Monday, 22 February 2016


Dr Bob Rankin, who retired from Dundee University last year, has recently launched the Rankein Scale.

And together with Martin Laidlaw – a retired senior manager in further education – and publisher Gillian Nineham, he is now making contact with organisations involved in caring for vulnerable people.
The trio are confident the new tool has the potential for a multitude of applications.
Dr Rankin explained: “I think it has the potential to revolutionise the caring sector.
“The reason behind its development is to try to improve the quality of individuals being recruited to work in the care sector, where there are lots of vulnerable groups of people for whom it can be a challenge to communicate their needs.”
Dr Rankin worked for almost 30 years as a senior lecturer in nurse education.
So he had a particular interest in the relationship between emotional intelligence and the quality of clinical practice.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016


We may be entitled to expect that everyone working in the caring sector would already possess the necessary skills to be able to demonstrate compassion and empathy towards those receiving care. However, we continue to hear about too many examples of poor attitudes towards some very vulnerable people by a small but significant minority of staff. The fact that some care providers perform better than others suggests that standards can be improved. Clearly there are fundamental conditions that have to be in place including quality leadership, adequate resources, open and respectful communication but the real key to delivering quality person-centred, compassionate care is to have the right staff in place. 
The best organisations will invest time and energy into their recruitment and selection processes and, while there are no guarantees, this is likely to pay dividends. You can also be sure that the best staff will be attracted to the best organisations and will also be more likely to stay. So, what should we be looking for in care staff? Qualities that are often highlighted such as reliability, flexibility, honesty, empathy and respect, tend to be the types of qualities that enable relationships to be formed and trust to be developed. However, how can we be sure that new recruits possess such qualities and what can we do with existing staff who appear to be lacking?

Monday, 18 January 2016


What is an apprentice?

Apprentices are paid employees who work within your team learning from colleagues on the job whilst also studying towards gaining qualifications.

What is the minimum age for an apprentice?

Apprenticeships can begin at the age of 16. There is information about employing young people here.

What sort of roles do apprentices take?

They may work directly with your clients or help provide a service such as catering, finance or administration among others.

Do I have any say in what they do on the job?

Yes, you can adapt your apprentices' programmes to suit the needs of your organisation.

Are there different levels of apprenticeship?

Yes there are three levels: