ASA Newsletter – December 2017

Welcome to the December newsletter.  This month we’re:

  • Arranging training dates with the suppliers who tendered for the delivery of training (see dates and details below)
  • Arranging a tender for the delivery of an online resources bank of factsheets and information on a range of issues from personal development to management and leadership. The resources will be trialled on a six month basis, to see whether it’s a useful part of reference materials for things you need to learn fast.
  • Starting a working group to develop in-house delivered Universal Credit training (delivered by Citizens Advice Halton who have been on full service for Universal Credit since July 2016) – to add to the 2 sessions of externally delivered training that will be running during January to March 2018.

Training Dates, Details and Booking

Advice Skills Academy are really pleased to be launching the first training programme, which has a variety of subjects for advisers, managers, those new to or thinking about moving into management, and trustees.

Once people have completed their Individual Learning and Development Plans, we’ll develop a programme of learning that responds to learning needs, so if you haven’t already done your Learning and Development Plan, please do get planning.

All training sessions are whole day sessions (times to be confirmed, but approximately 9.30 to 4.30), and will be delivered in an accessible Liverpool City Centre location. Lunch will not be provided at sessions, but venues will be close to somewhere where you can get lunch.

Tues 9 Jan 2018 – Starting to think about strategy

This one day session is aimed at managers, new managers, trustees, and project managers, and will introduce the process of thinking about strategy, and why it is so important for how we manage and run our organisations.

The session will:

  • Introduce strategy and why it is important;
  • Explore the building blocks of strategy, including values, mission, and objectives;
  • Consider key tools and techniques that are useful for strategic planning; and
  • Identify how we begin to think and plan strategically.

Trainer – Estelle Neuman, for the Directory of Social Change (DSC)

Thurs 18 Jan 2018 – Stay focused stay well – skills and strategies for managing high workloads in advice services

This one day course is designed to equip advisers at all levels with the skills and confidence to stay focused and stay well in busy advice services. It is a participatory programme, bringing in some of the latest research on wellbeing and brain science at work, as well as a raft of both practical and reflective techniques for managing time, working through conflict and developing personal resilience in the workplace.

Aim

To explore the inherent demands of working within a busy advice service and to develop skills and confidence for dealing with these effectively.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the session, learners will have:

  • Examined the stress response and how to identify the signs in self and others
  • Explored wellness and resilience at work, including the 5 spheres of healthy, happy living
  • Identified planning tools and techniques for managing high workloads e.g. Eisenhower’s important/urgent principle; identifying individual workstyle and effective ‘chunking’ for performance and productivity
  • Practiced a range of ‘self-care’ practices which can be employed as interventions for wellness at work

Trainer – Institute of Money Advisers (IMA)

Mon 22 Jan 2018 – Take charge of your career and personal development

This one-day course is designed to put you in the driving seat so that you can take control of your own learning, development and career planning.

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out, in the middle of your working life, or approaching retirement. It also doesn’t matter if you have never had a career plan before. If you’re interested in taking charge of your own development then this course is for you.

You will complete a series of self-assessment activities that will help you to find out what you’re good at, what your values are and what is most important to you at both work and in the wider aspects of your life.

You will then be helped to make some choices that are right for you, and to create realistic goals and a practical plan of action.

So that you are in a position to create an action plan by the end of the one-day course, you will need to complete some self-reflection activities before the course begins. You should plan to spend at least 2-3 hours on these activities during the week leading up to the course.

Trainer – Helen Simpson, Learning and Development Consultant

Tues 6 Feb 2018 – Managing and Mitigating Risk

This one day session is aimed at managers, those new to managing, trustees, and project managers, and will provide participants a strong understanding of what risk is, and why we need the skills and ability to respond effectively to risk.

The session will:

  • Explore what risk is;
  • Identify the various types of risk that we need to consider, including internal and external risk, and risks that affect organisational performance, and governance and sustainability;
  • What organisations need to do to manage risk;
  • Explore the tools and techniques that can be used to identify and manage risk.

Trainer – Estelle Neuman, for the Directory of Social Change (DSC)

Wed 14 Feb and Wed 21 Feb 2018 - Developing Training Skills

This two day course is aimed at people who haven’t done any previous training skills courses, and are interested in developing training skills, with a view to delivering training.

The session will:

  • Explore the practical things you need to consider to plan, develop and deliver training sessions;
  • Consider the different ways that people learn, and how to develop sessions to engage with people with different learning styles;
  • Identify the key elements of a learning session plan, and provide practical opportunities to practice developing a lesson plan;
  • Explore how trainers can assess learning, provide feedback to learners, and evaluate training sessions.

Trainer – Helen Simpson, Learning and Development Consultant

Wed 28 Feb 2018 – Stay focused stay well – skills and strategies for managing high workloads in advice services

This one day course is designed to equip advisers at all levels with the skills and confidence to stay focused and stay well in busy advice services. It is a participatory programme, bringing in some of the latest research on wellbeing and brain science at work, as well as a raft of both practical and reflective techniques for managing time, working through conflict and developing personal resilience in the workplace.

Aim

To explore the inherent demands of working within a busy advice service and to develop skills and confidence for dealing with these effectively.

Learning outcomes:

By the end of the session, learners will have:

  • Examined the stress response and how to identify the signs in self and others
  • Explored wellness and resilience at work, including the 5 spheres of healthy, happy living
  • Identified planning tools and techniques for managing high workloads e.g. Eisenhower’s important/urgent principle; identifying individual workstyle and effective ‘chunking’ for performance and productivity
  • Practiced a range of ‘self-care’ practices which can be employed as interventions for wellness at work

Trainer – Institute of Money Advisers (IMA)

Tues 15 Mar 2018 – Take charge of your career and personal development

This one-day course is designed to put you in the driving seat so that you can take control of your own learning, development and career planning.

It doesn’t matter if you are just starting out, in the middle of your working life, or approaching retirement. It also doesn’t matter if you have never had a career plan before. If you’re interested in taking charge of your own development then this course is for you.

You will complete a series of self-assessment activities that will help you to find out what you’re good at, what your values are and what is most important to you at both work and in the wider aspects of your life.

You will then be helped to make some choices that are right for you, and to create realistic goals and a practical plan of action.

So that you are in a position to create an action plan by the end of the one-day course, you will need to complete some self-reflection activities before the course begins. You should plan to spend at least 2-3 hours on these activities during the week leading up to the course.

Trainer – Helen Simpson, Learning and Development Consultant

Mon 19 Mar 2018 - Using scenarios to plan and manage ahead

This one day session will be useful for managers, trustees, and those new to management, to develop their skills in the planning and implementation of strategy.

The session will:

  • Explore how scenario planning can be used to plan and manage ahead;
  • Introduce participants to tools and techniques that can help us to think creatively about future possibilities and horizons;
  • Support participants to develop their own scenarios, and test them;
  • Examine how we move from strategic thinking to practical management; and
  • Consider how these techniques can be applied in your organisations.

Trainer – Alan Lawrie, for the Directory of Social Change (DSC)

Booking on the training

Please Note

As we are taking bookings from the 7 Citizens Advice services in the partnership, we will be making sure that people from each of the services have an equal opportunity to attend sessions, so not everybody will get a place on the sessions this time around. We will have a ‘waiting list’ in place in case people have to cancel, so we recommend you email to express an interest in booking a place as soon as you can.

To book on one of the sessions email:

bookings@adviceskillsacademy.org.uk

Please include the title of the training in your email subject line, and in the email indicate the date you would like to attend (if there are more than one session dates available), and your job role.

You can pencil in the training into your calendar, but please note we will be emailing people to confirm booking – if you don’t receive the confirmation email, then unfortunately you haven’t been booked on the training this time.

Dates of other training to follow soon:

We’re waiting for confirmation of training dates for:

  • Universal Credit – problem areas – to be delivered by the Institute of Money Advisers (IMA)
  • Moving into Management and Leadership – to be delivered by the Directory of Social Change

We’ll get these dates to you as soon as we can. Watch out for an email from us with these dates.

All dates will be added to the Advice Skills Academy website calendar.

Learn Something Today

This Month's Latest Bitesize Learning

How to improve your mental wellbeing

How To Improve Your Mental Wellbeing

It’s that time of year when winter is coming, and for some people that means the start of the ‘winter blues’, but for all of us, with busy workloads, it’s easy to get tired in the run up to the Christmas break.  Part of the Mind A to Z of mental health, these tips for wellbeing can help you think about where your mental health is up to, and some ways to cope with the ups and downs of life.

We all have times when we have low mental wellbeing, for some of us this may be caused by stress at work or at home, bereavement, money worries, and for some the Christmas period is a difficult time, especially when people are all under pressure to be 'merry and bright'.  With tips to help build your mental wellbeing, and a video with examples of relaxation techniques, why not take the time to stop and think about your mental wellbeing?

Mind are a national charity that has been working for over 60 years to advise, support, and empower people with mental health problems.  They campaign to improve services, raise awareness and promote understanding.  As part of their range of advice, support and information, their website has an A to Z of mental health, ranging from antidepressants, to mental health at work, to supporting someone else to seek help.  So whether it’s for you, family and friends, or for working with clients, the A to Z is well worth a look.

Local branches of Mind support over 390,000 people across England and Wales. Services include supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. Mind have branches in Runcorn, St Helens and Wirral.

If you want to know more about wellbeing and mindfulness, why not consider the free online learning available from Future Learn:

Maintaining a mindful life

https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/mindfulness-life

BBC Future – a home for the insatiably curious

BBC Future

Advice Skills Academy is all about learning, and encouraging people to learn more (and more regularly, and in their own way). For some of us the learning will be all about work, but for others, sparking their curiosity is the key to their learning. BBC Future is a ‘home for the insatiably curious’.

With articles on 'What if' like 'what if women were physically stronger than men?' to in depth articles on the brain, psychology, and science, or videos like 'do we use 10% of our brains?' or 'does coffee help you sober up?', BBC Future has a range of ways to help you think and learn.

But why should we learn? Lifelong learning can enhance our understanding of the world around us, provide us with more or better opportunities, and improve our quality of life. For more information on learning have a look at the 'Becoming a better learner' booklet from the Campaign for Learning website.

https://www.campaign-for-learning.org.uk/becoming-a-better-learner

Where leaders share and expand their knowledge

Leadership Central

If you’re looking for information on leadership, why not take a look at Leadership Central? With information on leadership styles and theories, and articles and news to keep you updated with the world of leadership, Leadership Central, has a range of information to inform, grow and inspire leaders.

Being a leader isn’t the same as being a manager, so anybody who is interested in learning about what leadership is, and some of the common characteristics of good leaders, can benefit from Leadership Central, and learn more about communication, emotional intelligence, motivation, and time management.

You can read articles, sign up for the Leadership Central newsletter, or find inspirational and motivational quotes like this one:

"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader."

John Quincy Adams (sixth President of the United States of America)

International Volunteers Day - 5th December

The United Nations (UN) celebrate International Volunteers Day on 5 December each year. The UN recognises the importance that volunteers make “volunteers are present, all around us, answering calls in times of need, helping save lives today, and supporting those who want to continue living their lives with dignity tomorrow”.

http://www.un.org/en/events/volunteerday/

The UN has its own volunteers, with over 6,500 mobilised in some of the most challenging environments in the world, and 12,000 UN Online Volunteers who complete over 20,000 online assignments a year through the UNV Online Volunteering Service.

As Citizens Advice services we know the value and power of volunteering. If you want to learn more about managing volunteers why not take a look at the VolResource website, which has information on all aspects of how to run voluntary organisations, including lots of information and useful links on managing volunteers.

http://vr.volresource.org.uk/people/volunteer-management/

Interested in learning more about the voluntary sector?  Why not take a look at the free Open Learn courses on:

Human Rights Day - 10th December

Human Rights Day is celebrated by the United Nations on 10th December each year.  This year sees the start of a year-long campaign to celebrate 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted in 1948.

http://www.un.org/en/events/humanrightsday/

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions of the world. The Declaration was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in Paris on 10 December 1948 as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations. It sets out, for the first time, fundamental human rights to be universally protected and it has been translated into over 500 languages.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights empowers us all. The principles enshrined in the Declaration are as relevant today as they were in 1948. We need to stand up for our own rights and those of others. We can take action in our own daily lives, to uphold the rights that protect us all and thereby promote the kinship of all human beings.  

For more information on the Declaration of Human Rights, including the 30 articles that are enshrined in the declaration, visit:

http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/index.html

If you’re interested in campaigning and getting involved in human rights issues have a look at the Human Rights Watch, or Amnesty International websites:

https://www.hrw.org/

https://www.amnesty.org.uk/