A competency is for life, not just for first sign-off
The challenge – maintaining appropriate competence
Often a lot of effort is put into first gaining competencies. But safe care and an accurate view of the skill mix of staff needs to include maintaining competencies as well as initially gaining them.
For some competencies a one-off attainment may be all that’s needed, but many require some form of renewal. This could be a simple declaration, a check that CPD has been maintained and latest standards are understood, or even a brief re-demonstration of skills. The appropriate revalidation approach will often depend on the typical usage of that competency plus the relative level of risk involved in its use. The schedule will also vary, but most (like the UKONS SACT Passport) have some form of annual expiry and revalidation.
Needless to say, keeping track of renewals on paper is just as haphazard as tracking the first time people gain competencies – if not more so. Therefore it’s no surprise that people have asked us for Compassly to handle this part of competencies too, and that’s exactly what we’ve done with the latest release.
How Compassly helps you manage competency renewals
Once you complete a competency you will see how many days it is valid for, and therefore when it will expire:
Each competency can have a “Due soon” date when it will start showing a warning that it will be expiring soon, and then when it goes past the expiry date it will then show as Expired (and the competency as “Not Valid”).
Underneath, you’ll see a button to “Renew” the competency. This can actually be done at any point after a competency has been achieved, it’s entirely up to the individual as to when they want to do so.
Tapping the button puts the competency into renewal mode:
From here you can go into the new set of tasks that need to be completed to demonstrate ongoing competence. This can be as detailed or as simple as the competency demands; it could be a full re-demonstration of the competency, or just a revalidation declaration from the supervisee and their manager:
Once the competency has been renewed it will be valid for the same duration as the original expiry. Competencies can be renewed any number of times to maintain validity.
The expiry duration is entirely up to the competency author and can be set at the individual competency level. This can be any length of time (set in whole days), and the days before users are warned that expiry is “Due soon” can also be tailored to each individual competency.
Expiry settings are live and dynamic, so if you find that you’ve set the durations or warning too loose or too tight then this can be updated and instantly pushed to users through a library update.
The actual steps to revalidate a competency are just as flexible as those for gaining it – we use exactly the same competency building tool to give competency authors full control of how they want the renewal to be assessed. You can even use common templates across both, and set standard templates for consistent use across multiple competencies.
And of course, expiry is entirely optional – there may be competencies that don’t expire or require any sort revalidation, and this can be reflected in Compassly too:
Clearly highlighted throughout the app
You’ll see this new “Expired” status throughout the app, wherever competencies are displayed – reporting dashboards, supervisee lists and individual user profiles:
You’ll see it too on individual competencies:
As we’ve combined the “Late” and “Due soon” status for both the original deadline on new competencies and when renewing expiring competencies, you’ll also be able to filter all relevant competencies by these statuses and see them together in one list:
Get the whole picture
Every renewal stage is kept within Compassly, so you have a full audit available throughout the life of the a competency – with every competency and renewal listed under the competency history. This history can also help with professional development – any historical areas for development can be revisited when renewing a competency.
All of this update activity is reflected within our new PDF certificates too – the expiry date and status is included whenever you download a competency certificate, and when you scan a certificate to check the online version you’ll always see the latest version with the live expiry and renewal status.
As with deadlines, we’ll be releasing a version soon that is able to notify you when you’ve got deadlines coming up. And we’ll then extend that to a weekly summary email to let managers know about any supervisees with deadlines approaching.
We know that expiry isn’t the only thing that can happen in the lifetime of a competency – clinical incidents can require retraining, as can returning to practice. We will be extending these expiry mechanisms to cover these other scenarios too.