assistive technology, with users of services.

The findings will feed into SCIE's Get Connected programme, which aims to enable providers of care for adults in England to access ICT more effectively.

Sample data

The study looked at the social care sector's views and experiences of training using ICT.

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Media contact

Steve Palmer | Press and Public Affairs Manager | Tel: 020 7766 7419 | Mob: 07739 458 192 | Email: media@scie.org.uk