First steps

Welcome to the First Steps learning resource. This resource will support you either individually – or as part of your workplace induction programme – to learn in your own time, and get you started in your health care career.

This learning resource has been developed to support you against the codes and standards for each of the UK countries.

First Steps maps to a range of National Occupational Standards that will support you and expand on your portfolio of learning.

We suggest that when using the resource, you record your reflections, and have provided a reflective template for you to complete when you reach the end of each topic. You can use it to build up into a portfolio of learning.

In addition, there are five assessment quizzes for you to complete. If you are an RCN member you will be able to download a certificate to demonstrate that you have successfully passed all of these.

This resource is free for everyone to access, however, if you are not an RCN member, you will first have to sign up for a free 'contact' account here. RCN members should login using their existing details.

If you have already signed up for the programme, you can access it here (and bookmark this page for future use).

When navigating the First Steps programme, please use Google Chrome and not Internet Explorer. 

Please note, due to the time taken for the Learning Management System to refresh its userbase, it may take up to 15 minutes after your first login to access the course.

Upon completion of this programme, the participant will be able to: 

  • explain the role of the HCA and the boundaries of the role, taking into account your individual rights and responsibilities
  • describe what is meant by person – centred care and patient safety
  • explain the process for identifying and reporting suspected abuse of vulnerable people (safeguarding)
  • describe the principles of promoting health
  • describe the principles of effective communication
  • describe the legal requirements regarding confidentiality, consent and capacity
  • explain best practice for recording and accessing medical records
  • describe the principles of quality care in terms of: teamwork; accountability and delegation; and best practice guidelines
  • describe the principles of equality, diversity and rights in terms of: the legal requirements; promoting and treating people with dignity, respect and privacy; and the process for raising concerns
    explain the policies and practices that protect the safety of staff and all other individuals in the workplace environment
  • describe the principles of infection prevention and control including the importance and practice of good hand hygiene
  • explain the importance and benefits of continuing professional development and reflective practice as a lifelong learner
  • explain the procedure for undertaking a range of observation activities.

The RCN value your feedback on our resources and would appreciate you filling in the short evaluation form at the end of the programme. This will enable to add relevant practice based content to the resource and ensure updates for to provide the most current evidence based educational resources.