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15. What does The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism cover?

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism  content has been developed with reference to tier 1 and tier 2 capabilities contained within the Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting People with a Learning Disability and the Core Capabilities Framework for Supporting Autistic People.

Both frameworks are nationally recognised and have been developed to provide a focus on the skills, knowledge and behaviours expected for staff offering services to autistic people and people with a learning disability.

All staff that require a general awareness of the support for autistic people or people with a learning disability are advised that they need to cover all of the tier 1 capabilities in the frameworks. Tier 1 of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism covers all the Core Capabilities Frameworks’ tier 1 capabilities.

Staff with responsibility for providing care, support or healthcare, including social care and other professionals with a high degree of autonomy, are expected to complete the Tier 2 of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training which includes content on: 

  • Avoiding diagnostic overshadowing

  • Frequently co-occurring conditions (co-morbidities)

  • The laws: Mental Capacity Act, Human Rights Act, Autism Act, Equality Act

  • Reasonable adjustments including hospital passports,

  • Appropriate application of DNACPR

  • Culture (professional bias and subconscious beliefs); professional behaviour and impact on outcomes and other people’s behaviour

  • How to communicate in accessible ways

  • How to understand what the person (and their family) is saying

  • Ask Listen Do

  • Learning from LeDer

Depending on their role, staff may require further capabilities in addition to those covered in the Tier 2 package. It is the responsibility of employers to determine any further capabilities their staff need and to put in place the appropriate provisions.

Employers should refer to the frameworks to ensure their staff have the capabilities they need for their roles.

16. Will Oliver's Training be updated?

Oliver’s Training content will be reviewed and updated as needed at regular intervals to account for legislative changes, new research, and ensure the training covers the most essential capabilities for health and social care staff. 

17. How will Oliver's Training be quality assured?

NHS England is seeking to appoint an organisation to accredit the delivery of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism. 

In the meantime, NHS England are working with partners to train and approve trainers to ensure the high-quality delivery of Oliver’s Training.

18. Can employers and trainers supplement Oliver’s Training to make it relevant to the audience and local services?

Oliver’s Training delivers learning outcomes on both learning disability and autism and provides a foundation for all staff across health and social care. The standard learning packages are relevant to all staff from across all health and social care services.

Where appropriate, approved trainers will augment Oliver’s Training to make the session relevant, context-specific and impactful for attendees.

Approved trainers can use service, professional and local examples and case studies to make the standardised material relevant to their audience. Facilitating trainers bring their knowledge and experience of services, disciplines and LeDeR findings.  Autistic co-trainers and co-trainers with a learning disability bring their own lived experience and experience of services.

There are resources within Oliver’s Training such as video case studies that trainers can match to the audience. These resources, developed for the health and social care sectors, will be added to over time in response to feedback and suggestions. Only approved trainers have access to the training resources and have permission to use.

19. Can employers and trainers be flexible in how they deliver Oliver’s training? 

Training providers can be pragmatic about delivering Oliver’s Training whilst remaining consistent with the delivery model.  

For example, part 2 of Oliver’s Training is always co-delivered with experts with lived experience.  

Part 2 of Tier 1 is a live 1-hour online interactive session.  If it serves the participants and trainers better this can be delivered face to face. The trainers will decide how best to manage features such as polls in the room. 

Part 2 of Tier 2 is face to face training that takes a day to deliver. The first session focuses on learning disability, this is followed by training on autism. It is not necessary for the training to be delivered all in one day.  What is important is the learning disability session is delivered first.  This is because there is material in the autism session that refers to learning in the learning disability part of the training.  

Some training providers have also asked if they can have more than the 30 attendees in the Tier 2 training. This is OK as long as the number of experts by experience co-trainers in the room is increased to maintain the required ratios and they have the support they need. 

Where appropriate, approved trainers will augment Oliver’s Training to make the session relevant, context-specific and impactful for attendees.   Please see question 17 for more details. 

Local example 

Coventry Training Consortium has delivered Tier 2 training to social care organisations as two half day sessions.  

Julie Wilcockson, lead trainer, said: “Delivering flexibly as two half day sessions – the learning disability session one day and then the autism the next day – supports employers in social care to release their staff and maintain service delivery. It also allows staff to process their learning from the learning disability session on day 1 and engage with the autism session on day 2.” 

20. Will Oliver's Training be part of the Core Skills Training Framework (CSFT)?

A programme to optimise, rationalise and reform how all statutory and mandatory training is delivered has been initiated, led by NHS England and the Oliver McGowan training will be considered as part of the reform workstream of this programme with an aim to have a new statutory and mandatory training framework produced by December 2024 and new learning content launched in 2025. 

In the meantime, there is no plan to change The Core Skills Training Framework which covers 11 core subjects.  The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is additional to these as it was launched after the Core Skills Framework was last published in June 2021.

21. What evaluation has been carried out on The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training?

The government commissioned the development of standardised training and during 2021 training developed by three training partners was trialled across the health and care sectors. The National Development Team for Inclusion (NTDi) was appointed as the independent evaluator for the trials.

The learning and recommendations from the evaluation of the trials informed the final training packages of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism.

The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) is in the process of appointing an organisation to evaluate how The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training on Learning Disability and Autism is being implemented in practice and the impact that the training has on people with a learning disability and autistic people, their family carers, staff, and trainers.

Approved trainers are encouraged to use standardised evaluations that reflect the questions used during the trial evaluation.