NGO Development Strategy Training Needs Analysis
MHCC undertook a detailed
Training Needs Analysis investigating the training needs of staff
(paid and voluntary) in NGOs providing services to
clients with mental health problems. The results have informed
MHCC's workforce development planning to ensure NGO staff providing
services to clients with mental health problems are able to access
relevant, affordable and local training. The needs analysis
involved comprehensive consultation with all key stakeholders
through formal interviews, surveys, and consultations. The needs
analysis covered the workforce's level of education and experience,
its training needs, and barriers to training. (including consumer
training), as well as future workforce needs and skills.
The key findings were that most agencies would like to
provide more staff training but reported being
constrained by factors such as time, modest or nil training
budgets, and the costs and impacts of
backfilling for staff, particularly those in key service
provision roles. There was general support for
the Certificate IV in Mental Health Work (non-clinical) to be
adopted as a voluntary minimum level of training
for workers in the sector, to enhance the credibility of the sector
and ensure minimum competency levels. A number
of respondents expressed a need for all mental health training
- More emphasis on ethics and professional boundaries issues;
- An increase in the communication and interpersonal skills involved in engaging with consumers;
- Information related to local service networks or referral procedures;
- Opportunities for training pathways to enable new staff, as well as consumers and carers, to build skills and qualifications over time; and
- Opportunities for higher level training for skilled staff, particularly in complex areas such as dual diagnosis, and for specialist groups such as those working with CALD communities, older people with dementia, or infants, children and young people with mental health problems.
A number of respondents also emphasised the need for mental health training to be closely linked to the adoption of quality, professional development cultures in NGOs. This would ensure the benefits of external training can be maximised within a work-based context.
Most respondents would like to see a minimum qualification standard for the sector. Some of the benefits of a minimum standard included enhancing the credibility of the sector and ensuring minimum competency levels.