Having worked in the public and voluntary social care sector for over 30 years, Sharon Allen, CEO of Skills for Care, has first-hand insight into the sector and what registered managers experience in their frontline roles on a daily basis. She shares her personal experience and talks about what worked for her and those services she managed.
When I was the CEO of a major service provider in the north of England working across multiple sites, the only thing that allowed me to sleep at night was knowing that I had a network of skilled and experienced registered managers across the organisation.
I knew that day in and day out those registered managers would set the tone where they work, leading by example to make sure that our services offered high quality care and support and were truly person-centred.
This didn’t happen by accident; we invested heavily in our managers, making sure they could access formal learning and development and giving them time and space to access more informal support opportunities too.
Managers at different stages of their careers will always need to take some much needed time out to keep up-to-date about latest the developments across the sector and also sit down with their peers to share their hard-won knowledge and skills.
Skills for Care is the membership organisation for registered managers and there are clear practical benefits to being a manager member. They include a monthly newsletter, mentoring opportunities, discounts on HR support and leadership programmes, a manager’s handbook and exclusive resources.
But for me, what is most important is leading a body of registered managers who have shared values and beliefs about the status and importance of the role.
One thing that always struck me, in my own experience, is that being a registered manager can, at times, be a lonely place as the buck does stop with you. It’s a hugely complex role that requires a range of skills, from knowing the number for the lift engineer when it stops working to preparing for a CQC inspection or comforting bereaved relatives and staff when someone passes away. No two days are ever the same.
Metropolitan - one of the UK’s leading providers of affordable housing and care and support services - has recently invested in its registered managers through membership. We spoke to Melanie Holloway and she told us:
“Registered managers have a very difficult job and Metropolitan recognises the need to put in place as much support as possible for them. We had previously signed our managers up to Skills for Care’s registered manager membership, and the feedback we received was that they felt the resources made available to them were very useful. So it made sense for us to use the bulk join-up facility to sign a number of them up to the membership scheme… Being a registered manager can be a very isolating job, and everyone likes the opportunity to get advice and feedback from peers. It is important to give managers the opportunity to network and use professional relationships to help solve problems and improve their own services.”