Lambton College develops micro-credential training to support regional long-term care homes
SARNIA, October 4, 2022 – A new micro-credential being developed by Lambton College could help address critical workforce issues in local long-term care (LTC) homes. Like much of the country, Sarnia-Lambton’s LTC homes faced compounding complexities throughout the pandemic, including staff shortages, increased turnovers, and training gaps.
The new micro-credential training, developed in partnership with the regional Long-Term Care Facility Operator Group (LTCFOG) aims to implement and support a standardized and modular orientation training for regional LTC homes to help address these aforementioned concerns. The goal of the project is to engage with LTC employers and staff to identify orientation needs and determine the key competencies required to verify skillsets for base employment and upskilling.
“We are excited to participate in the development and critiquing of the orientation micro-credentials for long term care cooperative that will streamline health sector specific orientation and onboarding of new employees,” said Heather Martin, CEO, Visions ‘74 Inc. “With the overwhelming amount of pressure on long-term care homes today, more than ever we need the guidance and support that comes with program innovation experts which is demonstrated through this cooperative. Lambton College has worked strenuously to engage with community partners to achieve this monumental goal. We are delighted to be a part of this great work.”
Lambton College received a total of $997k for the project from the Ontario Micro-credential Challenge Fund and a previously awarded Community Impact Award. The goal of the Ontario Micro-Credential Challenge Fund program is to increase the number and types of micro-credentials available in the province to respond to regional market needs and support collaboration between the private and public sectors.
The project has achieved great success to date. Through collaboration with the network of 11 regional LTC homes, 84 orientation competencies have been identified and compiled into 28 micro-credentials comprising the base minimum required for human resource orientation and mandatory upskilling. Contributing to the pilot phase, regional LTC homes have seen over 500 registrations in orientation micro-credentials to support their staff onboarding. A further 79 role-specific upskilling micro-credential topic areas have been identified and are currently under development. By far the biggest success of the project has been the incredible uptake from industry who have been instrumental in identifying the orientation competencies and the experimental development of the programming.
Success of the project has potential to expand the standardized and modular orientation training to LTC homes outside of the Sarnia-Lambton region and into related sectors. This could help lessen industry gaps across the province and lessen the burden being felt by the healthcare sector.