The PMA were delighted to play a key part in the national launch of the ‘Excellence in Supporting Healthcare’ certificate on 1st October.

This was a stimulating and informative afternoon held at Hatfields Conference Centre in London SE1. The event  was the culmination of a successful collaboration between the PMA, Our Healthier South East London STP and itslearning UK to develop the ongoing work of Dr Jackie Tavabie to create a comprehensive and accredited online programme for the non-clinical workforce in the primary, secondary, allied professional, social care and voluntary sectors.

The event attracted a wide range of employers and managers from across these areas, including representatives from practices, care homes, GP Federations, social prescribing, the voluntary sector, HEE, hospitals, CCGs, NHS Improvement, NHSX and NHS England and it engendered much discussion.

Kicking off at 2pm with a welcome from Paul White, Associate Programme Director of OHSEL STP, the agenda consisted of 2 presentations and some interactive Q & A sessions.

Dr Jackie Tavabie – GP and Clinical Lead for Workforce Development OHSEL, explained the journey so far, which started several years ago with her vision of a generic competency framework ranging from level 2 to Level 4 for all non-clinical employees. She outlined why there was such a need for a consistent training and clear career pathway for this area of the health and social care workforce and highlighted the work and piloting models which had occurred to enable this point to be reached. Five CEPNs in south east London had been instrumental in testing different training models and styles and supplying feedback and insights.

She identified what the pilot groups had agreed as key requirements of any programme going forward and how this resulted in working alongside the PMA to create an online programme to offer the 8 core Level 2 competencies to fulfil these expectations.

These included a flexible programme, the opportunity to study close to home, clear and jargon free material, a range of adult learning styles and accreditation.

Having introduced the’ Excellence in Supporting Healthcare’ certificate pilot, Jackie then handed over to Sarah Doyle, Head of e-learning at PMA, who presented a flavour of the programme’s unique style and content. She showcased the range and variety of formats and information within the 26 units making up the 8 core competencies – whiteboards, video animations, slide presentations quizzes, podcasts and research pages to name just some of them!

She explained how this appealed to the diverse range and abilities of learners and their preferred styles of learning whether this be visual, verbal or audio and how the online medium allowed flexibility in when, where and how individuals learn.

The audience then viewed a brief animated demonstration of the programme giving an insight into the various topics covered.

You can see a short video demonstration of the programme here.

Sarah highlighted the responsibility of any online programme to empower the learner, giving them choice and responsibility for their learning, and the power of it to enhance digital literacy and IT skills in the health and social care non-clinical workforce. She was keen to stress that underlying the entire programme was the commitment to prepare the non-clinical workforce for the changing requirements and expectations within their roles and an understanding of ongoing changes such as, increased collaboration with other agencies in the community and a focus upon preventable, personalised care.

She used the ‘Organising and Networking’ module to demonstrate this with a closer look at the 3 units – Social prescribing; Multi-agency working and Housing and Welfare Rights.

Both speakers were keen to emphasize the importance of the collaboration from a number of different agencies which had made this project a success and, most importantly, the role of the pilot learners who were crucial in providing clear, objective learner feedback from a relevant workforce which could be incorporated in the final programme.

Finally, Jackie held a question and answer session including observations from a pilot learner and from a Programme Manager who was positive about the possible impact of the course on the non-clinical workforce and acknowledged the work which had taken place to action the pilot feedback.

There were numerous questions generated from the audience and Jackie closed by summarising further development being planned for the competency framework.

This online programme is the first of its kind in the NHS, delivering a wide range of core non-clinical transferable, topics and skills across health and social care, embracing the new developments and ways of working in these sectors. 

If you would like more information about our e-learning programmes, please contact the PMA Team at