Helping staff access the right training

The development of the ‘stepped approach’ framework to training in mental health and wellbeing was born out of the need to identify and find appropriate training.

Greg Usrey, Health Improvement Lead, Mental Health, NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde (GG&C), explains, ’

The idea for the 'stepped approach' came out of the Mental Health Improvement Network for Greater Glasgow and Clyde – a very effective network with 30-40 members, mostly operational staff, from all of our organisations, Community Health Partnerships (CHPs) and other partnerships.

‘Individual staff wanted mental health and wellbeing training but didn’t know what level they needed, what’s out there and how to access it. My role has been to develop the 'stepped approach' framework to address this confusion.’

Impact and results

The 'stepped approach' will enable staff to:

  • identify the appropriate training and level of training required
  • be able to locate and access that training.

Says Greg, ‘In a workplace context, training and development needs may be assessed as part of a Knowledge and Skills Framework review or Professional and Personal Development Planning. Team and Service development discussions may identify training or support needs.

‘If it becomes apparent that a member of staff has a need for mental health and wellbeing training, the 'stepped approach' will help provide guidance on the relevant level required. The seven-stepped framework goes from ‘ground level’ – basic introductory material to specialised bespoke training programmes locally developed or externally sourced.’

Identifying and accessing training

NHS Glasgow and Clyde and its many partner organisations have a wealth of knowledge and experience in mental health and wellbeing training but the choices available can be confusing.

The 'stepped approach' structure identifies the most appropriate level of learning needed, so the issue is not just locating the appropriate training, but accessing it.

The next stage of the 'stepped approach' process will be to provide a guide to get the most appropriate training available.

Greg explains, ‘If you have 15 members of staff all identified as needing training it is cost effective to bring training in. But if you have one or two requiring different levels then you need to find that training externally.

‘Currently I am identifying within Health Scotland a list of trainers who can deliver the training, breaking that down into our CHPs and other areas. We will then, for example, be able to identify individuals based in a particular CHP, who are qualified to deliver the appropriate training. We will then identify a primary point of contact for mental health training for each CH(C)P. In theory, thereafter if I get an enquiry, I can give the basic information and say ‘if you contact John Smith in a particular CHP, he will know what training is currently being provided, on what dates and how to access it’.

We are also looking at our website with respect to putting the 'stepped approach' on there, so more people can access it, and we can link it to our Learning Workforce and Development colleagues in Health and Social Work / Local Authorities, housing and others.

Wider implications for learning and workforce development

This is an example of how local areas can facilitate easy access to the correct training to reduce duplication and waste. This type of structure could easily be used by other areas to achieve the same goal.

Having a centralised training information source aids access to training. Other examples of this kind of approach include the Fife and Lothian mental health training catalogues. Additionally having a stepped approach aids the staff in selecting the right course.


Greg Usrey, Health Improvement Lead (Mental Health), NHS Greater Glasgow & Clyde
0141 232 (3) 2223