During our most recent CARF accreditation review, ACT was commended highly by the administrative surveyor for the training we provide and require for staff.
By doing so, we believe CARF is acknowledging a value we hold that demands a high level of training, exceeding Missouri Department of Mental Health (DMH) minimum requirements.
Our goal is to make sure ACT staff keep current on best practices that are evolving and changing in the service areas we provide. We also want to continuously improve what we do on behalf of the individuals we serve.
Our Training and Development Committee is regularly reviewing best practices and evaluating newsletters, webinars and other sources of information with an eye toward understanding the most current standards for our industry and then creating training and development opportunities that implement those standards.
The State requires our staff to be trained in CPR/First Aid, Abuse/Neglect Prevention, Positive Behavior Support, Medication Administration, and Missouri Quality Outcomes.
We go above and beyond those requirements with our new employee block training. The majority of our new staff receive eight full days of training before they begin work with the individuals we serve. (Because they do not administer medication, new Personal Assistant and Career Services staff can complete their training in five days.)
This 50-hour training schedule far exceeds what is typically a 36-hour minimum required by DMH.
ACT also provides additional optional training in other areas such as cultural diversity, understanding autism, stress management, person-centered planning, and sign language.
Since core training requirements expire each year, employees must re-train and refresh annually.
Heading up these efforts to train and track training for staff is our Human Resources manager, Sharla Hyler. She has been with ACT for 22 years, 10 of those years as the Manager for Human Resources.
Sharla played a key role in our efforts, which began in 2006 and were implemented in 2007, to establish a more rigorous and systematic training plan for employees. That original plan was just recently revamped.
ACT staff value and appreciate their training. The staff comments about training received during the CARF review were very positive.