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The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism

Enabling the health and social care workforce to better support people with a learning disability and autistic people.

Oliver's campaign ®Updated: 22 December 2022

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism has been co-produced, trialled, independently evaluated and will be co-delivered by trainers with lived experience of learning disability and autism.   

In July the Health and Care Act 2022 introduced a requirement that regulated service providers ensure their staff receive training on learning disability and autism which is appropriate to the person’s role.    

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is the standardised training that was developed for this purpose and is the government's preferred and recommended training for health and social care staff to undertake.  It is named after Oliver McGowan, whose death shone a light on the need for health and social care staff to have better training. It is the only training with permission to include Paula McGowan OBE, telling Oliver's story and explaining why the training is taking place.   

An elearning package is the first part of both Tier 1 and Tier 2 of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training and is now live. Everyone will need to do the elearning no matter where they work and what tier they need to complete. The next part is either a live one hour online interactive session for those needing Tier 1,or, a 1-day face to face training for people who require Tier 2.   

HEE is working with partners to arrange trainer’s training that will prepare people with a learning disability and autistic people to co-deliver the online interactive and face to face sessions of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism. Each Integrated Care Board (ICB) is being supported to develop training capacity. Those sessions are expected to be available from early in 2023.  

If you are offered an online session or face to face training today, it is not The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism. Future updates will be shared widely and made available on this page and the Frequently Asked Questions webpage. Please check these pages regularly for details.    

About the training   

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is delivered in one of two Tiers. It is the employers’ responsibility to ensure their staff have the appropriate training for their roles and they will need to advise staff on whether they should complete Tier 1 or Tier 2. HEE recently developed The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training Tier guidance for employers with examples. Employers may also find the NDTi report on involving experts by experience helpful.

Tier 1  

Tier 1 of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is for people who require general awareness of the support autistic people or people with a learning disability may need.   

Tier 2  

Tier 2 of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is for people who may need to provide care and support for autistic people or people with a learning disability.   

Training Structure  

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is standardised and to complete it individuals must:    

  • Complete the elearning package and for    

  • Tier 1 – the 1 hour online interactive session co-delivered by a person with a learning disability and an autistic person along with a facilitator or    

  • Tier 2 – the 1day face to face training co-delivered a person with a learning disability and an autistic person and trainer   

We understand it may take up to six months to complete both parts in the early stages as capacity to deliver the online interactive and face to face elements build for The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism.  

 What will be available and when?   

The elearning package is now live on the elearning for healthcare website. To ensure the training is recorded on staff records, employers will need to inform their employees how and when The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training should be completed.    

The trainers’ training and the final The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training package will be ready in early 2023. Integrated Care Boards (ICBs) will work to develop the trainers and co-trainers they need to deliver the second, interactive, part of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism. As the number of trainers increase, so will the access to the interactive online sessions and face to face delivery. Each ICB will make its own decisions about how it organises and prioritises its activity.  

Express my interest to get involved

 If you would like to get involved as an expert by experience, an employer or an education provider, please complete one of the following:

The details you submit in the form will be sent to HEE who will be arranging The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism in your region.     

Additional information:   

  • To help employers involve people with a learning disability and autistic people in co-delivering The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism, HEE has published involving people with lived experience guidance.

  • The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism Training requires the learner to complete the elearning launched on 1 November 2022, and the corresponding standardised online interactive session or face to face training which will commence in early 2023.   

  • Tier 1 training covers all the Tier 1 capabilities of both the Core Capabilities Frameworks for supporting people who have a learning disability and autistic people.   

  • Tier 2 training covers a careful selection of the learning outcomes from the Core Capabilities Frameworks’ Tier 2 capabilities, in addition to all the Tier 1 capabilities.   

  • Individuals only need to do one training package either Tier 1 or Tier 2, whichever is most appropriate to their role.  

  • Depending on their role, staff may require further capabilities in addition to those covered in the Tier 2 Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism package. It is the responsibility of employers to determine any further capabilities their staff need and to put in place the appropriate provisions.
  • Employers must continue to review the training needs of their staff and provide relevant training for each role.   

Information about The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism   

Where did it come from?  

In November 2019, the government published 'Right to be heard' in its response to the consultation on proposals for introducing mandatory learning disability and autism training for health and social care staff.  

The response included a commitment to develop a standardised training package. The training draws on existing best practice, the expertise of people with a learning disability, autistic people and family carers as well as subject matter experts.  

The Health and Care Act 2022  

The government has now introduced, from 1 July, a requirement for CQC registered service providers to ensure their employees receive learning disability and autism training appropriate to their role. This is to ensure the health and social care workforce have the right skills and knowledge to provide safe, compassionate and informed care to autistic people and people with a learning disability. This requirement is set out in the Health and Care Act 2022.  

The Secretary of State is required to publish a Code of Practice, which will make provisions about the nature of the training including the content, delivery and ongoing evaluation of the training. The government must carry out a public consultation on the Code of Practice. The timings of the consultation are currently being considered.   

What next?    

We are supporting local systems to access the trainer courses as soon as they are finalised, in early 2023. Providers will work together to develop training capacity and offer places on the standardised training.        

You can use The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism Communication Pack to share the information with your networks. The communication pack is a live document and is updated frequently to reflect the training progress and currently encourages users to promote the elearning and the expression of interest form. It aims to ensure everyone is well informed, shares the right messages about The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training and promotional resources such as posters and newsletter content. 

Where can I find out more?  

This webpage and the Frequently Asked Questions webpage will be updated frequently.  

You can also email The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism programme team at ommtprogramme@hee.nhs.uk.   Please contact this email address if you require any of our documents in an alternative format.

Oliver brought so much fun and happiness to our lives, he always saw the best in everything and taught us all how to challenge our own subconscious biases - Paula McGowan OBE, Oliver's Mother