In summary, those who regulate the profession are now becoming rather more prescriptive as to the need for adequate team training. Compliance with their requirements is, of course, reason enough to put the necessary training arrangements in place and to be able to evidence that staff are adequately and appropriately trained.
However, given that it is people who are a practice's biggest asset, team training is likely to be a wise investment in itself. It will show that colleagues are valued, adding to the sense of self-worth of individuals and team morale overall. Improving the competence, knowledge, skills and spirit of the team should translate to improved outcomes for patients, something which is, after all, our raison d'être.
Training – what the regulators say
Principle 6 of the GDC's Standards for the Dental Team says dental professionals must: 'Work with colleagues in a way that is in patients' best interests'. Standard 6.6.5 elaborates: 'You must encourage, support and facilitate the continuing professional development (CPD) of your dental team.' Clearly, this requires that practices and/or team leaders should play a part in enabling and ensuring the compliance of team members with their individual CPD requirements.
CQC Regulation 18 relates to staffing. To ensure that staff are competent to carry out their roles, both at the outset and on an ongoing basis, it is a requirement that at the start of an employment an induction programme is undertaken and that a learning and development needs analysis is carried out. Staff should then be supported to make sure that they can take part in statutory training, other mandatory training and additional training specifically related to their role. Regular appraisal should be arranged and ongoing measures should be in place to ensure that competence is maintained.