Update on the work of the AHCAI
For almost 18 months AHCAI has been meeting on a steering group of Healthcare Stakeholders from the private sector, preparing a proposal for a two-year apprenticeship training programme for Healthcare Assistants. A new initiative was started by the Minister for Education in 2014 to revive apprenticeship training which had largely collapsed during the downturn in the economy.
I, and at least one-member Healthcare Assistant have attended each steering group meeting, to ensure the voice of our members was heard in this process. In consultation with the various branches of healthcare we have drawn up a list of basic clinical skills which the Healthcare Assistant could become competent in.
Representatives of the steering group have had information meetings with SIPTU, the INMO and the HSE which went very well and we are due shortly to have one with HIQA.
We submitted our proposal to the Apprenticeship Council in the first week in September.
Should this be accepted and acted upon it will be a great start on the road to developing the discipline of Healthcare Assistant.
It is envisaged that those who hold a QQI Level 5 Major Award will be among the first to be accepted on this training which will be at level 6. They will be supported by their employer as it is an industry led initiative. The training will be paid for by SOLAS and most of the training will be carried out on the job. The student will be on one day or half day release for lectures and some may be on line; (all of the details have to be worked out yet) and will continue working in their place of employment and be paid as usual.
This will be a superb opportunity for those who wish to have further training. The vast majority of Healthcare Assistants will probably choose to continue to work as they are since the work they currently do is vital to the service.
Anne Marie Lee