Priority skill gaps and training needs were identified by the sector as part of the Community Mental Health Workforce Project. Despite the high percentage of staff holding formal vocational and university qualifications, service managers indicated that these qualifications did not always adequately train and prepare the workforce. They identified specific workforce knowledge gaps in entry level skills, specifically mental illness, recovery practice, professional boundaries and the provision of psychosocial supports within the NDIS.
To address these knowledge gaps, QAMH collaborated with Workability Queensland (through CSIA) and TAFE Queensland to apply for funding to develop and deliver a specific training package. Project funding was secured through the National Disability Insurance Scheme Training and Skills Support Strategy (NTSSS), an initiative of Workability Qld in September 2021.
A micro-credential is a standardised industry-supported non-accredited training package that is delivered online. TAFE Queensland had recent experience in developing this training type, and it was agreed by the group that a micro-credential would be most applicable for the project, due to its accessibility (free and online, state-wide access) and the feasibility of staff being able to complete it as part of a broader service specific induction program.
An advisory group of stakeholders was convened to guide the development and delivery of a micro credential pilot. The Project Advisory Committee (PAC) included the following QAMH member organisations: Karakan, Bridges Health and Community Care, Centacare (Anam Cara), Independent Living Support Association, Richmond Fellowship Queensland, North West Remote Health, Flourish Australia, Royal Flying Doctors Service, Community Focus, Wesley Mission Queensland and Centacare FNQ.
Development of the micro-credential included an environmental scan of existing training available and detailed discussion on specific content for inclusion by the PAC. The design of content, resources and video clips that specifically targeted agreed critical areas was led by the TAFE team. Cultural diversity was considered and reflected throughout the training.
Once the training resources were completed it was trialled by 100 workers identified through the PAC and QAMH membership earlier this year.
After some refining, the micro-credential is now available for free via the TAFE Queensland learning platform. This training will be a valuable addition to induction of new staff entering the community mental health workforce, but also to other stakeholders supporting people experiencing mental health and wellbeing challenges.
We would like to acknowledge this resource was developed as part of WorkAbility Qld a consortium of three organisations Community Services Industry Alliance, National Disability Services and Queensland Council of Social Service under the NDIS Training and Skills Support Strategy (NTSSS)