Cheshire Centre for Independent Living (CCIL): Learning Service

Lynne Turnbull is an Ambassador for the Strengthening DPULOs Programme. In her day job she is Chief Executive of Cheshire Centre for Independent Living, which was recently awarded a Skills for Care Accolade for their learning service. Below, CCIL write about their service and why it’s different when it’s run by a Disabled People’s User-Led Organisation.

Centre for Independent Living (CCIL) has won a prestigious Skills for Care Accolade award for the second year running – recognising our excellence in delivering adult social care services to people across Cheshire.

The Skills for Care Accolades recognise and celebrate outstanding achievement in workforce development for the social care sector, and are awarded to organisations in the private, voluntary or public sector.

CCIL won the Accolade for ‘the best provider of learning and development’.

The accolade was awarded in relation to our innovative Learning Service which enables disabled people, who are also employers, to access free, independent, tailor-made learning and development opportunities for themselves and their Personal Assistants (PAs).

99% of Learning and development opportunities for employers and PAs are accessed in the employer’s home (PA workplace).

However, employers can also choose to access learning and development opportunities in their choice of accessible external venues or via e-learning/distance learning.

Individual employers can choose from a range of learning opportunities via a directory  of independent learning providers – allowing them to choose who they work with in order to improve their leadership and management skills or to improve the knowledge, skills, competency and employability of their Personal Assistants.

The learning service meets the requirements of the personalisation agenda by providing choice and control to employers in designing, developing and accessing training and development opportunities for themselves and their PAs, in a way which is aligned with their individual needs.

The learning service is driven by a user-led project steering group of employers, carers and PAs who help identify and promote the views and principals which should govern the development and implementation of learning programmes.

In addition to this personalised, tailor-made approach to learning and development; feedback from employers, PAs and the project steering group identified the need for a more structured approach to training and development. These stakeholders expressed a specific interest in accessing the Apprenticeship framework in Health and Social Care.

In response to this feedback CCIL, in partnership with Skills for Care have developed the ‘PA Apprenticeship Pilot Project’ which includes provision for 11 PAs to access the Apprenticeship framework in their role supporting disabled people who are also individual employers.

The learning service and PA Apprenticeships Pilot provide an innovative, model of best practice cited in the Strategic PA Framework published by the Department of Health. It delivers a high level of quality and excellent value for money by offering bespoke, tailor-made training which is designed and developed by individual employers for themselves and their PAs.

We are very proud of this prestigious national award in the ‘Best Provider of Learning and Development’ category and to have its recognition as a user-led organisation, to delivering services which are shaped and driven by the needs and aspirations of disabled people and carers.

What the Skills for Care verifier said:

Cheshire Centre for Independent Living (CCIL) provides a very personal learning and development service to direct employers and personal assistants. The employer is the expert and so their journey is one where they are in control with CCIL providing support. CCIL have ensured training providers adopt their person centered ethos and offer creative and personal training and learning opportunities

CCIL pave the way for employers and personal assistants to have tailored, high quality training which is in the context of their environment and individual needs. This has led to direct employers understanding of the world of employment and having a safe, competent and caring personal assistant workforce.

If you would like to find out more about CCIL, please visit their website.


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Man of letters & numbers; also occasionally of action. Husband to NTW. Dad of three. Friendly geek.

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