Partnership learning agreements exist in a wide variety of businesses and industries - from retail to engineering. The RCN specialises in learning agreements within the health care sector.
What is a partnership learning agreement?
In a nutshell, they are a formal arrangement between the RCN and the employer, providing a framework to establish and grow learning and development.
At the heart of any partnership learning agreement are the RCN’s learning representatives. Trained by the RCN, at no cost to the employer, they provide peer support to colleagues by working on the ground within the workplace. Their contribution enhances an employer’s existing learning and development programme.
What does a partnership learning agreement look like?
Broadly speaking, agreements set out the terms under which trusts or employers, trade unions and staff side organisations - where they exist - work in partnership to promote lifelong learning, training and development throughout an organisation, ensuring equal access to any learning opportunities.
Agreements should be supported by an action plan detailing the agreed activities of the partnership. This might include analysis of learning needs, disseminating information about learning initiatives, support for learning events, individual guidance, and access to resources and tools.
To monitor progress towards goals, develop actions and ensure sustainability, there should also be a committee or forum that includes, as applicable, learning representatives, managers, heads of learning and development, and any other learning partners. They should meet regularly, disseminating minutes to encourage wider engagement, while periodically reviewing the agreement’s effectiveness.
What role do the RCN’s learning reps play?
RCN learning reps provide peer support for all nursing staff, promoting and encouraging an ethos of lifelong learning. A key aspect of their role is keeping up-to-date with learning opportunities, promoting information, resources and support.
Working in partnership with employers, learning reps:
- promote learning
- identify gaps in learning and skills
- boost recruitment and retention, by cultivating a learning culture
- empower and encourage nursing staff to access the RCN’s learning and development opportunities
- help staff working in a variety of settings and at all levels to plan and manage their own learning and development
- complement an organisation’s own learning and development
- provide unique access to the RCN’s expertise across the UK
- organise events, study days and workshops, working with employers and local RCN branches.
How can the RCN help you?
The RCN provides expertise in the art and science of nursing, both nationally and internationally. Whether you are aiming to improve leadership within your organisation or empowering your team to implement service innovation, the RCN offers a range of professional services to support your staff’s learning and development.
- RCN leadership programmes
- RCN infection prevention and control programme
- RCN credentialing, which recognises advanced level practice in nursing
- RCN accreditation services – a mark of quality for health care training
To improve patient care, the RCN offers a variety of tools for individual nursing staff, including health care support workers, working in different specialisms and at all levels.
- Information on accountability and delegation for all members of the team
- Learning resources for health care support workers and assistant practitioners: visit our acclaimed First Steps resource
- Practice-based learning
- Nutrition and hydration
- End of life care clinical topic and Getting it right every time - Fundamentals of nursing care at the end of life
- Continence care
- Care home journey – supporting nursing care in older people’s care homes