Your activity specialist has a very similar role to the Chef. They should have training and qualifications to ensure they have the knowledge to carry out their role. They should be able to assess needs, plan meaningful engagement and evaluate the outcomes. They also need to manage budgets, plan events and connect with the community. Crucially they need great communication skills in order to share their knowledge with the care team who then ensure that the residents get to spend their time in the way they choose, with meaning and purpose. Every care setting should have a specialist on the team either in a dedicated role as an Activity Coordinator – or similar title- or a senior care post with a particular responsibility and training around activity provision.
The skills required to carry out the role effectively are broad ranging and all too often I hear that the Activity Coordinator has had no previous experience other than perhaps as a carer. Commonly they take post without any proper induction or clear vision of the expectation laid out by management. Their workload is often dictated by the number of residents the care team can get together in one place followed by ‘What are you going to do with them today ?” It is no surprise that many flounder. Some have a strength of character and enough personal qualities to find their feet and make the role their own. Those that have undertaken formal training in Activity Provision describe it as invaluable. Confidence, credibility and clarity about the role are cited time and again as major gains from role specific training.
NAPA offers QCF level 2 and 3 qualifications in Activity Provision Go to our training section for more information.