Golden Bay Community Health care worker Carol Robinson progressed from Health and Wellbeing Level 2 trainee to registered assessor in just three years. Now she is completing a first line management qualification, all with the help of Careerforce’s Aka Toi online learning.

Tucked away in the north west tip of South Island, Golden Bay Community Health, which is governed by Nelson Bays Primary Health, is an integrated health centre that provides a valuable home, hospital level, respite and palliative care to the local community. Services also include a GP practice, urgent care, allied health, district nursing, maternity, well child and public health, saving people a four-hour round trip to Nelson Hospital.

Despite being a ‘people’ business, trainees at Golden Bay have been quick to embrace technology. Industry training organisation, Careerforce has developed a blended system that combines online learning with person-to-person interaction.  “The online learning is fantastic because you can access it whenever you like, easily and quickly, no matter how busy your life is,” says Carol (left).

“In my assessor role, I’m in the position to help 28 or so HCAs (health care assistants) who are going through or have been through Careerforce training. I get them to access the learning on their mobiles, so they can see any marking that comes through.”

Golden Bay Community Health actively encourages training. “When managers see something in you, they believe in you, and they give you an opportunity to grow and develop,” says Carol.

“This is a great job to have. For me, it’s not really ‘work’. Because you’re compassionate, you want to help. You don’t really feel like you’re going to work, you’re doing something you love doing! That’s the difference!

Carol is now a huge support and source of inspiration to other trainees.

“As an assessor, I try to equip the trainees and empower them to make decisions.  I ask, ‘how will we get you there?’ and try to help develop their problem solving and leadership skills.”

Three years ago, Carol enrolled in the New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 2). “Starting at Level 2 is a great foundation,” says Carol. “You learn some really valuable principles. You learn what best practice is, and you build a lot of confidence.

Next, Carol signed up for the Certificate in Health and Wellbeing (Level 3) which was soon followed by Health and Wellbeing (Level 4) Advanced Support.

“The Level 4 qualification is a well-respected and valued qualification. It was quite a step up. We covered different stages and different kinds of dementia. In this role, it’s really important to know how to support this condition.”

When the previous assessor moved on, Careerforce Workplace Advisor, Paula Cohen asked Carol if she would be keen to do the job herself and support others along their training journey. It felt like a natural next step and so, Carol began her assessor training.

Now, a qualified assessor, she is presently enrolled in the Certificate in Business Level 4 (First line Management), where she receives support from Careerforce Assessor, John Kenny.

“They [Careerforce] are wonderful support people. They challenge your thinking and give you the encouragement and confidence to get ahead.

“I’m a real advocate for Careerforce training. Being able to access the learning so easily, so quickly is great. It’s wonderful because you can go through the modules and watch the videos, do the preparation and answer the questions.

“As an assessor - using the online Aka Toi learning platform is a ‘no brainer’. “Careerforce have added what evidence they need to see, so you can follow that. It gives you confidence when marking the assessments. With lots of papers, you’d really be working hard to pick up everything, but online, the whole process is made much easier for us.

“It’s good to have a vision or a goal because it keeps you focused. It keeps you going.

After the Level 4 Advanced Support, I thought that was it, I’d got to the end. It was really Paula [Cohen] who asked, ‘how about doing this business course?’

“I’ve found it extremely interesting – to develop myself and take responsibility for what I’m doing and how that affects other people. It’s a happy place if everybody feels valued and moving forward and achieving.

“Having the learning system so accessible and the support around it is what really makes it great.

“I wear my badges proudly - they give me a sense of value and a sense of achievement. They give me confidence that I can go into that room and I know what I’m doing.”

More information about Health and Wellbeing qualifications with online learning.

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