chcccs005

CHCCOM005

COMMUNICATE AND WORK IN HEALTH OR COMMUNITY SERVICES

LEARNER RESOURCE

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T A B L E O F C O N T E N T S

TABLE OF CONTENTS ........................................................................................................................................ 1

UNIT INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................................... 4

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE ...................................................................................................................................... 4 ABOUT ASSESSMENT .......................................................................................................................................... 5

ELEMENTS AND PERFORMANCE CRITERIA ....................................................................................................... 7

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE AND KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE ................................................................................. 9

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE ......................................................................................................................................... 9 KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE ............................................................................................................................................ 9

ASSESSMENT CONDITIONS ............................................................................................................................ 12

PRE-REQUISITES ............................................................................................................................................. 12

TOPIC 1 – COMMUNICATE EFFECTIVELY WITH PEOPLE .................................................................................. 13

USE VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION TO ENHANCE UNDERSTANDING AND DEMONSTRATE

RESPECT ......................................................................................................................................................... 13

WHAT IS COMMUNICATION? ................................................................................................................................... 13 VERBAL COMMUNICATION ..................................................................................................................................... 14 NON-VERBAL ....................................................................................................................................................... 15

COMMUNICATE SERVICE INFORMATION IN A MANNER THAT IS CLEAR AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD .............. 17

CONSISTENCY ....................................................................................................................................................... 17 CLEAR DIRECTION ................................................................................................................................................. 17 ACCOUNTABILITY .................................................................................................................................................. 18 CULTURE ............................................................................................................................................................. 18

CONFIRM THE PERSON’S UNDERSTANDING AND LISTEN TO REQUESTS, CLARIFY MEANING AND RESPOND

APPROPRIATELY ............................................................................................................................................ 19

CLARIFYING AND CLARIFICATION .............................................................................................................................. 19 CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS ..................................................................................................................................... 19 OPEN QUESTIONS ................................................................................................................................................. 20 CLOSED QUESTIONS .............................................................................................................................................. 20 REFLECTING AND SUMMARISING ............................................................................................................................... 20 WHAT IS REFLECTING? ........................................................................................................................................... 22 WHAT IS SUMMARISING? ....................................................................................................................................... 22

EXCHANGE INFORMATION CLEARLY IN A TIMELY MANNER AND WITHIN CONFIDENTIALITY PROCEDURES ... 23

TOPIC 2 – COLLABORATE WITH COLLEAGUES ................................................................................................. 25

COLLABORATION OR CONFRONTATION ....................................................................................................................... 25

LISTEN TO, CLARIFY AND AGREE TIMEFRAMES FOR CARRYING OUT WORKPLACE INSTRUCTIONS ................. 25

IDENTIFY LINES OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ORGANISATION AND OTHER SERVICES .............................. 27

MAINTAIN ACTIVE PARTICIPATION ............................................................................................................................ 27 FACE-TO-FACE NETWORKING .................................................................................................................................. 29 COMMUNICATING CONFIDENTLY.............................................................................................................................. 29

USE INDUSTRY TERMINOLOGY CORRECTLY IN VERBAL, WRITTEN AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS ............ 30

USE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY IN VERBAL, COMMUNICATIONS....................................................................... 30

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USE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY IN WRITTEN OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATION ....................................................... 30 COMPLETING DOCUMENTS...................................................................................................................................... 30

FOLLOW COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS THAT APPLY TO INTERACTIONS WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND LINES

OF AUTHORITY............................................................................................................................................... 31

COMMUNICATION HIERARCHY ................................................................................................................................. 31

TOPIC 3 – ADDRESS CONSTRAINTS TO COMMUNICATION ............................................................................. 33

IDENTIFY EARLY SIGNS OF POTENTIALLY COMPLICATED OR DIFFICULT SITUATIONS AND REPORT ACCORDING

TO ORGANISATION PROCEDURES .................................................................................................................. 33

RESOLVE CONFLICT ................................................................................................................................................ 34

IDENTIFY ACTUAL CONSTRAINTS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND RESOLVE USING APPROPRIATE

COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES ........................................................................................ 36

USE COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO AVOID, DEFUSE AND RESOLVE CONFLICT SITUATIONS ............................. 38

CONFLICT AND PROBLEM-SOLVING IN THE WORKPLACE ................................................................................................. 38

TOPIC 4 – REPORT PROBLEMS TO SUPERVISOR ............................................................................................. 40

COMPLY WITH LEGAL AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND DISCUSS DIFFICULTIES WITH SUPERVISOR AND

REFER UNRESOLVED CONFLICT SITUATIONS TO SUPERVISOR ........................................................................ 40

REFER ANY BREACH OR NON-ADHERENCE TO STANDARD PROCEDURES OR ADVERSE EVENT TO

APPROPRIATE PEOPLE AND REFER ISSUES IMPACTING ON ACHIEVEMENT OF EMPLOYEE, EMPLOYER AND/OR

CLIENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES .......................................................................................................... 42

BREACH OF STANDARD PROCEDURES ......................................................................................................................... 42 ISSUES IMPACTING EMPLOYEE/EMPLOYER ACHIEVEMENT .............................................................................................. 43 KNOW HOW TO ADDRESS DILEMMAS THAT MAY ARISE BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS AND THE DUTY OF CARE ................... 43

TOPIC 5 – COMPLETE WORKPLACE CORRESPONDENCE AND DOCUMENTATION ........................................... 45

READ WORKPLACE DOCUMENTS RELATING TO ROLE AND CLARIFY UNDERSTANDING WITH SUPERVISOR ... 45

AWARDS AND AGREEMENTS ................................................................................................................................... 46 DEFINITIONS ........................................................................................................................................................ 47

Awards ........................................................................................................................................................ 47 Agreements ................................................................................................................................................. 47

COMPLETE DOCUMENTATION ACCORDING TO LEGAL REQUIREMENT AND ORGANISATION PROCEDURES

AND COMPLETE WRITTEN AND ELECTRONIC WORKPLACE DOCUMENTS TO ORGANISATION STANDARDS AND

USE CLEAR, ACCURATE AND OBJECTIVE LANGUAGE WHEN DOCUMENTING EVENTS ..................................... 49

POLICIES AND PROCEDURES GUIDE YOUR WORK ........................................................................................................... 51

FOLLOW ORGANISATION COMMUNICATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR USING DIGITAL MEDIA ........ 53

TOPIC 6 – CONTRIBUTE TO CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT ............................................................................. 54

CONTRIBUTE TO IDENTIFYING AND VOICING IMPROVEMENTS IN WORK PRACTICES .................................... 54

WHAT IS ‘CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT’? ................................................................................................................. 54 Continuous Improvement Process (CIP) ...................................................................................................... 54

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM) .................................................................................................................... 55 The essential components of TQM – Commitment and Leadership ............................................................ 56 The building blocks of TQM: processes, people, management systems and performance measurement .. 57

PRINCIPLES OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT .............................................................................................................. 57 The Continuous Improvement Process ........................................................................................................ 58 Five ways to continuously improve ............................................................................................................. 58

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PROMOTE AND MODEL CHANGES TO IMPROVED WORK PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES IN ACCORDANCE

WITH ORGANISATION REQUIREMENTS.......................................................................................................... 60

SEEK FEEDBACK AND ADVICE FROM APPROPRIATE PEOPLE ON AREAS FOR SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE

DEVELOPMENT .............................................................................................................................................. 61

CONSULT WITH MANAGER REGARDING OPTIONS FOR ACCESSING SKILL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND

INITIATE ACTION ............................................................................................................................................ 64

TOPIC 7 - FURTHER INFORMATION ................................................................................................................ 65

CONFIDENTIALITY, PRIVACY AND DISCLOSURE .............................................................................................. 65

WHAT IS CONFIDENTIALITY ....................................................................................................................... 65

DISCRIMINATION ........................................................................................................................................... 67

INTERVENTION AND CHILD PROTECTION ....................................................................................................... 68

WORK ROLE BOUNDARIES ............................................................................................................................. 70

TRANSLATION/INTERPRETERS ....................................................................................................................... 71

INFORMED CONSENT ..................................................................................................................................... 73

DIGITAL MEDIA AND USE ............................................................................................................................... 73

SUMMARY ..................................................................................................................................................... 74

REFERENCES ................................................................................................................................................... 75

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U N I T I N T R O D U C T I O N

This resource covers the unit CHCCOM005 - Communicate and work in health or community services.

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, management and other industry providers.

This unit applies to a range of health and community service contexts where workers may communicate face-to-face, in writing or using digital media and work with limited responsibility under direct or indirect supervision.

The skills in this unit must be applied in accordance with Commonwealth and State/Territory legislation, Australian/New Zealand standards and industry codes of practice.

ABOUT THIS RESOURCE

This resource brings together information to develop your knowledge about this unit. The information is designed to reflect the requirements of the unit and uses headings to makes it easier to follow.

Read through this resource to develop your knowledge in preparation for your assessment. You will be required to complete the assessment tools that are included in your program. At the back of the resource are a list of references you may find useful to review.

As a student it is important to extend your learning and to search out text books, internet sites, talk to people at work and read newspaper articles and journals which can provide additional learning material.

Your trainer may include additional information and provide activities. Slide presentations and assessments in class to support your learning.

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ABOUT ASSESSMENT

Throughout your training we are committed to your learning by providing a training and assessment framework that ensures the knowledge gained through training is translated into practical on the job improvements.

You are going to be assessed for:

 Your skills and knowledge using written and observation activities that apply

to your workplace.

 Your ability to apply your learning.

 Your ability to recognise common principles and actively use these on the job.

You will receive an overall result of Competent or Not Yet Competent for the assessment of this unit. The assessment is a competency based assessment, which has no pass or fail. You are either competent or not yet competent. Not Yet Competent means that you still are in the process of understanding and acquiring the skills and knowledge required to be marked competent. The assessment process is made up of a number of assessment methods. You are required to achieve a satisfactory result in each of these to be deemed competent overall.

All of your assessment and training is provided as a positive learning tool. Your assessor will guide your learning and provide feedback on your responses to the assessment. For valid and reliable assessment of this unit, a range of assessment methods will be used to assess practical skills and knowledge.

Your assessment may be conducted through a combination of the following methods:

 Written Activity

 Case Study

 Observation

 Questions

 Third Party Report

The assessment tool for this unit should be completed within the specified time period following the delivery of the unit. If you feel you are not yet ready for assessment, discuss this with your trainer and assessor.

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To be successful in this unit you will need to relate your learning to your workplace. You may be required to demonstrate your skills and be observed by your assessor in your workplace environment. Some units provide for a simulated work environment and your trainer and assessor will outline the requirements in these instances.

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E L E M E N T S A N D P E R F O R M A NC E C R I T E R I A

1. Communicate effectively with people

1.1 Use verbal and non-verbal communication to enhance understanding and demonstrate respect

1.2 Communicate service information in a manner that is clear and easily understood

1.3 Confirm the person’s understanding

1.4 Listen to requests, clarify meaning and respond appropriately

1.5 Exchange information clearly in a timely manner and within confidentiality procedures

2. Collaborate with colleagues 2.1 Listen to, clarify and agree timeframes for carrying out workplace instructions

2.2 Identify lines of communication between organisation and other services

2.3 Use industry terminology correctly in verbal, written and digital communications

2.4 Follow communication protocols that apply to interactions with different people and lines of authority

3. Address constraints to communication

3.1 Identify early signs of potentially complicated or difficult situations and report according to organisation procedures

3.2 Identify actual constraints to effective communication and resolve using appropriate communication strategies and techniques

3.3 Use communication skills to avoid, defuse and resolve conflict situations

4. Report problems to supervisor

4.1 Comply with legal and ethical responsibilities and discuss difficulties with supervisor

4.2 Refer any breach or non adherence to standard procedures or adverse event to appropriate people

4.3 Refer issues impacting on achievement of employee, employer and/or client rights and responsibilities

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4.4 Refer unresolved conflict situations to supervisor

5. Complete workplace correspondence and documentation

5.1 Complete documentation according to legal requirement and organisation procedures

5.2 Read workplace documents relating to role and clarify understanding with supervisor

5.3 Complete written and electronic workplace documents to organisation standards

5.4 Follow organisation communication policies and procedures for using digital media

5.5 Use clear, accurate and objective language when documenting events

6. Contribute to continuous improvement

6.1 Contribute to identifying and voicing improvements in work practices

6.2 Promote and model changes to improved work practices and procedures in accordance with organisation requirements

6.3 Seek feedback and advice from appropriate people on areas for skill and knowledge development

6.4 Consult with manager regarding options for accessing skill development opportunities and initiate action

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P E R F O R M A N C E E V I D E N C E A N D K N O W L E D G E E V I D E N C E

This describes the essential knowledge and skills and their level required for this unit.

PERFORMANCE EVIDENCE

The candidate must show evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the job role. There must be evidence that the candidate has:

 Demonstrated effective communication skills in 3 different work situations

 Clarified workplace instructions and negotiated timeframes with 2 colleagues

 Responded appropriately to 3 different situations where communication

constraints were present

 Completed 2 written or electronic workplace documents to organisation

standards

KNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE

The candidate must be able to demonstrate essential knowledge required to effectively complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit, manage tasks and manage contingencies in the context of the work role. This includes knowledge of:

 Legal and ethical considerations in relation to communication:

o Privacy, confidentiality and disclosure

o Discrimination

o Duty of care

o Mandatory reporting

o Translation

o Informed consent

o Work role boundaries – responsibilities and limitations

o Child protection across all health and community services contexts,

including duty of care when child is not the client, indicators of risk

and adult disclosure

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 Sources of information and the application of legal and ethical aspects of

health and community services work

 Ethical decision making and conflicts of interest

 Principles of effective communication, including models, modes and types

 Communication techniques:

o Open ended questions, affirmations, reflections and summaries

o Difference between motivational interviewing and coercive approach

o Difference between collaboration and confrontation

 Influences on communication:

o Language

o Culture

o Religion

o Emotional state

o Disability

o Health

o Age

 Potential constraints to effective communication in health and community

service contexts

 Health and community services industry terminology relating to role and

service provision

 Importance of grammar, speed and pronunciation for verbal communication

 When and how to use and recognise non-verbal communication

 Structure, function and interrelationships between different parts of the

health and community service system

 Organisation structure and different models to support optimum client

service:

o Principles underpinning person-centred service delivery

o Principles of rights-based service delivery

o Different roles and responsibilities of team

o Characteristics of multi-disciplinary teams and how they are used

o Relationships between different members of the health and

community services workforces

o Role of support services

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o Links and interrelationships with other services

o Funding environment

 Digital media and use in community services and health sector, including:

o Web

o Email

o Social media

o Podcast and videos

o Tablets and applications

o Newsletters and broadcasts

o Intranet

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A S S E S S M E N T C O N D I T I O N S

Skills must have been demonstrated in the workplace or in a simulated environment that reflects workplace conditions. Where simulation is used, it must reflect real working conditions by modelling industry operating conditions and contingencies, as well as, using suitable facilities, equipment and resources.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations (RTOs) 2015/AQTF mandatory competency requirements for assessors.

P R E - R E Q U I S I T E S

This unit must be assessed after the following pre-requisite unit:

There are no pre-requisites for this unit.

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T O P I C 1 – C O M M U N I C A T E E F F E C T I V E L Y W I T H P E O P L E

USE VERBAL AND NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION TO ENHANCE UNDERSTANDING AND DEMONSTRATE RESPECT

Effective communication, skills are fundamental to success in many aspects of life. Many jobs require strong communication skills and socially, people with improved communication skills usually have better interpersonal relationships.

Effective verbal or spoken communication is dependent on a number of factors and cannot be fully isolated from other important interpersonal skills such as non-verbal communication, listening skills and clarification.

WHAT IS COMMUNICATION?

Communication is simply the act of transferring information from one place to another.

Although this is a simple definition, when we think about how we may communicate the subject becomes a lot more complex. There are various categories of communication, and more than one may occur at any time. The different categories of communication are:

 Spoken or verbal communication

 Non-verbal communication

 Written communication

 Visualisations

Communication refers to the manner in which the meaning of a message is transmitted and received and includes:

Unaided communication such as:

 Natural gestures

 Facial expressions

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 Eye contact

 Vocalisation

 Key word signs - makaton vocabulary

Aided communication, where the person communicates using a communication aid (i.e. something other than their body) such as:

 Real objects

 Photographs

 Line drawings

 Communication aids such as 'chat books', personal communication dictionaries', 'books about me' etc.

 Electronic devices with speech output

Part of what makes us human is the ability to communicate ideas to each other using words. For a client who does not have the ability to communicate their thoughts in this manner life can be a lonely and frustrating experience.

VERBAL COMMUNICATION

Verbal communication includes sounds, words, language, and speech. Speaking is an effective way of communicating and helps in expressing our emotions in words. This form of communication is further classified into four types, which are:

 Intrapersonal Communication - This form of communication is extremely

private and restricted to ourselves. It includes the silent conversations we

have with ourselves; wherein we juggle roles between the sender and

receiver who are processing our thoughts and actions. This process of

communication, when analysed, can either be conveyed verbally to someone

or stay confined as thoughts.

 Interpersonal Communication - This form of communication takes place

between two individuals and is thus a one-on-one conversation. Here, the two

individuals involved will swap their roles of sender and receiver in order to

communicate in a clearer manner.

 Small Group Communication - This type of communication can take place

only when there are more than two people involved. Here the number of

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people will be small enough to allow each participant to interact and converse

with the rest. Press conferences, board meetings, and team meetings are

examples of group communication. Unless a specific issue is being discussed,

small group discussions can become chaotic and difficult to interpret by

everybody. This lag in understanding information completely can result in

miscommunication.

 Public Communication - This type of communication takes place when one

individual addresses a large gathering of people. Election campaigns and

public speeches are an example of this type of communication. In such cases,

there is usually a single sender of information and several receivers who are

being addressed.

NON-VERBAL

Nonverbal communication manages to convey the sender's message without having to use words.

This form of communication supercedes all other forms because of its usage and effectiveness. Nonverbal communication involves the use of physical ways of communication, such as tone of the voice, touch, and expressions.

Symbols and sign language are also included in nonverbal communication. Body posture and language convey a lot of nonverbal messages when communicating verbally with someone.

Folded arms and crossed legs are some of the defensive nonverbal signals conveyed by people. Shaking hands, patting and touching, express feelings of intimacy. Facial expressions, gestures and eye contact are all different ways of communication. Creative and aesthetic nonverbal forms of communication include music, dancing and sculpturing.

The way we communicate can play a major role in the success of our personal and professional relationships, and can significantly influence our ability to accomplish what we want and need, and achieve our potential.

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Words often play only a small part in the messages we communicate. Other factors, such as the way we present the words we use, our tone of our voice, and our body language – posture, gestures, facial expressions, eye contact, and personal presentation – all play a significant role in how we communicate. Of course, the way we communicate depends on who our audience is and what the context is. But whether chatting informally with friends or colleagues or participating in formal decision-making processes, how we communicate influences other people’s response to us, and the outcome.

Listening is just as important in the communication process as talking. Active listening is a way of listening that consciously focuses entirely on what the other person is saying, where the listener seeks to understand both the content of the message, and the emotions and feelings underlying the message. The listener is not required to agree with the speaker, just to try to understand what the speaker is saying. It’s important that the listener suspends their own opinions and judgement, to fully attend to the speaker. Active listening is particularly useful in situations where understanding is critical, in emotionally charged situations, and in resolving conflict.1

The way we communicate information should be based purely on the information that we have received from the client or the information that needs to be communicated. The mode of communication needs to suit the purpose and the context of the enquiry.

1 http://www.ywca-canberra.org.au/womens_leadership/effective_communication

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COMMUNICATE SERVICE INFORMATION IN A MANNER THAT IS CLEAR AND EASILY UNDERSTOOD

Implementing and practicing effective communication strategies for the workplace, across all levels of the organisation, aid in achieving greater input and results.

Communication strengths vary from person to person. It is important to consider guide employees on the communication methods inherent in the organisation’s culture. When employees are well informed, they can concentrate better on their tasks and business goals, incorporating elements of cooperation and collaboration into the work environment.

According to Insider’s Link to Productivity, there are four areas of focus that organisations can consider when building a communication culture:

CONSISTENCY

An organisation that has an established work environment with sound communication standards, policies, procedures and practices provides high levels of comforts to employees, stakeholders and clients.

Consistency helps employees to understand and appreciate their duties and responsibilities. Communication methods that are consistently practiced encourage employees to articulate their questions and ideas.

One tool that can help promote consistent communication is the Meeting Agenda.

CLEAR DIRECTION

Complete information is imperative in workplace communication. Information such as the current status of a project, for example; objectives, approach or method, resources or tools and persons in charge should be clearly communicated to all involved.

Knowing what direction to go and having a roadmap in the form of milestones will help in achieving goals.

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Using a Strategic Team Plan cascaded to each team member provides clarity and metrics around goals and empowers employees to start and finish projects with less rogue actions or procrastination.2

ACCOUNTABILITY

Practicing communication accountability fosters effective communication in the workplace. Cooperating to accept a portion of the responsibility for any communication breakdown at work allows co-workers to cultivate a high level of accountability with one another because they have the proper and correct information, for instance, knowing who is responsible for a specific project or task.

An important place in the organisation for the practice of accountability in communication is at the leadership level. The communication skills established and displayed by leadership sets the kind of communication practices that will be demonstrated by the workforce.

Implementing an Accountability Program standardises how everyone is held accountable for their goals including management and leadership.3

CULTURE

Employees are more engaged and participative when there is effective communication in the workplace. A healthy organisational culture is attained when coordination, fairness and respect are infused in the communication practices.

Effective communication offers many benefits such as productivity growth, decrease in employee turnover and increase in employee engagement. When building communication strategies into a corporate culture, develop communication methods and protocols that will best suit your organisation’s needs. This will allow you to achieve sustainable results that will yield long-term benefits for the organisation.

2 http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs030/1102470511648/archive/1105010205045.html (accessed 8 May 2015) 3 Ibid.

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CONFIRM THE PERSON’S UNDERSTANDING AND LISTEN TO REQUESTS, CLARIFY MEANING AND RESPOND APPROPRIATELY

CLARIFYING AND CLARIFICATION

In communication, clarification involves offering back to the speaker the essential meaning, as understood by the listener, of what they have just said. Thereby checking that the listener's understanding is correct and resolving any areas of confusion or misunderstanding.

Clarification is important in many situations especially when what is being communicated is difficult in some way. Communication can be 'difficult' for many reasons, perhaps sensitive emotions are being discussed - or you are listening to some complex information or following instructions. This page provides dialogue and examples of clarification and how you can use this simple technique to improve your communication skills.

The Purpose of Clarification is to:  Ensure that the listener's understanding of what the speaker has said is correct.

 Reassure the speaker that the listener is genuinely interested in them and is

attempting to understand what they are saying

As an extension of reflecting, clarifying reassures the speaker that the listener is attempting to understand the messages they are expressing. Clarifying can involve asking questions or occasionally summarising what the speaker has said. A listener can ask for clarification when they cannot make sense of the speaker's responses. Sometimes, the messages that a speaker is attempting to send can be highly complex, involving many different people, issues, places and/or times. Clarifying helps you to sort these out and also to check the speaker's priorities. Through clarification it is possible for the speaker and the listener to make sense of these often confused and complex issues. Clarifying involves genuineness on the listener's part and it shows speakers that the listener is interested in them and in what they have to say. 4

CLARIFICATION QUESTIONS

When you are the listener in a sensitive environment, the right sort of non-directive questioning can enable the speaker to describe their viewpoint more fully. Asking the right question at the right time can be crucial and comes with practice. The best questions are open-ended as they give the speaker choice in how to respond, whereas closed questions allow only very limited responses.

4 http://faudzil.blogspot.com/2013/11/communication-clarifying-and.html

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OPEN QUESTIONS

If your role is to assist a speaker to talk about an issue, often the most effective questioning starts with 'when', 'where', 'how' or 'why'. These questions encourage speakers to be open and expand on their thoughts. For example:

 “When did you first start feeling like this?”

 “Why do you feel this way?”

CLOSED QUESTIONS

Closed questions usually elicit a 'yes' or 'no' response and do not encourage speakers to be open and expand on their thoughts. Such questions often begin with 'did you?' or 'were you?' For example:

 “Did you always feel like this?”

 “Were you aware of feeling this way?”

REFLECTING AND SUMMARISING

When we speak, we do not want to risk offending and alienating customers or colleagues by the words we use. Therefore, we need to:

 Speak clearly

 Avoid slang and jargon

 Develop our vocabulary

 Make the content appropriate and relevant

 Put the words in the correct context

Speak slowly and clearly Focus on clearly enunciating and slowing down your speech. Even if you’re pressured for time, don’t rush through your communication. Doing so often takes more time, as miscommunication and misunderstanding can result, and you’ll ultimately have to invest additional time in clearing up the confusion. Ask for clarification If you are not 100% sure you’ve understood what others say, politely ask for clarification. Avoid assuming you’ve understood what’s been said. Frequently check for understanding

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Check both that you’ve understood what’s been said and that others have fully understood you. Practice reflective listening to check your own understanding (e.g. 'So what I hear you saying is…') and use open-ended questions to check other people’s understanding. Ask, 'what's your understanding of this process?' instead of 'is that clear?' Avoid idioms Business language is often contextual, and, therefore, culture specific. For example, in the US, baseball terms are used extensively: ‘Straight off the Bat,’ ‘Ballpark figures,’ ‘Out in left field,’ ‘Touch base,’ ‘Strike a deal’. As a good general rule, if the phrase requires knowledge of other information, be it a game or metaphor, recognize that this may make your communication more difficult to be understood. Be careful of jargon Watch the use of TLAs (Three Letter Abbreviations) and other organisational language that may not be understood by others. If you use them, provide in parentheses a description of what these are so others can learn to use the same language you do. Define the basics of business In international business contexts terms such as: ‘success’, ‘doneness’, ‘meetings’, ‘punctuality’, etc. may mean different things to different people. Spend time early in your communication defining what these mean to you and others. Invest in building a shared vocabulary. Be specific Spell out your expectations and deadlines clearly. Instead of, ‘Please get back to me shortly,’ say ‘Please email the completed report by 5 pm Eastern Standard time on Wednesday, February 21.’ Choose your medium of communication effectively Carefully choose your form of communication (phone or video conference, email, instant message, etc.). Be mindful not to ‘overuse’ email. While useful, there are times when the medium is likely to be ineffective. When a message is complex and complicated, or there is tension or conflict that needs to be resolved, switch to another medium. Provide information via multiple channels Follow phone calls with emails that summarize what’s been said. When possible, provide presentations, agendas, etc. in advance so those working in their non-native language can get familiar with materials. Be patient Cross-cultural communication takes more time. If not at all times, certainly initially you cannot expect your communication to occur with the same speed and ease as when you are communicating with someone from your own culture.5

5 http://www.culturosity.com/articles/Ten%20Strategies%20for%20Effective%20Communi...

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WHAT IS REFLECTING?

Reflecting is the process of paraphrasing and restating both the feelings and words of the speaker. The purposes of reflecting are:

 To allow the speaker to 'hear' their own thoughts and to focus on what they

say and feel.

 To show the speaker that you are trying to perceive the world as they see it

and that you are doing your best to understand their messages.

 To encourage them to continue talking.

Reflecting does not involve you asking questions, introducing a new topic or leading the conversation in another direction. Speakers are helped through reflecting as it not only allows them to feel understood, but it also gives them the opportunity to focus their ideas. This in turn helps them to direct their thoughts and further encourages them to continue speaking.6

WHAT IS SUMMARISING?

Summarising involves taking the main ideas from a piece of text and rewriting them in your own words. A summary is significantly shorter than the original text and tends to give an overview of a topic area.

6 http://www.skillsyouneed.com/ips/reflecting.html#ixzz41X51hNaL

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EXCHANGE INFORMATION CLEARLY IN A TIMELY MANNER AND WITHIN CONFIDENTIALITY PROCEDURES

It is vitally important that when you are exchanging information that it is done so clearly and in a timely manner.

When communicating personal information regarding clients or colleagues in the community services sector, it is extremely important to ensure that caution is used at all times to ensure the confidentiality of both staff and client matters. This is important both during written and verbal communication of personal information that may pertain to your colleagues or clients.

Your community services organisation will have policies and procedures in place for the handling of confidential information, and it is important that you make yourself aware of these and follow them at all time. The protection of the personal information of clients and colleagues is also enforced by legislation that is applied in many sectors of business including the community services sector.

Organisation policy on confidentiality may relate to:

 Access to records

 Destruction of records

 Release of information

 Storage of records

 Verbal and written communication

As well as handling all personal information of client and colleagues within the correct organisational policies, procedures, regulations and guidelines it is important that you also conduct the handling of this information with respect and care. Simple steps such as:

 Closing the door to have a private conversation

 Not leaving papers of a personal nature in plain view of others

 Ensuring that you take care when writing information so as not to release

information inadvertently

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Ensuring that you choose your words with care when communicating verbally regarding the personal information of others

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T O P I C 2 – C O L L A B O R A T E W I T H C O L L E A G U E S

COLLABORATION OR CONFRONTATION

Confrontation is basically a state of conflict between two people or ideas and collaboration is a joint effort of multiple individuals or work groups to accomplish a task or project. In this section we will delve a little deeper into collaboration and working with colleagues.

LISTEN TO, CLARIFY AND AGREE TIMEFRAMES FOR CARRYING OUT WORKPLACE INSTRUCTIONS

Make sure you clarify time frames for each of your work tasks with your supervisor. The things you think might be important may not be. You may miss an important deadline if you miss the timeline for completion.

It is important that all community service workers understand the importance of ensuring that the community service provider’s policies, protocols and procedures are appropriately and consistently addressed. This includes listening to, clarifying and agreeing on timeframes for carrying out instructions given to you.

An organisational goal is the overall purpose and direction of the company. Strategic plans, policies and protocols or procedures are all written in line with the organisations goals and objectives and should be followed at all times to ensure the purpose of the organisation is being carried out correctly.

A policy is a statement of intent, and is implemented as a procedure or protocol, these make up the framework that determine how work should be carried out and the timelines in which it is to be carried out. It is important that work is carried out within the scope of your role and individual responsibilities within the agreed timelines.

In order for a worker to carry out their job role correctly it is essential that they are aware of exactly what they are required to do, at what times and how they should perform these tasks in order to ensure that they are working within the required policies and procedures of a workplace.

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It is the responsibility of all community service workers to ensure that all of their actions are undertaken in line with organisational goals. Community service workers must follow all policies and procedures that are written to support the organisational goals as they will have been written in a manner that allows the organisation to work effectively and within the law.

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IDENTIFY LINES OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN ORGANISATION AND OTHER SERVICES

There are service providing groups that are likely to be allied with or complementary to the service which you work. Relevance will be dependent on client needs and on the particular service that your organisation provides.

You may need to liaise and maintain links with several services, and the types of links may include:

 Referral to and from other services

 Telephone contact

 Worker networks

 Informal contacts

 Case conferences

 Inter-agency meetings

 Community consultative committees

 Joint projects

To initiate links with the various services you will need to make contact. You will need to know what services are provided by the different organisations or groups, the quality of the service provided, any associated expenses or any eligibility criteria that must apply, time frames and timetables applicable to the services and the most appropriate method for accessing the services. You will also need to provide information about who you are, the organisation for which you work and the needs and preferences of your clients.

MAINTAIN ACTIVE PARTICIPATION

Networks can be either formal or informal. Informal networks consist of respect and trust based relationships that do not require formal structures. Formal networks are those which often require membership applications and a membership fee. These might provide specific networking services, for example, databases of other organisations which are in a similar field to your own, regular newsletters to inform members of business developments, notification of formal networking functions and conferences that assist business personnel in meeting with and growing relationships with similar businesses.

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A network can be described as:

 An intricately connected system of things or people

 A communication system

 An interconnecting or interacting configuration of components

 A system or set of associations and contacts which support each other

through the exchange of information and ideas

Work-oriented networks include all the people or groups of people with whom you associate in order to complete your work. Networks provide information, support, resources, and power.

Networking activities might include:

 Referrals to and from other services

 Telephone contact with associated services and community bodies

 Worker networks

 Informal contacts with network associates

 Formal network memberships

 Participation in case conferences

 Interagency meetings

 Community consultative committees:

o Joint projects

 Membership on community consultative committees:

o Joint projects

 Consultations:

o Joint initiatives

 Telephone advice

 Collaborative provision of staff development and training

 Exchanging of reports

 Community education

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FACE-TO-FACE NETWORKING

Networking events, conferences and other face-to-face opportunities can provide you with valuable information. These networks will enable you to gather the latest information on other services and provide information to other services about your service. This networking is vital in a community service organisation. No service works alone. Each one offers a different type of service or activity and all work together to provide clients with an overall service that meets their needs. These tips focus on helping you get the most from in-person networking activities.

For networking to be effective, you should devote time and planning. All of your business contacts and in particular, supplier and client contacts (including the family of clients), should be considered in terms of relationship building. Take every possible opportunity to build trust-based, information sharing relationships with work contacts (including those who are separated from you by distance and with whom you communicate electronically).

COMMUNICATING CONFIDENTLY

Be confident and use body language to support that confidence. Shake hands firmly, smile and make eye contact while communicating at live networking events. Don’t forget to bring business cards and or information to hand out to everyone you meet, and remember to relax and be yourself.

Before heading out to a networking event, practice introducing yourself to new people to gain confidence. Working on your introduction with someone you trust and asking for their feedback also helps.

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USE INDUSTRY TERMINOLOGY CORRECTLY IN VERBAL, WRITTEN AND DIGITAL COMMUNICATIONS

USE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY IN VERBAL, COMMUNICATIONS In all organisations of the health or community services, you will use both written and verbal communication. It will be necessary for you to communicate orally with either patients/clients, staff members, Doctors and other health professionals and other departments or organisations in either a face-to-face situations or over the telephone.

Therefore, you must know how to pronounce any medical terminology that will be use. You must also know the context in which the different terms or words are to be used.

Any information communicated must be clear, and feedback asked for to check that it has been understood and that instructions are completed accurately.

USE APPROPRIATE MEDICAL TERMINOLOGY IN WRITTEN OR DIGITAL COMMUNICATION

In written communication, it is also essential that you use the correct and appropriate terminology. Written communication will include the normal types of general correspondence found in all offices as well as correspondence that is relevant in a medical/health context.

COMPLETING DOCUMENTS

Documentation could be paper-based, electronic, or both. Whenever a form or document needs to be written, medical administrative staff must ensure that the information recorded is accurate, and the finished document looks professional

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FOLLOW COMMUNICATION PROTOCOLS THAT APPLY TO INTERACTIONS WITH DIFFERENT PEOPLE AND LINES OF

AUTHORITY

All organisations have rules for the transfer of information. Knowing how to use the different types of communication and following the correct procedures at the health care organisation helps to ensure that information goes to the correct place and person.

Communication can be internal or external or both. Internal communication is between staff at your organisation. External communication is between staff at the health care organisation and clients or other community members including the media.

In a health care routine workplace protocols exist for:

 Written communication (sending and receiving information)

 Verbal communication (giving and following instructions and messages)

Types of written communication used in health care include:

 Email, letters and faxes

 Forms, reports and memos

 Minutes and agendas for meetings

 Technical and procedural manuals

 Workplace signs

 Whiteboards and pin-up boards

The type of written and verbal communication you use in the health care organisation will depend on the area you work in and on your job description.

COMMUNICATION HIERARCHY

In all organisations, there is a correct line of communication. In the health care organisation, the first line of communication is your immediate superior or supervisor.

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It is important that you are able to discuss any issues or concerns you may have with your supervisor. Your supervisor may then either take your concern to the next level, or you may be advised to do so.

If you go straight to the director or head of the company, you will be advised to discuss the matter first with your supervisor.

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T O P I C 3 – A D D R E S S C O N S T R A I N T S T O C O M M U N I C A T I O N

IDENTIFY EARLY SIGNS OF POTENTIALLY COMPLICATED OR DIFFICULT SITUATIONS AND REPORT ACCORDING TO

ORGANISATION PROCEDURES

Conflict is part of the dynamics in the workplace. While it is inevitable, it should not reduce productivity or bring down morale. Conflict should be addressed in a timely fashion. Here are strategies to handle conflict and maintain a tension-free workplace:

 Understand the situation. Few situations are exactly as they seem or as

presented to you by others. Before you try to settle the conflict, ensure you

have investigated both sides of the issue.

 Acknowledge the problem. Acknowledging the frustration and concerns is an

important step in resolving the conflict. Acting immediately on the problem

will avoid the negative impacts to penetrate on to the workplace climate or

culture.

 Be patient and take your time. Get a clear understanding of the issues before

you try to intervene. People often have very different perceptions of what has

occurred. Understanding their perceptions will help you to focus on what is

important to each person, and to find common ground.

 Arrange to meet with parties concerned. After meeting all partied involved

individually, set a group meeting with them. Encourage each person to

summarise their view, uninterrupted. This is essential as often people

involved in conflict do not feel heard. Sometimes resolving workplace conflict

is as easy as providing a forum for people to express their views.

 Focus on the problem, not the individual. Focus on identifying and resolving

the conflict. Set aside biases, assumptions, judgements and personal

perceptions.

 Establish guidelines. Before conducting a formal meeting between

individuals, get both parties to agree to a few meeting guidelines. Ask them to

express themselves calmly—as unemotionally as possible. Have them agree

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to attempt to understand each other’s perspective. Tell them if they violate

the guidelines the meeting will come to an end.

 Keep the communication open. The ultimate goal in conflict resolution is for

both parties to resolve the issue between themselves. Allow both parties to

express their viewpoint, but also share your perspective. Attempt to facilitate

the meeting and help them pinpoint the real issue causing conflict.

 Act decisively. Summarise the key issues once you have heard from all the

people concerned. Once you have taken the time to gather information, talked

to all the parties involved, and reviewed all the circumstances, make your

decision and act. Decide whether you will be able to mediate yourself, or you

will need the help of HR or external mediators.7

RESOLVE CONFLICT

Differences in personalities, goals and opinions sometimes result in conflict in the workplace. Learning how to manage conflict efficiently is the key to preventing it from slowing down employees' professional growth. Below are steps involved in conflict resolution:

 Step 1: Identify the source of the conflict. The more information you have

about the cause of the conflict, the more easily you can help to resolve it. To

get the information you need, use a series of questions to identify the cause,

like, “When did you feel upset?” “Do you see a relationship between that and

this incident?” “How did this incident begin?” Both parties must be given the

chance to share their side of the story. This will give a clearer picture and

better understanding of the situation. Listening to both parties confirms

impartiality. Remember to listen actively as you acknowledge the information

and encourage the parties involved to continue to express their thoughts and

feelings.

 Step 2: Look beyond the incident. Often, it is not the situation but the

perspective on the situation that causes the friction that leads to visible and

sometimes, disruptive evidence of a conflict. The source of the conflict might

be a minor problem that occurred months before, but the level of stress has

7 http://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/resolveconflict.htm

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grown to the point where the two parties have begun attacking each other

personally instead of addressing the real problem. In the calm of your office,

you can get them to look beyond the triggering incident to see the real cause.

Ask probing questions that will help you get to the bottom of the issue.

 Step 3: Request solutions. After getting each party’s point of view on the

conflict, solicit ideas from them. Ask for their inputs on how to change the

situation. Empower them to resolve their own issues.

 Step 4: Identify solutions both disputants can support. You are listening for

the most acceptable course of action. Point out the merits of various ideas, not

only from each other’s perspective but in terms of the benefits to the

organization. For instance, you might point to the need for greater

cooperation and collaboration to effectively address team issues and

departmental problems.

 Step 5: Agreement. The mediator needs to get the two parties to agree to one

of the alternatives identified. There are cases that a contract needs to be

written and signed by all parties, including facilitators, mediators and even

supervisors. The contract should specify the agreed courses of action and

time frames. Plan strategies and form processes to prevent conflicts from

arising in the future. It will also help to establish and communicate

contingency and escalation plans.

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IDENTIFY ACTUAL CONSTRAINTS TO EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION AND RESOLVE USING APPROPRIATE

COMMUNICATION STRATEGIES AND TECHNIQUES

The community services sector and, in fact, our greater community are becoming more and more diverse all the time. It is extremely important for a community services worker to have an adaptable and flexible communication style that can be changed when the need is recognised. Specific communication needs may arise from individual and cultural differences and it is important that these are recognised and responded to ensure correctly effective communication and respect for all involved.

There are many different factors which may cause a need for adapted communication including:

 Gender

 Race

 Age

 Language

 Literacy level

 Disability

 Critical situations

 Emotional situations

It is important that all of these needs are responded to in a fair and non-judgmental manner. There are many different appropriate methods that communication can be altered in order to meet these needs. These include:

 Written materials in multiple languages

 Facial expressions and body language

 Practical demonstrations

 Cultural advisors

 Interpreters

 Brail machines

 Speaking machines

 Signs and symbols

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It is important to conduct all communication in a sensitive and empathetic manner in order to protect the right of all clients and colleagues for respect and understanding.

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USE COMMUNICATION SKILLS TO AVOID, DEFUSE AND RESOLVE CONFLICT SITUATIONS

Every workplace will have conflict from time to time. You will need to be able to recognise conflict as it is about to happen, as this is the best way to avoid it by addressing the conflict on the spot before it has a chance to manifest. It is always best to try and resolve differences on a one to one basis with the person/s concerned, as a first step. Personal and tactful communication is the best-starting approach.

You must remember to consider the other person’s point of view as well as any cultural differences or special needs. You need to clearly understand how you respond to conflict situations. When you do this, you’ll begin to identify your own patterns in conflict situations.

There are some key questions to ask yourself about how you would attempt to resolve a conflict situation between yourself and another person.

 Do you avoid conflict, hoping to “keep the peace”?

 Do you accommodate the other party in the conflict?

 Do you feel that compromise is the way resolve things?

 Do you actively collaborate?

You may be required to intervene in a conflict between co-workers at some point during your career. Should the need arise, go about resolving the conflict as you would if it was yourself involved, making certain that you are not biased, and that you hear out both sides of the story.

CONFLICT AND PROBLEM-SOLVING IN THE WORKPLACE

When a number of people work together in a group situation, there is always potential for conflict as each individual holds different values, beliefs, attitudes, backgrounds and skills. Conflicts are likely to occur when:

 Individuals work together to achieve a shared goal

 Their work roles complement each other

 Resources are shared

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When conflicts arise, it is necessary to negotiate a solution, one which all parties involved are happy with and which allows you to continue to work together (a win–win situation).

Involving team members in a discussion of problems is one way of ensuring the solution reached is creative and owned by team members. Hayden (1998) suggests that there is a role for shared decision-making in teams, particularly in children's services. The five steps Hayden (1998, p. 4) outlines in shared decision-making are:

 Identify the problem and who owns it

 Realise that those who are most affected by the problem will be influenced by the decision made

 Brainstorm solutions or gather ideas together

 Collate the suggestions

 Ensure consensus is reached, that is, most team members agree with the decision

Staff meetings are one forum where shared decision-making can take place. Staff meetings allow team members to interact openly and discuss achievements, issues or problems that have arisen.

There are many benefits to holding regular staff meetings. They include the following:

 All team members receive the same information about occurrences in the workplace.

 Problems can be freely discussed.

 Other staff can provide feedback.

 Social bridges are built between members.

 Time is available to plan together and distribute tasks.

 Creative ideas are generated and can be tested out.

 All team members are given the opportunity to contribute to decision- making8

8 http://legacy.communitydoor.org.au/resources/etraining/units/chcorg3b/section3/section3topic02.ht ml

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T O P I C 4 – R E P O R T P R O B L E M S T O S U P E R V I S O R

COMPLY WITH LEGAL AND ETHICAL RESPONSIBILITIES AND DISCUSS DIFFICULTIES WITH SUPERVISOR AND REFER UNRESOLVED CONFLICT SITUATIONS TO SUPERVISOR

It is important for workers in community service roles to have clear understandings of what their Duty of care and other legal responsibilities are. It is of equal importance that they fulfil these responsibilities while practicing their professions or fulfilling their work roles. Upon accepting any community service role in Australia, one must accept the responsibility for upholding their duties of care and all other relevant legislation that may apply to their own work role. It is monumental importance that each worker understands that he or she is personally accountable for his or her own actions in relation to their role.

Duty of care is one's legal obligation to take reasonable care to prevent others from being harmed. This means that if a worker identifies something that could reasonably be considered to be a risk, then that employee must, in response take reasonable action to eliminate that risk.

Responsibilities of duty of care extend from workers to employers and even beyond the organisation that they work within. Parties that are responsible for building that are used to provide services to clients, as well as vehicle to transport them all, have duty of care responsibilities in relation to the role of community service workers.

It is the responsibility of community workers to know what their duty of care responsibilities are. If an employer meets their obligation to do everything in reason to make their workers aware of their duty of care, it is then the responsibility of the worker to be aware duty of care responsibilities, and be accountable for his or her own actions.

The legal responsibilities and obligations of a role within the realm of community services include key rafts of international, federal and local legislation which are required by law to be followed by all employees in that role. Following these pieces of legislation is essential to successfully carrying out the roles to which they pertain. It is important to follow them closely, not just to perform well in one’s role, but also to avoid any legal liability that may result in them not being followed. These legal ramifications may be aimed directly at the employee as well as the organisation that employs them.

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Despite the fact that these responsibilities and obligations may seem to be somewhat daunting, they should be viewed also as helpful guidelines for the Role to which they pertain. The guidelines not only form a framework for employees to work within, but also act to protect the employees from disciplinary or legal charges that could be raised against them.

The following Acts are relevant to community services:

 Adoption Act of 2000

 Children and young person (Care and Protection) Act 1998

 Community Services (Complaints, Reviews and Monitoring) Act 1993

 Community Welfare Act 1987

It is important that you discuss any difficulties with your legal and ethical responsibilities with your supervisor.

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REFER ANY BREACH OR NON-ADHERENCE TO STANDARD PROCEDURES OR ADVERSE EVENT TO APPROPRIATE PEOPLE

AND REFER ISSUES IMPACTING ON ACHIEVEMENT OF EMPLOYEE, EMPLOYER AND/OR CLIENT RIGHTS AND

RESPONSIBILITIES

BREACH OF STANDARD PROCEDURES

Any breaches or non-adherence to standard procedures or an adverse event that may have occurred must be reported to appropriate personnel as soon as reasonably possible. All breaches should be reported no matter how minor they may seem at the time. Any breach can have serious consequences, and it is an ethical responsibility and within your duty of care to do so. Reporting breaches is not for the purpose of getting the other worker or yourself in trouble but it is essential that appropriate personnel are notified so that it can be managed correctly from this point onwards. There may be legal ramifications as some issues require mandatory notification from the community services provider.

Issues requiring mandatory notification may include:

 Issues defined by jurisdictional legislation and/or regulatory requirements

 Issues specifically identified by under organisation policies

 Protection of children and others identified to be at risk

It is standard practice to first discuss the breach in the code of ethics directly with the colleague in a location that does not allow clients to overhear. If this method does not prove effective in eliminating the problem or if organisational protocol dictates, the Instance must be reported to superiors and in some instances, third party organisations.

Instances of reporting colleagues can present an ethical dilemma some workers because they feel that they are failing to support their colleagues in their duties.

It is important for these workers to consider that a breach of a code of ethics is to the detriment of all parties involved, especially clients, they are therefore not tolerated.

All community services provider will have set procedures for reporting breaches. These will often include a written statement and an interview with the person reporting the breach and the person who it is claimed has been involved in the breach.

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Breaches can have serious consequences for the community services worker, as can failing to report the breach.

Penalties for community services workers can include:

 In serious cases legal consequences

 Formal warnings

 Disciplinary meetings

 Changes in work role and scope of responsibility

 Suspension

 Dismissal

It is important that if you are involved in or aware of a breach that you do the right thing and report it according to company policies and procedures.

ISSUES IMPACTING EMPLOYEE/EMPLOYER ACHIEVEMENT

Employees, employers and clients all have rights and responsibilities in the workplace. The most important of all is the right to a safe environment.

If any of these rights are not being upheld, they must be referred.

You will need to follow workplace procedures in relation to the particular right you feel is not being provided because there will be different referral process for each but if you are not sure, check with your supervisor of manager of have a look at the complaints procedure in your workplace. It will have vital information in it relating to the process for making complaints.

KNOW HOW TO ADDRESS DILEMMAS THAT MAY ARISE BETWEEN AN INDIVIDUAL’S RIGHTS AND THE DUTY OF CARE

During your work, you may find yourself in situations where the individuals you are supporting do not agree with what you believe is best for them.

Who knows best? The individuals you support or you, a carer, the family?

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In situations where there is a conflict of interest or a dilemma between an individual’s rights and your duty of care, it is best practice to make sure the individual is aware of the consequences of their choice and that they have the mental capacity to understand the risks involved in their choice. It is their right as an individual to be able to make informed choices about their own lives even if you disagree with their choice.

It is the right of every individual in your care to make choices and take risks. It is your role to assist them in making those choices and reducing the risks without compromising their rights. An individual may be restricted if his or her behaviour presents a serious risk of harm to his or herself or to other people.

People who receive care and support are considered to be vulnerable, and as such the law requires that an assessment be carried out to look at any possible risks there might be to the individual or to others. The aim of this assessment is not to remove the individual’s right to take risks, but to recognise and reduce them where possible to an acceptable and manageable level.

The Mental Health Act Australia 2007 has a set of criteria to determine whether a person is able to make informed decisions and choices. It is important you are familiar with what the Mental Health Act Australia 2007 says as you may be concerned that an individual you are working with shows signs of lacking the capacity to make decisions for themselves. This could happen to an individual at any time and you will need to ask for professional support to determine if the individual does lack capacity. You also need to be aware of what you can and cannot do within your role in managing conflicts and dilemmas. If individuals insist on doing something that you disagree with, you can only advise and encourage them. You cannot force them to do anything. For example: If an individual refuses to take medication and their well-being depends on this medication, you cannot force them to take the medication. You should immediately contact you supervisor / manager and seek advice. You should also make sure you record what has happened and the action taken in the care or support plan. You should know the limits of your role and not do or say anything outside of this. It is important that you know who to go for if you need advice because you are in a situation that you are not comfortable with. Your supervisor / line manager will tell you who else you can talk to if they are not available. 9

9 http://www.cis-assessment.co.uk/docs/pdf/wb/St5_wkb.pdf

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T O P I C 5 – C O M P L E T E W O R K P L A C E C O R R E S PO N D E N C E A N D

D O C U M E N T A T I O N

READ WORKPLACE DOCUMENTS RELATING TO ROLE AND CLARIFY UNDERSTANDING WITH SUPERVISOR

When at work you are working in compliance with your job description, however, in a child care centre, you have many things to do and probably many interruptions along the way. One way to ensure you get everything in your job description done is to manage your time well and keep working until it is done. Here are a few tips to ensure you have time to get it all done one time and effectively.

 Plan your week/day

Properly planning your working week will assist you in saving extra time in the long run. If you prepare yourself correctly so that you know exactly what you need to do for the week, what you will need to do to handle unexpected situations as they occur and setting out your priority list, then you will find that you will become far more efficient.

By planning your work week, you will save time each day as you will already have a plan set out for what you will be doing each day. However, some amount of your day should be spent on planning each day, in the sense of working out a priority list of the tasks that are to be performed on that day.

 Group similar activities

With your tasks that you will be completing it is a good idea to group together similar tasks so that you can work through them with a continuous flow so that you smoothly transition between tasks without any down time.

 Do your work

The most important thing that you can do to ensure that you are working within the guidelines of your job description is just to do your work. It is important that you do everything within your capabilities to avoid any distractions and maintain concentration on your work tasks.

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 Finish every activity you start

Make sure that when you are completing your activities that you fully complete them before moving onto the next one. The reason for this is so that you aren’t jumping between different tasks, which allows for a smoother workflow and higher productivity.

It also means that you won’t forget about a task that you left incomplete, which can lead to stress and problems for anyone who is involved in that task.

 Focus on the most important tasks

With your task planning done, you will have a list of the tasks that are a higher priority than the rest. These are the tasks that you will need to focus on completing first, and then you can move onto the other tasks on your list.

 Take a break

Taking breaks between long periods of constant work is a good way to help you recharge and maintain concentration. A good way to have a break is every hour or two, get up and leave your work area for five or so minutes, have a stretch, and refocus before getting back to work.

AWARDS AND AGREEMENTS

As well as job descriptions defining your work role there are also awards and agreements that need to be considered.

Awards and Agreements prescribe the wages and conditions of work in the industry and have the force of law.

In order to fully understand awards and agreements, you will need to know what they are and the differences between them. This is important so that you are able to accept the best option for yourself for the job that you do.

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DEFINITIONS

AWARDS

An Award is a legally binding document that sets out the rights and responsibilities of employers and employees covered by it. Also referred to as 'Modern Awards', they confirm minimum terms and conditions for workers in a particular industry. They include details on pay rates; hours of work; sick leave; annual leave; public holidays; superannuation; meal breaks and times; protective clothing and more. These Awards are determined by negotiation between employers in the retail industry (or a representative), and associations such as a union. Modern Awards commenced on 1 January 2010 and covered the retail industry. Modern Awards were created to establish one set of minimum conditions for employers and employees across Australia, who work in the same industries and occupations. Some large retail organisations have registered their own retail Award - Coles, Target and Woolworths are examples of this.

AGREEMENTS

Agreements set out the conditions of employment between:  An employee or group of employees

 Their employer

Agreements were introduced some years ago into Australia, in an effort to increase productivity by making employment conditions and rates of pay more agreeable to workers. Agreements provide the chance for employee and employer to benefit by offering more attractive employment conditions. It is important to understand that an employee’s rights under an Agreement cannot be any less than the rights they would have under their industry Award. The advantage of Agreements is that an individual workplace (or group of workplaces) can tailor their employment conditions to suit their individual workplace environment. However, not all retail employees will benefit from an Agreement - conditions can vary greatly from business to business. One of the biggest issues about Agreements is that people are often afraid that there is a hidden agenda - in other words, they're worried that they're going to get "ripped off" in some way. In the examples given above, Claire really benefits from the Agreement; Dave is not happy, and a good example of how changing a workplace's employment conditions doesn't always suit everyone. Dinesh's story is another example of how an Agreement can benefit employees, employers and companies. Understanding of relevant Awards/Agreements and a capacity to ensure their implementation in the workplace is critical to maintaining employee relations.10

10 https://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/toolbox/retailop/html/pages/er1/02_ia/__fset.htm?ia01.htm

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You can access your relevant Awards by going to http://www.fwa.gov.au/index.cfm?pagename=awardsfind

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COMPLETE DOCUMENTATION ACCORDING TO LEGAL REQUIREMENT AND ORGANISATION PROCEDURES AND

COMPLETE WRITTEN AND ELECTRONIC WORKPLACE DOCUMENTS TO ORGANISATION STANDARDS AND USE CLEAR, ACCURATE AND OBJECTIVE LANGUAGE WHEN DOCUMENTING

EVENTS

For organisations to function effectively the staff need to know and understand the environment they are working in. information in your workplace provides the guidelines, policies and protocols expected in your work.

Each workplace will have its own guidelines as to what is expected of you, the worker, when reporting and completing documentation. It is your responsibility to know and understand the policies and procedures of your organisation. If you are in doubt as to what your responsibilities are, then you may wish to consult with your supervisor or manager, or manager or check with your procedure manuals.

To function effectively in your role as a community services worker, you need to be aware of what is expected in terms of documentation and develop the necessary skills administrative skills to fulfil those requirements.

The sharing of information between authorised parties is essential in the provision and maintenance of the care of clients. Without the appropriate information being available, the standard of care can be jeopardised. The information needs to have a valid and reliable source, and should be kept up to date at all times.

In relation to the care of the client, some of the documents that you will frequently have to address will be:

 Care plans

 Case and progress notes

 Incident reports

 Individualised plans

 Appointments

 Financial statements and receipts

 Personal documents

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Documentation within your workplace will involve other aspects of the job apart from the care of your clients. There are other aspects of your daily work that need to be addressed. Some of these might include:

 Time sheets

 Rosters

 Client contact registers including telephone call meeting registers and

records

 Purchase orders and invoices

 Promotional materials

 Organisation's policies and procedures

 Standard operating procedures (sops-policy manuals)

 Relevant legislation

 Food safety information

 A multitude of organisational standard forms

The effectiveness of your communication and documentation will be dependent upon how accurately you relay the information. All documentation should be:

 Relevant

 Legible

 Up to date

 Specific

 Timely

The accuracy of your documentation better facilitates the day to day handling of information in the workplace.

Vigilance should be ensured at all times when sharing the information in your workplace. This is to ensure that the information you are sharing is only available to the appropriate people. Be aware that the information you are sharing can be critical to the effective functioning of your organisation.

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POLICIES AND PROCEDURES GUIDE YOUR WORK

In the same way that Regulations are unique to each state and territory, policies and procedures are unique to each service. A policy is a deliberate plan of action to guide decisions and achieve rational outcomes”. In relation to community services, the outcomes of the policies and procedures are based on the legislative requirements and government standards. Policies and procedures ensure consistency in practice.

Policies and procedures are developed because there needs to be a process in place. They may include, for example, a consistent and compliant process for:

 Reporting breach of duty of care

 Completing documentation

 Written communications

 Reporting of harm or suspected harm (mandatory reporting) confidentiality

 Handling complaints

All organisations will have developed policies and procedures as they are essential to ensuring that all clients, staff, families and management have the same understanding and expectations about what happens in the service and provides a record of accountability for certain decisions made by staff and management.

All organisations should ensure their policies are effective, current, clearly written and easily accessible to all families, staff and children as they are used to support daily practices and decision-making.

The policies will include information that explains what procedures must occur within the service and why, as well as clear guidelines about how the policy will be implemented and followed in daily practice.11

Policies are also important to ensure staff are informed of service procedures and ensure consistency in the implementation of practices and why practices are necessary.

11 http://www.spcc.nsw.edu.au/preschool.php?id=852.

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Policies and procedures help to ensure that there is clear two-way communication between clients, families and staff.

Policies and procedures that the community services worker will encounter in their work include:

 The expectations of staff members in their work role

 Workplace health and safety procedures

 Communication

 Management of finances

 Confidentiality

 Duty of care

 Referring to or working with other agencies

 Incident reporting

 Complaint registering

 Care planning

It is important that all staff know where to access policy and procedure manuals within their organisation and take the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the relevant information. By doing so, they are promoting best practice for the organisation they represent.

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FOLLOW ORGANISATION COMMUNICATION POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR USING DIGITAL MEDIA

We have discussed in detail above the policies and procedures and their use in your organisation and in relation to your job role, however, there is one in particular that I believe requires some extra discussion. That is the procedure in relation to digital media.

Today, there is a great deal of legislation around, photographs, videos and other digital images in the workplace (and in general). Your organisation will have a policy and procedure related to this subject but generally here are a few points to note:

 You are not able to take photographs or any digital media without the

knowledge of those involved

 Nor are you allowed to display images in any manner except with written

permission by the person in the image or if the person is under 18 years of

age you must gain parent or guardian approval

 You also need to be specific with the person about where and when the image

will be used

If you want or need to use images of people, your organisation should have a consent form available for you to use.

In all cases, please ensure your strictly follow the organisations policies and procedures in this matter. The consequences of not adhering to them could be extensive.

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T O P I C 6 – C O N T R I B U T E T O C O N T I N U O U S I M P R O V E M E N T

CONTRIBUTE TO IDENTIFYING AND VOICING IMPROVEMENTS IN WORK PRACTICES

WHAT IS ‘CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT’?

“Continuous improvement” is the constant evaluation and enhancement of processes used to deliver a product or service to customers, with the aim of proving customers with the best possible outcome.

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESS (CIP)

 The core principle of CIP is the (self) reflection of processes. (Feedback)

 The purpose of CIP is the identification, reduction and elimination of

suboptimal processes. (Efficiency)

 The emphasis of CIP is on incremental, continuous steps, avoiding quantum

leaps. (Evolution)

Continuous improvement initiatives frequently occur within the framework of a Total Quality Management (TQM) system. TQM is intended as a tool to help organisations increase productivity, decrease costs, and improve the quality of outputs so that they are more valued by customers. Producing high-quality, reliable outputs that are useful

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to customers increase value. As the name states, TQM are about total quality, not partial quality, so continuous improvement must reach all operations.

It’s better to do 100 things one percent better, than one thing 100 per cent better.

Continuous improvement is incremental rather than revolutionary. It involves continual examination of every work process to identify gradual enhancements. Complex processes are broken down into sub-processes, and then improved.

TOTAL QUALITY MANAGEMENT (TQM)

 TQM is a set of management practices throughout the organisation, geared to

ensure the organisation consistently meets or exceeds customer

requirements.

 TQM places strong focus on process measurement and controls as means of

continuous improvement.

 TQM is the way of managing for the future, and is far wider in its application

than just assuring product or service quality – it is a way of managing people

and business processes to ensure complete customer satisfaction at every

stage, internally and externally. TQM, combined with effective leadership,

results in an organisation doing the right things right, first time.

 The core of TQM is the customer-supplier interfaces, both externally and

internally, and at each interface lay a number of processes.

This core must be surrounded by:

 Commitment to quality

 Communication of the quality message

 Recognition of the need to change the culture of the organisation to create

total quality

These are the foundations of TQM, and they are supported by the key management functions of people, processes and systems in the organisation.

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THE ESSENTIAL COMPONENTS OF TQM – COMMITMENT AND LEADERSHIP

TQM is an approach that seeks to benefit all of the business stakeholders through improving the competitiveness, effectiveness and flexibility of the organisation. It is a method for planning, organising, and understanding each activity within the organisation. TQM also help to ensure the leaders of the organisation will adopt a strategic overview of quality, which will allow them to focus on prevention of problems.

And that is exactly where TQM must start, with the leaders of the organisation. They must be able to demonstrate their commitment to quality and communicate the quality principles, strategies, and the benefits of high quality to the people that they have responsibility for. Then those people will need to do the same, and communicate to the people below them, and so on. This will assist with spreading the right attitudes towards quality management throughout the organisation.

Having an accurate and efficient quality policy is a fundamental requirement for organisation wishing to implement TQM. This quality policy will need to be supported by plans and facilities for implementing it. The leaders of the organisation will need to take responsibility in preparign, reviewing, and monitoring the implementation of the policy.

Your task is to ensure you:

 Have personal involvement and act as a role model for a culture of total

quality

 Develop clear and effective strategies and support plans for achieving the

mission and objectives

 Contribute to identifying and voicing all opinions on improvements

 Communicate, motivate and support people and encourage effective employee

participation

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THE BUILDING BLOCKS OF TQM: PROCESSES, PEOPLE, MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AND PERFORMANCE MEASUREMENT

Everything we do is a process. A process is the transformation of a set of inputs, such as an action, method, and operations, into the desired outputs, which satisfy the customers’ needs and expectations.

Within each area or function within an organisation there will be many processes taking place. These processes can be analysed by examining the inputs and outputs to determine the action that is needed to improve quality.

In every organisation there are some very large processes, which are groups of smaller processes, called key or core business processes. These must be carried out well if an organisation is to achieve its mission and objectives.

PRINCIPLES OF CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT

Continuous improvement enables individuals and teams to manage the quality of all they do in providing customer service.

Continuous improvement has six essential principles:

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 The customer / supplier model, which requires the application of quality

management in every part of the supply chain, not just at specific inspection

points.

 Process control and capability, involving analysis of all activities in a work

process to ensure quality.

 Management by fact and the collection of accurate data – not a reliance on

guesswork and broad estimates.

 Problem solving using data to identify improvements to processes.

 The cost of quality – the organisation must be prepared to invest in the

certification of quality.

 Teamwork and involvement by creating the appropriate environment to

facilitate the involvement of team members in decision-making and team

operations.

THE CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT PROCESS

The fundamental steps of effective continuous improvement processes come from W. Edward Deming’s Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle. It is the basis of problem all TQM solving and monitoring continuous improvement initiatives. The PDCA cycle commences with the identification of what needs to be changed.

From that point, the cycle involves:

 Planning the change

 Doing the change

 Checking the change

 Acting to refine the change.

FIVE WAYS TO CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE

There are five common ways of making improvements, using a continuous improvement process:

 Reduce resources, which reduces waste

 Reduce errors, which decreases inadequate work performance

 Meet or exceed customer expectations

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 Reduce risk – make the process safer, resulting in higher productivity due to

fewer accidents and compensation claims

 Increase the job satisfaction of those involved in a process, leading to higher

productivity and fewer errors.

Identifying and implementing improved work practices is vital in maintaining a current and safe work environment. It may include:

 Reporting and implementing suggested improvements

 Seeking and addressing customer feedback

 Monitoring tasks

 Responding to surveys and questionnaires

 Assessing/observing/measuring environmental factors

 Checking equipment

 Developing and implementing child safe, child-friendly resources, environment and work tools to support staff and volunteers working with people under 18 years of age

If you notice that something can be done easier or better, then it is your role to ensure that you identify them in the first instance then implement a change with all other workers. This change will need to be thought out, re-written and then gain approval for the implementation. Once this has been done then, the changes can be made.

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PROMOTE AND MODEL CHANGES TO IMPROVED WORK PRACTICES AND PROCEDURES IN ACCORDANCE WITH

ORGANISATION REQUIREMENTS

Policies and protocols or procedures will need to be reviewed and developed from time to time to ensure that the policies and procedures that have been selected for the work role remain best practice and are continuously improved. There are many different reasons that policies and procedures may need to be changed, and they include changes in:

 Legislation

 Government protocols

 Funding agreements

 Budget

 Client needs

 Community needs

 Research or information

Other reasons that policies, protocols and procedures may need to change are:

 Incidents

 Accidents

 Continual improvement

It is important that all community services personnel respond to these changes to improve the organisation and work practices positively. This can be encouraged by ensuring that the community services personnel understand the reasons for the change and the way that these changes will improve best practice. They should also be given training and support to ensure that they can manage the change effectively.

It is the responsibility of the community services personnel to ensure that they have a flexible and positive work attitude when it comes to accepting changes and undertaking new practices and systems within the workplace. The community is ever changing, and so the organisation and its staff will also need to be in order to successfully keep up with the change.

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SEEK FEEDBACK AND ADVICE FROM APPROPRIATE PEOPLE ON AREAS FOR SKILL AND KNOWLEDGE DEVELOPMENT

Community service workers have a responsibility to ensure that they review and update

their own skills in order to remain competent and develop professionally. It is important

to seek advice from appropriate personnel or departments for advice on potential areas

for skill and knowledge development.

There are some skills which will need to be regularly updated and these include:

 First Aid

 WHS

 Legislative changes

 Policies and procedures

People and departments that you can seek advice from in relation to your training needs

include:

 Supervisors

 Managers

 Colleagues

 Human Resources Departments

 Internal Trainers

 External Trainers

 Specialist Departments

 Industry bodies

Skills and performance reviews can be conducted to ensure that your current

performance and skills are taken into consideration to ensure that the most beneficial

and relevant skills and knowledge development can take place.

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Other methods for assessing the need for skills and knowledge development include:

 Feedback from staff

 Feedback from customers

 Work output

 Work quality

 Number of complaints

 Number of incidents

All community services personnel should continuously and actively seek feedback relevant to their own work role and professional performance.

Constructive feedback should be viewed as a supportive and helpful tool that assists in improving work practices and professional development. It is important that feedback is received in this way and not viewed as a personal attack. There is no reason to take feedback in a personal manner or to become defensive about it.

All feedback should be received in a positive manner and taken as an effective learning tool. When receiving feedback, it is important to ask questions and clarify any points related to the feedback to ensure a maximum learning possibility. It is important to ask for assistance and advice regarding how you can develop and deal with this situation differently in the future.

Feedback should actively be sought from:

 Clients

 Colleagues

 Supervisors

 Management

 Trainers

 Other Stakeholders

There are two main types of feedback that you can seek, and these are:

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Examples of informal feedback include:

 Direct questioning

 Probing during conversation

 Analysing the success of relationships

Examples of formal feedback include:

 Surveys

 Feedback forms

 Peer analysis

 Performance Reviews

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CONSULT WITH MANAGER REGARDING OPTIONS FOR ACCESSING SKILL DEVELOPMENT OPPORTUNITIES AND INITIATE ACTION

Once you have identified the need for skills or knowledge development it is important to identify options for accessing these training opportunities. It is important to conduct your investigation and initiation of skills and knowledge opportunities with your manager. Your manager will be able to assist in determining what the best method will be for meeting these needs. Management in a community services organisation will also have access to resources and can approve different methods of updating skills and knowledge. Different methods include:

 Internal training

 External training

 Mentoring

 Coaching

 Self-study

Training in the following areas is typical in the community services sector:

 ‘Cardiopulmonary resuscitation emergency response and notification

protocols

 Child protection

 Communication, conflict resolution

 Cultural awareness

 Customer service, including the provision of a child-friendly environment that

values, respects and welcomes children and young people

 Discrimination, harassment and bullying in the workplace

 Fire emergency response procedures for notification and containment of fire,

use of firefighting equipment and fire safety procedures

 First aid

 Formal and informal resolution of grievances

 Hazard control

 Manual handling

 Quality improvement policy and practice

 WHS

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T O P I C 7 - F U R T H E R I N F O R M A T I O N

CONFIDENTIALITY, PRIVACY AND DISCLOSURE

The Australian Medical Association (AMA), Code of Ethics, requires medical practitioners to maintain a patient’s confidentiality and privacy. Your workplace will also have its own policies in place on how you go about doing this.

While the terms ‘privacy’ and ‘confidentiality’ are commonly used interchangeably, they are not identical concepts. Privacy laws regulate the handling of personal information (including health information) through enforceable privacy principles. On the other hand, the legal duty of confidentiality obliges health care practitioners to protect their patients against the inappropriate disclosure of personal information.

WHAT IS CONFIDENTIALITY

Confidentiality means keeping a client’s information between you and the client. You are not to make a client’s information available to anyone else unless they are involved in their care. This includes; family, friends, colleagues and anyone else you may be talking to.

The types of information that is considered confidential can include:

 Name, date of birth, age, sex and address

 Current contact details of family, guardian, etc.

 Bank details

 Medical history or records

 Personal care issues

 File progress notes

 Individual personal plans

 Assessments or reports

Adult clients have the right to decide what information they consider personal and confidential.

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There is, however, no such thing as absolute confidentiality in the community services industry. Workers are required to keep notes on all interactions with clients and often to keep statistics about who is seen and what issues are addressed. As a worker, there will be times when you could be faced with some personal difficulties regarding confidentiality.12

It is desirable for confidentiality to be handled consistently throughout the service, and while the type and extent of the information conveyed by staff will vary according to the situation, certain basic principles are applicable in all instances.

12 http://sielearning.tafensw.edu.au/MCS/CHCAOD402A/chcaod402a_csw/knowledge/confid...

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DISCRIMINATION

In Australia, employers and their employees are legally obliged to uphold the human rights standards set out in a number of federal laws. Some of these human rights standards are included in the types of Acts listed below.

Some of the types of laws governing human rights include:

 Age Discrimination

 Disability Discrimination

 Human Rights and Equal Opportunity

 Race Discrimination

 Sex Discrimination

It is important for you to familiarise yourself with the relevant human rights legislation. You will be able to access your own copy of relevant legislation at http://www.humanrights.gov.au/our-work/legal/legislation

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INTERVENTION AND CHILD PROTECTION

The involvement the agency or worker has with clients is called intervention. This engagement can be of free choice, where a client or representative voluntarily contacted an agency for help, or sometimes it can be forced or legal, such as where a client has not asked for help but workers are required to intervene.

A legal intervention happens when an agency or department has a statutory responsibility to become involved. This intervention may happen:

 Earlier than tribunal involvement

 At the same time as tribunal involvement

 As a result of tribunal involvement

This is definitely the case when a child becomes involved. If you have a client who has sought help or has had help forced on them and they have a child involved in this problem then you will need to determine whether that child is safe in the present situation. For example: a client has come to you for help (voluntarily) with his drinking problem. He becomes violent when he drinks too much and needs help. You identify he has a small child who has recently been in hospital with a broken arm and bruising (he advised the child fell over). What should you do?

In this situation you should ensure you document the incident and speak with your supervisor or Manager. They may want you to monitor the situation or if there are suspicions that the child was hurt by her father, you may be required to report this.

If you need to report to the authorities you will need to explain to your clients the necessary and relevant information of the Child Protection system involving themselves and their child. The rights the client needs to understand are:

 To take part in the child’s case study, by means of family gatherings, case

meetings, etc.

 To be familiar with their child’s Child Safety worker and know his/her contact

details

 To grasp the methods and conditions of each Assessment of Protection order

their child is dealing with

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Furthermore, clients that are parents should know that:

 To be able to have 24/7 child protection, their child’s case study is monitored

and evaluated

 In hindering or neglecting their responsibilities as mentioned in the plan, will

lead to an additional examination for the child’s need of protection. Removal

from the child’s family home might be one of the options

In circumstances where the child cannot be sufficiently protected at home and the parents’ arrangement is not adequate according to the Statutory Officer, tribunal action could be the next step. Nevertheless, tribunal action is applied as a last resort solution. This is a severe action due to the fact that the parents lose authority.13

Once you have identified the need for assistance you will need to implement strategies to assist your client. Strategies that you will employ will be as individual as the people you work with and very few people will have the same strategy which is why it is vital that you gather the most appropriate information from your assessment with the client and implement strategies that are as individual as their circumstances are.

13 http://etraining.communitydoor.org.au/mod/page/view.php?id=83

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WORK ROLE BOUNDARIES

Community service workers are often required to make decisions according to the ethics and philosophies of their organisation. Behaving in a way that is ethical and adhering to the policies and procedures of the organisation are a good starting point for providing high standards of care for the client. It is the responsibility of management to develop policies and procedures which reflect the values, objectives, and purpose of the organisation. Whilst management also have the responsibility to introduce staff to the policies and procedures, particularly to the new worker at the time of induction, it is the responsibility of the worker to familiarise themselves with the relevant information and ensure they comply.

Position descriptions are a good way for the worker to establish the scope of their work. These descriptions provide information about the scope of the work and the duties to be performed.

Policies and procedures provide valuable information about how the work should be done.

Community workers should pay particular attention to the boundaries of their work. Not only are they expected to perform to a particular standard outlined by the organisation, but they must ensure that they do not exceed the boundaries of their work role. Attempting to work beyond the level of one's qualifications can be both dangerous to the health and safety of others, as well as to the detriment of the client. For example A person who holds a certificate 4 in community services should not be attempting to provide treatment for a client which would normally be the job of a registered nurse.

All workers need to be aware of their responsibilities and the boundaries of their work role. If at any stage you are unclear about the scope of your work then you should consult with your supervisor or manager, as well as the policy and procedure manual of the organisation.

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TRANSLATION/INTERPRETERS

When working with clients, you may require the services of an interpreter. This may be in the form of a professional person or possibly a family member or friend who can correctly relay the desired information. You may at some stage be working with clients from a diverse range of cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Overcoming communication difficulties across cultural and linguistic bonds may be achieved by:

 Speaking slowly and clearly

 Maintaining a normal volume

 Maintaining normal volume

 Paraphrasing

 Prioritising and sequencing your instructions

 Using clear and simple language

 Responding appropriately to emotions

 Providing opportunities for questioning and clarification

 Employing the use of communication aids

You might use the following strategies to enhance the communication of your clients in their own language:

 Learning some of the keywords in their language

 Utilising aids such as communication charts

 Involving relatives or friends to assist where appropriate

 Using signage

Some strategies used to improve communication may require specialised training, such as:

 Professional interpreters

 Bilingual health care staff

 Telephone interpreter services

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In order to maintain the highest standards of care, it is essential that staff be aware of the appropriate uses and restrictions surrounding the communication aids of their clients. Inappropriate use may be detrimental rather than helpful.

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INFORMED CONSENT

Informed consent is the process by which the treating health care provider discloses appropriate information to a competent patient so that the patient may make a voluntary choice to accept or refuse treatment. (Appelbaum, 2007)14 It originates from the legal and ethical right the patient has to direct what happens to her body and from the ethical duty of the physician to involve the patient in her health care.

DIGITAL MEDIA AND USE

Digital media is used frequently in the community service and health sectors. The types of media will vary between organisations however, the most common will include:

 Web - the web is used everywhere now, it is used in the community service

sector for researching and locating other services and health professionals,

finding addressing and keeping up with the latest trends.

 Email - email is used for communication between colleagues and external

agencies and sometimes even clients.

 Social media - social media is used to promote service programs and activities

that service providers run.

 Podcast and videos - podcasts and videos are often used for training purposes

for either staff members or clients.

 Tablets and applications - tablets and applications are often used on the go,

workers can keep in touch with the service while they are out of office.

 Newsletters and broadcasts - newsletters and broadcasts again offer a

method of promotion for the organisation, promoting everything from

activities and services to the latest equipment and timetables.

 Intranet - the intranet is used to provide staff members with current up-to-

date information on changes and trends in the organisation. It will often be

the place where workers can find information such as policies and

procedures and position descriptions.

14 https://depts.washington.edu/bioethx/topics/consent.html

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S U M M A R Y

Now that you have completed this unit, you should have the skills and knowledge required to communicate effectively with clients, colleagues, management and other industry providers.

If you have any questions about this resource, please ask your trainer. They will be only too happy to assist you when required.

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R E F E R E N C E S

http://www.ywca-canberra.org.au/womens_leadership/effective_communication (accessed 8 May 2015)

http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs030/1102470511648/archive/1105010205045. html (accessed 8 May 2015)

http://faudzil.blogspot.com/2013/11/communication-clarifying-and.html (accessed 8 May 2015)

http://www.businessknowhow.com/manage/resolveconflict.htm (accessed 8 May 2015)

http://legacy.communitydoor.org.au/resources/etraining/units/chcorg3b/section3/se ction3topic02.html (accessed 8 May 2015)

http://www.cis-assessment.co.uk/docs/pdf/wb/St5_wkb.pdf (accessed 8 May 2015)

https://www.dlsweb.rmit.edu.au/toolbox/retailop/html/pages/er1/02_ia/__fset.htm?i a01.htm (accessed 8 May 2015)

http://www.fwa.gov.au/index.cfm?pagename=awardsfind (accessed 8 May 2015)

http://www.spcc.nsw.edu.au/preschool.php?id=852 (accessed 8 May 2015)