23 July 2021

Valuation Office - CCA Academy

Ongoing concern for amount of time PCS members spend on training/buddying academy colleagues while also being expected to maintain a high level of personal output. 

Members have raised concerns about the amount of time they are spending on training/ buddying academy colleagues while also being expected to maintain a high level of personal output. This is a long standing issue which PCS has been continually raising awareness with the employer.

Whilst there is little we can do about recruitment due to increasing demands of Reval and CCA the Employer has recognised that constant training is increasingly becoming a health and well-being issue.

Most caseworkers have worked on a 1:1 ratio of trainer/buddy/mentor to trainee but over the last couple of years and the constant stream of recruitment that has taken place we are hearing more and more of staff being ‘trained out’. This has become increasingly prominent during lockdown with ‘teams’ meetings reportedly taking longer than face-to-face training.

In response the employer has developed the ‘Academy’ for all new entrants/ promotions (except graduates – who have their own development programme). The principle is that every recruit now undertakes a full 16-week programme of training specifically aimed at their level of knowledge.

The first phase of the Academy was launched in May and concentrated on 'Challenge' work although there are future proposals to expand into CT. There are currently 4 groups of 8/10 staff comprising of ,1 group of externally recruited HEO’s, a mixed internal and external with some degree of subject knowledge and then 2 groups of those promoted internally. Each group is supported in their different management teams by an experienced 'Challenge' caseworker who has been allocated a 100% training facility so there should be minimal support required by the existing team members. Another group will start on 1 July with potentially more groups being rolled out in September.

This new programme combines existing learning packages with new material and practical applications on real cases overseen by a single trainer. The academy is incorporating new learning techniques and evaluating these as the training progresses. PCS is feedback members experiences to the Employer to ensure any issues are being addressed and that the transition into the units for new staff can be delivered with minimal disruption.