Staff Development at core of Barchester's workforce commitment

Barchester Healthcare was the first company to sign up to the Social Care Commitment, an agreement about workforce quality between all parts of adult social care in England, as 12 Barchester leaders graduated at New College in Oxford.

The Barchester graduates all completed their studies through Barchester's very own Business School which is accredited with ILM and IMCA. Five achieved certificates and diplomas in management and the remaining seven successfully completed their Masters in Management following the two-year programme. This is what is at the heart of the Social Care Commitment - providing staff with the right training and clear direction to want to engage and improve workforce quality.

Bill Wilson, Property Services Director at Barchester was one of this year’s graduates, and said: “I and a few others were awarded a Masters Degree in Management. The graduation culminated almost two years of studies and hard work.”

The premise of the Masters degree is to identify a business problem, consider possible solutions, select and justify one and then implement it. The solution chosen must provide a Return on Investment (ROI) and therefore the results must be measured.”

Bill wanted to reduce the amount of carbon Barchester emits through its operations. The solution selected was an employee engagement scheme. This is known as The Green Leaf Standard and has now been fully implemented group-wide with many homes significantly reducing their carbon emissions.

Dr Terry Tucker, Director of Learning, Organisational Development and Hospitality, and Dean of the Business School, said: “More than 40 leaders have now graduated through our very own Business School and many of them have been promoted during or after their programmes; it's a great initiative and supports the development of our leaders. We have 40 leaders starting in our new  at the end of this month, with a number of them working towards our MSc in Clinical Leadership. We feel that signing up to the Social Care Commitment reinforces our expectations of, and our offer to, all our staff."

Each one of Barchester’s homes is encouraged to become a Centre of Excellence in Learning and Development. The first group to be certified will receive accolades at Westminster Kingsway College this October. Also the next Business School cohort has just begun and it is the largest one yet!