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Brook’s opportunities for learning and development

Brook’s Head of Quality Rachel Smith is leading on Brook’s innovative workforce development plan. Here she tells us why it’s so important to invest in the development of our staff and what the journey looks like so far.

Brook has a workforce that is dedicated, passionate about the work we do and committed to ensuring the best possible outcomes for our service users. It is also a workforce that prides itself on an enthusiasm to learn, grow and develop – and to achieve this in a collaborative and supportive way.  

We have always been excited about learning and development at Brook – we know our staff thrive on the opportunity to learn and also contribute to the growth and development of others.  

Our challenge is to equip our workforce with the skills, knowledge, confidence and experiences it needs to fulfil multi-skilled roles; to provide clear progression routes and to explore a range of options that will help us increase our capacity to deliver excellence. 

We are continuously increasing the amount of investment we make in our people and organisational development.

Without sounding like a cliché, our staff are our biggest asset – and we really mean that! We know that by investing in staff we can make the biggest difference to our clients. 

We have recently consulted with our staff to understand their needs and aspirations in relation to training and development and we are now underway with an exciting plan that has been built around those needs. Our priorities include a continued open dialogue to understand the changing and complex needs of our workforce; ensuring we standardise our induction and core programmes so that staff across the country have accessibility to quality programmes.

We are enhancing our mandatory training offer as well as adding value with new and exciting opportunities. We are strengthening our progression routes and developing opportunities that support staff to reach their career goals. We are also building upon our fantastic reputation in the delivery of professional’s training to include clinical workforce training.  

Our goal is to ensure everyone in the organisation has the opportunity to access a dynamic development programme – one that provides challenge, lots of stimulus meets differing learning needs and supports retention or progression.

In the past year we have introduced a range of resources, opportunities and programmes that have included: 

  • Webinars created by our staff around a range of topics including HIV awareness, pleasure, sexual harassment, pornography and supporting special educational needs 
  • Informal networking sessions around each topic with the opportunity to ask subject experts questions, share experiences and explore best practice 
  • A range of topic based live training in areas such as trauma informed practice, gendered intelligence, mental health first aid and unconscious bias  
  • Longer term training programmes that include non-nursing competencies – a programme developed by our clinicians to support non-clinically trained staff in areas such as sexually transmitted infections, blood borne viruses and history taking / risk assessments 
  • Leadership and management training including a 6 month blended programme to support middle managers that includes Open University e-learning, externally facilitated group and individual coaching sessions 
  • Webinars, Q&A sessions and resources that support work planning, appraisals and individual development 
  • A wide range of online learning through various platforms including Brook Learn – our fantastic e-learning platform, Flick, E-Learning for Health and The Open University 
  • The introduction of adult apprenticeships supporting existing staff to further their skills and qualifications 
  • A coaching and mentoring development programme to support senior leaders to become Level 5 and Level 7 workplace coaches 
  • A Level 3 Award in Education and training, Faculty Registered Trainers (FRT) development and observation / feedback of teaching and learning  
  • A range of safeguarding training at differing levels including live sessions, webinars, live case studies, Traffic Light Tool training and focus areas such as Child Sexual Exploitation in boys and young men 
  • Opportunities to participate in post graduate degrees, diplomas, apprenticeships and higher level qualifications 
  • An innovative Contraception and Sexual Health Nurse in Training programme (CASHNIT) to encourage new clinical talent in to the organisation. This is supported with face to face training, forums, mentoring and workplace practice 
  • A digital competencies framework, skill check and direct access to bite size pieces of learning  
  • An online ‘Power of Digital’ conference  

This is just an overview – the learning opportunities are endless and are underpinned with continuous informal learning and mentoring, individual training journeys and a structured performance management programme. Our opportunities are developed by our staff who are experienced clinicians, sexual and reproductive health experts, FRT’s, teachers, social workers, youth workers and senior leaders.  100% of our staff rate our internal training as very good or good.  

We work with external providers who are experts in their field such as Mental Health First Aid England, Animo and Clore Leadership and The Faculty of Sexual and Reproductive Healthcare to name but a few. We also accredit a range of programmes through credible providers such as The Institute of Leadership and Management, The Continued Professional Development certification service, The Royal Society for Public Health and Open Awards. We are also proud holders of Matrix – the international standard for Information, Advice and Guidance. 

We are really fortunate to have clinicians, educators, senior leaders and central service staff working together to develop bespoke learning and development experiences. This ensures our staff are confident, competent and motivated to be the best they can at the brilliant work they do.  

At Brook we know that this is an ongoing journey and we are continuously growing our learning and development offer. The range and scope of professional and personal development is huge, and the possibilities are endless.  

Visit our website to find our current career opportunities