Leading Change in the Care Sector Through Learning

By Sherry House


For employers in the care sector, it is essential that staff are trained in the skills and knowledge that form good care practices. That’s why, in September 2022, Hart Learning & Development launched a new Level 4 Lead Practitioner in Adult Care programme with a focus on evidence-based practice and individual research. The programme is targeted at those aiming to progress into middle management or more senior leadership roles and provides an established pathway into a Level 5 Management qualification.


Find out more about why the Level 4 Lead Practitioner Programme is a strong choice for your organisation in the following article from Sherry House, Programme Manager for Hart Learning & Development.


Hart Learning & Development’s new Level 4 Lead Practitioner in Adult Care programme provides benefits to both individuals and employers. Individual learners gain a greater understanding of the expertise that’s required of them in the role and the opportunity to lead specific areas of practice. The programme also enables employers to upskill their workforce and ensure they have highly skilled staff within their teams, supporting quick internal progression and reaffirming that staff possess the relevant understanding and qualifications.


The programme provides a focus on the academic side of Lead Practitioner roles, developing learners’ abilities to incorporate evidence-based practice into their specialist care unit – an essential element of working in the care sector. Evidence-based practice involves using recognised models and theories to influence the practice an individual delivers.


At Hart Learning & Development, we encourage learners to understand how research can influence practice and why this is important through the individual research project component, which we consider to be one of the most significant parts of the programme. Undertaken by all learners, the individual research project presents the opportunity for learners to focus their study on a specialist area which resonates with their own work in the sector. This could include a specific type of care and patient, such as supporting individuals in the community with learning difficulties or who are living with dementia, specific care and therapy practices such as music or reminiscence therapy, or strategies for care such as supporting patients’ hydration and nutrition.


Learners on the programme spend time researching and developing their knowledge of their choice of a subject before considering how they can apply this newfound information to their service and care within their own unit. Upon completion of the project, learners feel equipped with the confidence to make recommendations regarding further care development opportunities.

This programme is close to my heart and I’m proud that Hart Learning & Development now offers this qualification. I believe we need to support the next level of managers to be able to both understand the importance of evidence-based practice and how they can utilise this to lead high-quality care provisions, which is why I’ve pushed for this qualification to be included in our training offer.


The learners that we’ve seen come through this programme so far are fantastic. They are a big cohort, but you can see that they are taking so much from the programme and are developing their practice as they learn. It is fantastic to see their enthusiasm and commitment to the programme.


In addition, we have already received positive feedback from employers in the care sector regarding the new programme. Claire Ding, the Qualification Support Coordinator with Quantum Care, said:


“This was a new qualification for us, so Hart L+D explained the units and criteria so we could ensure it was the right qualification for our needs. We then worked closely with Hart L+D as we wanted to personalise the programme to Quantum Care’s values. This personal involvement has helped our learners to see the programme as being very relevant to their own development.


“We like the relationship we have with Sherry and Hart L+D’s team of assessors. We get to know each one [of the assessors] personally and we have a trusting two-way relationship as a result. This means that either side can raise questions and challenges and come to a joint agreement. We have regular meetings so that we have an up-to-date overview of learners’ progress. It always feels like a real team effort… I sometimes forget that Sherry and the assessors don’t actually work for Quantum as they are an integral part of our learning and development strategy. I see them as colleagues.”


I am proud of the role Hart Learning & Development is playing in the professional development of care workers and look forward to seeing the positive changes they enact in the future.

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