Before I begin about my day as a Freelance Assessor, I thought I would tell you a little background about me.
I have worked within the care industry since I was 18, with my first full time position being with Mencap. Over the next 20 years I worked in various roles from support worker (carer) through all the levels. Eventually achieving a Registered managers role of two group homes for people with learning difficulties. Although at times I found my role challenging, there are many fantastic memories from that period in my working life.
Due to redundancy I had to move on and look at my career options. The decision was to re-train as a trainee assessor for a well-known company. I gained my qualifications to assess and enjoyed learning on the job from my peers. Gaining confidence in my assessing role and enjoying working to nurture potential.
I then moved on to become a Regional Manager within another big training company. After a few years I decided I lacked control of being able to offer an individual approach. I made the scary decision to become a freelance assessor and have my own in-house training business. My business begins. Getting back some control I hoped.
I can honestly say that I truly love my job and feel more empowerment since becoming a freelance assessor and Trainer.
A day as Freelance Assessor
Normally I wake early (around 6:15am) to get the household sorted for the day. If I am going out for visits I’m normally out the front door by 7am. However, sometimes I have morning remote session and then I can enjoy a nice slow cup of coffee before my work day begins.
Every session I plan, is individual to each one of my learners, taking into account the uniqueness of each person including their specific learning needs. I ensure that my learners feel comfortable and have all the tools they need to enable their session to work well. Then we’ll both be getting the most out of it!
Employer engagement is a vital part of each session and this is something I have always been passionate about. If there is no engagement from myself then how do I expect anyone to value my teachings? Remember, employer engagement is paramount for repeat business!
Being an early bird; my children like to say that if you give me a time, I’ll be there an hour before I need to be. Quite annoying to some, I know, but for my business, it’s been great because I am always prepared. If I’m too early, I have time to catch up on other bits and bobs. So it’s safe to say, I arrive at my first visit early. Giving me time to set up and be ready for the session. Preparation is always key to get a good outcome from a session.
Positivity is essential when you’re an assessor, I know it sounds simple, but for myself and my learners, if I project a positive attitude, they do too. Which hopefully makes the learner feel more confident in what they achieve.
It’s easy to say, that I form a bond with my learners, a professional bond yes, but I am aware that some of my learners need more nurturing than others. Some need to be left to just ‘get on with it’ with limited input apart from our visits. However, some need a nudge in the right direction. Whichever it is, I value each of my learners, because what they are doing is amazing. They are learning about working in care and I hope to pass on my passion for this incredible career choice.
At times I would have to adapt the methods of assessing ensuring this is done to the best of my ability. I will adapt if necessary to meet the needs of the service. This is when I am unable to do the planned method e.g instead of discussion I may have to do an observation.
So that’s why I am here, I am here to inspire and help people who I know can do amazing things, achieve these amazing things. My aim is to get them to believe that they can do them. I feel I can do this as an assessor and especially as a freelance assessor.
As part of the session I would meet with the employer or supervisor depending on who is around, to discuss the outcome of the session and progress with the aim to engage them in the journey. My day does not end there. Reviewing the session is important so the learner knows where they are and what they have achieved that day. As part of this I would plan the next session making sure relevant and achievable targets are set on an individual basis.
It is a great feeling when you succeed in the plan, especially if you have a learner who self-doubts or lacks confidence. With so many of my learners having finished school at the age of 14, when they achieve such a fulfilling qualification after believing they wouldn’t, it is a beautiful thing. That is why I do my job!
The Good days are great as freelance assessor, but there are challenges.
There are, however, days where learners do not turn up or where they cancel at short notice. When it does happen it can change my whole day or even week. It’s important to take it in your stride and keep moving forward. Use the opportunity of extra time to complete other tasks. For me that would be to complete CPD (it’s important to check updates), or clearing the things you put off (admin). My aim is not to waste my day as plans can change and I have learnt to not stress over things I cannot control.
My job holds many challenges, but I never forget the end goal I am aiming for. That is to facilitate development and learning of the people I assess. Also, how I might be changing (hopefully I am) the way people receive care is something incredible.
Reflecting about how I can potentially alter learner’s outlook on themselves is a big bonus within assessing. Do not under value your role within how people will develop.
By Maxine Scott from Attention to Care
Since I can remember, I have always been passionate about care and care giving. Growing up, watching my mother looking after my father made me realise that I wanted to be like her or at least have an impact within people’s lives. I wanted to not only care for people but teach people how to do it properly. This is why I am passionate about making care truly the best it can be. This starts at the root and I believe that if the assessor is strong and passionate then they can make anyone into a solid, trustworthy carer. Our loved ones need great care and my company aspires to bring exactly this to all areas of the care sector. Please check out my website for training needs within care. Training within health and Social Care