July Newsletter

End Point Assessment

At our Employer Days attendees were given the opportunity of knowing what type of questions and the style of questions that a Lead Adult Care Worker Apprentice will be completing in preparation for End Point Assessment. They were given ten questions to complete and asked for their feedback.
One of the questions that generated discussion was:

A Lead Adult Care Worker is supporting an individual who has insulin injections from a District Nurse. They notice that the District Nurse has left the used syringe in a tray on the bedside table.
How should the Lead Adult Care Worker report this?

  • As an injury.
  • As a near miss.
  • As a medication error.
  • As a safeguarding concern.

There were agreements and disagreements about the correct answer to this question which reflected discussions we,as a team have had prior to setting the task.
The answer to this question is that it is reported as a near miss.

If you are still wondering: It is reported as a “near miss” because it is a health and safety issue.

We have complied feedback received about the questions we received at the Employer Events and at our team meeting to City and Guilds.
Thank you to everyone who attended and we are sure this feedback will be listened to.

If you would like further information about End Point Assessments and how they will be conducted please do not hesitate in contacting any member of our team.

Reminder: Free bike or bus and tram travel for apprentices

Uptake from our learners has been poor so just a quick reminder:
Apprentices across Greater Manchester can get free bus and Metrolink tickets to travel to work.

The Apprentice Free Ticket Scheme offers new* apprentices ONE free 28 day bus and Metrolink ticket for them to use accessing their place of work and training. The apprentice ticket can be used on all Metrolink trams and most buses across Greater Manchester.

The ‘Apprentice Bike to Work’ scheme, offers apprentices access to free recycled bikes, cycle training and bike maintenance courses provided by TfGM. The bikes also come with cycling accessories and safety equipment such as lights and helmets.

Please let your assessor know if you are interested in any of these schemes.

*within the first 6 months of their apprenticeship start date

May Newsletter

New Learners

Thank you all for your support in managing the volume of demand in the last 2 months. We did say don’t leave it to the last minute but as predicted that is how it panned out.  Hopefully most of you have benefited from the excellent support from Nicki & Eileen to access Invest in Health funds.

It has been extremely hectic for assessors and managers. We have had 400 learners start over the last 2 months, this is quadruple our usual volume.  So please be patient as the assessors try to see them all this month. We have 3 new assessors coming!

Mr Busy


Changes for Small / Medium Employers within Apprenticeship Levy

With the introduction of the Apprenticeship Reforms and Funding Changes 2017/18 from 1st April 2017 small/medium employers will have to contribute 10% for each Apprenticeship. Funding is available for 90% of apprenticeship costs. Payments start from the 1st May 2017 for all SMEs.

Levy paying employers will have been informed that they are paying a levy and have an account. These employers will pay 90% towards an apprenticeship and funding is matched 10%.

The government website has really detailed fact sheets on how the system will work, how this can be paid and accessed, or you can contact DHA and speak to one of the Employer Engagement Officers  with any queries on what impact the new system will have to your company and to learners on future qualifications.
We are also eagerly awaiting Skills for Care announcement in May about the Workforce Development Fund for 2017/18.

National Great British Care Award – Home Care Worker of the year 2017

We send our congratulations and a big well done from the whole team to Mini Patel, who this week has won National Great British Care Award – Home Care Worker of the year 2017.

Mini works for Choice Care Blackburn and is currently undertaking his Level 5 Higher apprenticeship with DHA.

Minni Patel

National Awareness 2017

With April being National Stress Awareness Month, Skills for Care and other health care providers have joined forces to build up understanding of the topic and put strategies in place to reduce the risks factors to identify stress, as well as the importance of reducing own stress and to raise awareness of the benefits of work life balance.  We have added new resources to the well being section within Edmodo DHA learner folders with links to services and facilities.
In May the Alzheimer’s Society is asking everyone to unite against dementia.

Dementia is set to be 21st century’s biggest killer, but awareness and understanding of the condition is still low and families often are unaware of the affects. A new TV advert is also coming out soon.


National Apprenticeship Week 2017

It is the 10th anniversary of National Apprenticeship Week and events are taking place across the country 6th – 13th March.

The week will highlight the success of apprenticeships over the last decade, celebrating the positive impact on individuals, businesses and the economy. This year’s theme is “ the ladder of opportunity”, emphasising the importance of progression through the qualification levels from Intermediate, Advanced and Higher Apprenticeships.




Learner of the Year 2016/17 – Richard McFarlane

Richard works for Wirral Autism Together and was apprehensive about starting an apprenticeship. Richard has shown a real drive to achieve his qualifications and is extremely proud of his achievement. This is his story.

“In 2012 I had a stroke, which left me partially sighted along with other cognitive problems, a few months after starting work as a support worker for Autism Together, thankfully they kept my job open for me after nearly a year off sick, as I would not have been able to return to my previous career as a taxi driver and lorry driver which I did for over 30 years.

I was given the opportunity to do the Advanced Apprenticeship in Social Care. At the age of 52 I was a bit unsure if I wanted to do it or if I was capable of learning, but I surprised myself, I found it challenging but interesting.

I received excellent support from my assessor Carrie Butters who was very patient and took the time to answer any questions, especially with the Maths and English. Carrie was an organised and excellent mentor.

Completing the apprenticeship has given me confidence to do my job and made me think about my role as a support worker and the decisions I make when supporting service users”

Learner of the year

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2016/17 (Large Organisations) – Leonard Cheshire Oakwood

Corrine Waters and her senior team have shown outstanding commitment in supporting their staff undertaking apprenticeships at intermediate, advanced and higher levels. The work environment is challenging as it is a specialist service supporting individuals with an acquired brain injury. They purchased resources to support learning and provided support to individuals to enable them to complete work set, which has kept learners on target hence the dedication to completing their qualifications. Some of the support team have progressed and been promoted to a Senior role as they have developed more skills and Knowledge with in their role taking on more responsibility.

They have supported the assessors when in the building and made sure each learner attends their agreed appointment. They have excellent communication with all parties involved ie learner, seniors, assessor and management. Corrine has always been dedicated in enabling staff to learn and develop as it is essential for them to have the confidence and ability to support the clients.

Large Employer of the year

Apprenticeship Employer of the Year 2016/17 (SME) – Choice Care

Choice Care is domiciliary company based in Blackburn that provides support with aspects of daily living for individuals living in the surrounding area. Choice Care has achieved the award of SME Employer of the Year 2017 due to the Manager’s and company`s commitment to training and development of the staff team.

There is an expectation amongst all staff that they undertake and achieve their intermediate apprenticeship in Social Care. The company ensures that staff are supported to attend all necessary appointments and rotas are managed effectively around this. The Manager is closely involved in the progression and achievement of staff and on a daily basis communicates with the assessor on the progress of learners. Any problems are dealt with effectively and instantly—resulting in no loss of time or support for the learners.

All staff are encouraged and supported to progress further in their learning and many have progressed onto the advanced apprenticeship, with some being promoted and undertaking the higher apprenticeship.

Choice Care believes in supporting their staff in developing and recognising the efforts that are put in. They hold an annual Awards Evening at the local football ground, with a 3 course meal and entertainment provided as a thank you to the hard work, commitment and quality care that is provided. Awards are given related to the quality of care provided, feedback received from individuals, and the passion shown within their role. A member of staff is chosen as “Carer of the Year” and automatically entered into the national competition

SME Employer of the year

Skills for Care Endorsement

In our continual strive to be the “best” we are delighted to say that we have been endorsed by Skills for Care.

August 2017


Introducing Edmodo

Edmodo is our “Virtual Learning Environment”, it has been designed to help learners complete their qualifications, whilst gaining new skills using ICT. Our bespoke learning resources and links have been included to make the program interactive and engaging enabling learners to network with others who are also completing a qualification with DHA. Assessors will be helping learners to create an account, which they can access 24/7 helping them to learn at their own pace.

Our staff have already started to see the benefits to learners, but we need your help! The access to a wifi signal at times can be difficult, if you are able to, please help your staff wherever possible, for instance by providing them with the wifi code when they are with their assessor, this will help during the visit. Thank you in anticipation.


The Social Care Commitment – Have You Signed Up Yet?

The Social Care Commitment is the adult social care sector’s promise to provide people who need care and support with high quality services. You can learn more here.

August-2017-SCC-training-provider-logo cropped

Team News

June saw a new member of staff join DHA. Jude Montgomery joins us as an assessor. Jude is a trained nurse, and has lots of experience in health and social having recently been working in Residential Care, specialising in End of Life Care and supporting students with Maths and English.

Although Jo Moorcroft’s new arrival is not an official team member, we are pleased to congratulate Jo on the safe arrival of her daughter – Madison born in June weighing a healthy 8lb, Congratulations to Jo and her family.

Summer Team Day 2016 – It’s A Knockout!

If you grew up in the 70`s you will remember this popular Saturday night TV programme. It involved teams competing in activities that meant dressing up, getting wet, falling over and having fun.

Being a go getting and can do team DH Associates fielded a team of 5 willing volunteers at the Greater Merseyside Learning Providers Federation event for training providers; Tracy Bradley (Brad Example), Tom (Tominator), Max (Maximum Damage), Kellie (Kamikaze Kellie) and Michelle (Bombshell).

The event became our annual team day with the rest of the team as cheerleaders.

There were 18 teams at the warm up, who looked fitter, healthier and younger than us. Their average age was 24 compared to our 45.Luckily there were some activities that involved brains as well as brawn which gave DHA an unwitting advantage to our vintage team. It was a great achievement to only miss out on a place in the final by coming fifth. We had a great day cheering on our team and enjoying the rare sunshine.

SAM_0504 SAM_0526 SAM_0554 SAM_0564

Macmillan Coffee Morning

We are holding a Macmillan coffee morning on the 22nd September 2016 at DHA offices 10 am. All are welcome, we have some excellent bakers in the team, so please feel free to come along to support this event and enjoy a cake and coffee.

macmillan coffee

Ofsted Outstanding

We’re so proud to have been graded Ofsted Outstanding in all areas.

We are the first Independent Learning Provider of Apprenticeships to have been graded Outstanding since the new standards were introduced last year.

You can read our full report here


Accolades Winners!

We are delighted to be winners of the Skills for Care Accolade for Best Provider of Learning and Development.

We received the award in the evening after the Skills For Care Annual Conference. Many thanks to all of our Staff, Employers and Learners – we couldn’t have done it without you all!

Accolades Winners

Learner Of The Year 2015

We would like to congratulate our Leaner of the Year 2015 – Michelle Turner from Looking Forward Activities

Michelle owns Looking Forward Activities, a company providing support and activity groups to young adults with a learning disability. Michelle has completed the Higher Apprenticeship in Care, Leadership & Management. After discussion about a research unit, Michelle was challenged to consider topics that would facilitate change in current practice, and lead to improvement in service delivery.

Michelle highlighted the lack of employment opportunities for young adults with a learning disability and so the challenge began! Her aim was to develop an opportunity which would meet the above criteria and support, educate and safeguard the young adults at the same time. The activity group meets daily in a community hall and Michelle considered the prospect of opening up a cafe there once a week where the young adults would learn new skills around communicating with the public, food health and safety and basic numeracy and writing skills. With the support of her staff, Michelle soon started the cafe, which proved to be a great success. Michelle has shown great commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable adults and including them in society. She is an inspiration to the sector!

However, Michelle has not stopped there and is currently facilitating the development of an allotment where the young adults can learn to grow fruit and vegetables to be sold to the public.
“My assessor was approachable, friendly and knowledgeable, and gave me the confidence to take on this challenge.”

Michelle states that she had “great tuition and support” whilst being on programme and learnt so much that she is now encouraging staff members to take up the opportunity of completing an apprenticeship with DHA!

Michelle Turner