This course is primarily delivered face-to-face with workplace-based projects, workplace-based reflective activities and observations included. This method has been chosen as the cohort are existing workers in residential aged care settings.
The variety of activities has been designed to meet the typical learning needs of the cohort in relation to computer literacy, language and numeracy. The methods used recognise that existing workers seeking to obtain the Certificate IV qualification need to be suitably challenged to develop specialist skills and knowledge in ageing support.
The key learning areas within the course are:
POLICY AND PARTNERSHIPS DEVELOPMENT
Throughout the course, students explore the nature of collaboration in face-to-face sessions and, how professional networks and partnerships can benefit the organisation and older people in residential facilities. To gain practical experience, students engage in a simulated activity to develop a partnership with an external service provider that could expand the scope of services and resources available to older people within the facility using a continuous improvement framework and process.
REFLECTIVE PRACTICE & LEARNING TRANSFER
There is a strong expectation in the contemporary community services industry that workers develop reflective skills and practices. We recognise that reflective practitioners are more resilient, dynamic and robust in their approach to working with clients. As such, reflective practice activities and assessments are threaded throughout the course to provide each learner with a variety of different opportunities to develop strong reflective capabilities.
Learning transfer describes the percentage of new knowledge that an individual learner transfers into their everyday work so it becomes habitual practice. Each learner is therefore required to establish a learning transfer action plan to support their goal-oriented learning journey which is underpinned by reflective activities.
PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE FRAMEWORKS
As a specialist practitioner in ageing support environments, workers must develop a strong sense of self-awareness regarding their individual practice framework. This framework must be underpinned by ethical practice.
Using reflective process and dialogue, students are challenged to develop a refined professional practice framework to guide the work they do in ageing support. This framework will typically have four domains:
- Beliefs and cultural frameworks
- Theoretical orientations
- Skills, knowledge and attitude
INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT FRAMEWORKS
It is essential for students to develop well-refined skills and knowledge in providing individual support to older people in residential aged care settings.
Students will examine:
- Person centred care frameworks
- Strengths based practice
- Holistic practice
To enable each student to strengthen their skills in individual support frameworks, they are required to complete three separate stories of practice which are workplace-based assessment activities. In community services work, a story of practice is a method used to help practitioners build a picture of their current approach, skills and strengths and to identify opportunities for improvement.
The stories of practice are completed through work-based activities in relation to dementia care, palliative care and working collaboratively with families and carers.
MENTORING & LEADERSHIP
Students will explore important leadership theories such as emotional intelligence and leadership styles. It is acknowledged that not all graduates will pursue leadership roles; however, leadership skills are essential for learners coordinating service delivery activities and mentoring other staff in the workplace.
Learners explore the processes that underpin the coordination of services to older people, completing a risk assessment and providing quality service delivery.