childcare Assignment

Formative assessments

Activity 1.

This activity includes two parts. Part A requires written responses. Part B requires a verbal/ practical response. Part B is only possible if you are face-to-face with your assessor. If you are unable to complete Part B contact your assessor (via a suitable negotiated method) for an alternative assessment.

Part A

Describe the implications of an organisation that does not implement or conduct performance evaluations for all employees.
The organisation will not be able to:

ensure that employees are aware of the performance requirements
identify any performance problems that might exist
develop appropriate interventions
discuss employee concerns, issues, intended career pathways and needs
provide feedback and reinforcement to employees
give employees an opportunity to provide feedback to management
recognise and reward good work
enable workers to reflect on their own practices
make sound judgements regarding the services that best suits the needs of their clients
How can you evaluate your own skills and why should you do so?
Often you are the best judge of what you can and cannot do. Whilst working you can collect feedback from clients (internal and external customers), from colleagues and managers/ supervisors.

Formal performance appraisals will also contribute to self-evaluations. By reflecting on your actual performance and on the feedback you receive, you will be able to identify skills gaps. You should also be able to determine, for yourself, the best methods of addressing these gaps. By increasing your competence you will increase self-confidence and make yourself more valuable to the organisation. You will also derive satisfaction from knowing that you are doing your job well.

How can self-awareness affect the way you conduct yourself within the community services sector?
Self-awareness is being conscious of what you are good at while acknowledging what you still have yet to learn. This includes admitting when you do not have the answer and owning up to mistakes which helps to build effective relationships with supervisors/ managers/ colleagues. Whether you acknowledge your weaknesses or not, everyone still sees them.

So rather than conceal them, the person who tries to hide weaknesses actually highlights them, creating the perception of a lack of integrity and self-awareness.

On an interpersonal level, self-awareness of your strengths and weaknesses can net you the trust of others and increase your credibility, both of which will increase your work effectiveness. On an organisational level, the benefits are even greater. When you acknowledge what you have yet to learn, you are modelling that in your organisation it is okay to admit that you do not have all the answers, to make mistakes and most importantly, to ask for help. These are all characteristics of an organisation that is constantly learning and springboards to innovation and agility.

Asking questions models a solid, transparent approach to problem-solving and decision-making that benefits everyone in an organisation. Most importantly it models that it is okay not to know everything, which encourages everyone that it is okay to be constantly learning.

By modelling habits of good self-awareness you help to create a more self-aware organisation. An organisation that is self-aware is open to learning and better equipped to adjust quickly to changes as the marketplace dictates. This ability is the defining characteristic of a learning organisation and possibly the most compelling reason all managers at all levels should include self-awareness in their development goals.

Part B

Your assessor will create a checklist and give you a copy of the competencies you need to demonstrate in a simulated environment or during a scheduled workplace visit to an agreed workplace.
These competencies will cover:

demonstration knowledge of self-management
demonstrated knowledge of:
– independent learning
– goal skills
– reflection
– self-awareness
– flexibility
– time management
– commitment
– goal setting
– planning and monitoring
– self-appraisal
demonstrated knowledge of social awareness
demonstrated knowledge of relationship management
Trainer/ assessor will need to develop a checklist for this activity. If it is not possible for the learner to undertake the practical assessment, trainer/ assessor might need to customise assessments to suit unit requirements. 
Answers/ observations should demonstrate knowledge of: 
Self-management is the ability to manage your personal reactions to responsibilities and challenges in work and life. This involves managing your time and adapting to changing situations. It requires you to reflect on your experiences and their effect on your physical and mental state. Self-management requires the background skills of reflection, self-awareness, planning and monitoring, time management, flexibility and self-appraisal. 
goal skills
goal setting
planning and monitoring

Activity 2.

Select someone from whom you would like to receive feedback and use this activity to plan a feedback session.

What do you want to receive feedback about?

What examples/ evidence do you have to support the feedback?

What are you prepared to change if necessary?

What support are you going to need?
What action are you prepared to take?

To whom might you give feedback? Describe a situation where it has been necessary for you to give feedback. Why was the feedback necessary and how did you ensure that it was received in a positive manner?
Answer is dependent on learner’s experience and perception.

Criticising a colleague’s work is not helpful. Why?
Criticism does not enhance self-esteem and will therefore, act as a barrier to productive learning, building resistance and actually encouraging improper work practices. People who are criticised will naturally react defensively and with anger. Alternately, they might simply withdraw, refusing to make an effort or to even participate in that task or work process in the future. This prevents them from making use of the information contained in the criticism.

The attitude of the person giving feedback and the method of giving feedback will have a very large impact on whether the feedback is perceived as useful and is used or whether it is perceived as criticism, therefore rejected.

How can feedback be delivered so that it is productive and useful?
Consider the notion of the feedback hamburger. Feedback can start with something positive (however minor) and end with something positive/ constructive. Acknowledge the things the person has done correctly. Go on to explain the corrections that need to be made, so that they are sandwiched in the middle. This will not downplay the validity or importance of the need to adjust work practice, but will assist in generating a positive and encouraging approach. Finish by reinforcing the correct behaviours, or a particular aspect of those behaviours.

Feedback must be relevant to a task or work process and must be specific—if it is vague, that is, ‘Well you didn’t do that properly’, it offers no information about why the task was not done well or how performance could be improved in the future. Feedback must include collaboration on strategies for future improvements.

In a feedback situation you can start by asking the person who will be given the feedback what they thought they did well and what they think needs improvement. This will often give a common ground for working on improvement strategies and aids the person in assessing and evaluating their own work.

Activity 3.

What are the benefits of participating in professional networks and associations to obtain and maintain personal knowledge and skills?
The benefits of belonging to professional networks and associations are that you not only get the chance to make good contacts, but you can learn about the latest developments in your field and advertise yourself and business. By attending functions you can make known to your peers that you exist. Education is another major benefit. Businesses fail when they stay in their own paradigm and resist change.

In your local community, research a range of support networks available and provide a summary of each network’s services.
Answers are dependent on learner’s findings within own community. Learners should be able to identify several networks available to them and be able to explain each one’s services.

Activity 4.

What current competencies do you believe you should develop and how do you plan to develop these competencies?
Dependent on learner’s workplace situation/ history; however, learners are expected to be able to identify generic and specific skills competencies that may need developing. Learner’s to demonstrate an understanding of how to go about developing a plan to gain competency.

What specialist advice might you need and how would you access it?
As training can be on the job or off the job you must decide what best suits your needs. Specialist advice could come from:

supervisors/ team leaders
manager or department heads
external career advisory services
professional associations, eg Australian Nursing Federation
TAFE, colleges or RTOs
Learners could also identify job mentoring, professional supervision as specialist advice.

Describe the importance of employees seeking further training and advice. What would be the implications to the organisation if no training was offered or promoted?
Competency in both generic and specific skills is important in the workplace, as they assist with positive outcomes which are supported by the building and maintenance of effective working relationships.

Competence in the workplace refers directly to the skills, knowledge and attitude demonstrated by organisational members and employees. It is knowing how to do something, knowing why it should be done and when it should be done. When you are able to consistently demonstrate successful performance, you are competent.

Acquiring cognitive skill involves learning how to utilise facts to solve problems, make decisions and develop new ideas. You use these cognitive skills everyday of your life. The skills needed might apply to the current competencies required for your job, the changing needs of the organisation for which you work or to your chosen career path.

Organisations benefit by having a well managed employee development program. Some organisations in the community services sector struggle to attract new employees, such is the case in aged care. Being known as an organisation which provides learning opportunities and support for employees can make a difference, as opportunities for learning and development can be a priority for prospective employees.

If organisations did not support or implement further training opportunities, employees would not be competent in their roles, the organisation would find it difficult to satisfy clients and the organisation would suffer financially as well as operationally. Employees could regularly leave as they are not being fulfilled and developed.

Activity 5.

Conduct further research and describe an organisation’s guidelines for professional development. Research can be conducted by utilising the internet, liaising with community services organisations or consulting with employees who work within a community services organisation.

Answer is dependent on workplace policies and procedures; however, answer can include:

establishing the need for training through Training Needs Analysis (TNA), this can be done 
as part of a performance review or skills audit
completing an application form to gain approval for training from manager or department 
sending application form to HR department to be entered onto database
completing leave form for training, if required (organisations can require a leave form for 
training so they can calculate the cost of training)
enrolling in training course, workshop, conference or seminar
making financial arrangement for payment of training
completing organisation evaluation/ feedback/ writing report of training, if required 
(organisations can ask employees for an evaluation)
completing assessment requirements for training, if required
sending a copy of certificate, statement of attendance and/or record of qualification to HR 
department to be entered onto database

Activity 6.

Explain how new research results and best practice information can be assimilated into the services provided by an organisation.
Answers could include:

benchmarking, learners to provide an explanation of what this is and how it relates to the 
by providing training and development opportunities for employees
by consulting with other providers
by consulting with specialists in the community services sector
Research your local community for industry experts that you could consult and source information from to better your practice. This includes specialist or external providers. Document each provider/ specialist and provide a summary of their services along with an explanation of the type of information that they could provide you.
Answers are dependent on the learner’s local area. Learners should be able to identify several providers/ specialists and be able to explain in detail the services offered as well as the type of information each provider/ specialist could provide.

Activity 7.

Explain the purpose of having a code of ethics and professional and organisational standards.
A code of ethics outlines the standards of conduct, and behaviour that are expected of employees. These should align with those of the industry sector and with the community in which a service organisation operates. The code of conduct is a means of informing stakeholders of the organisation’s values and beliefs and provides behavioural guidelines and direction for employees.

Research a code of practice relevant to the community services industry (information can be found by visiting a community service centre or researching the organisation’s website). Provide a summary of the information contained within it. Assess the code of practice against the organisation’s objectives (or mission statement).
Answers will vary depending on the code of practice the learner has accessed. However, typical answers will include information relating to:

principles of the organisation
promote the wellbeing of individuals, groups and communities
safeguard the human value of all persons encountered in practice
responsibilities to clients and client groups
responsibilities to employees
professional development of employees
responsibilities to employers and employing organisations
how the organisation protects individuals and communities against incompetent and 
unethical practices 
Answers should also include reference to the organisation’s objectives (or mission statement) and an indication of how the objectives have been highlighted or evidenced by the codes of practice.

Activity 8.

Explain what you consider to be the underpinning values that impact on community service work.
Values might relate to those listed in the text and should relate to affirming and contributing to holistic care and the enactment of the health and general wellbeing of all clients.

How do you ensure that, when working in community services, the work you do reflects the models of service delivery that support underpinning values and philosophy of the sector in which you work?
By understanding the community in which the organisation operates, by knowing the organisation’s values and expectations with regard to work standards and behaviours expected of employees and by understanding and complying with organisational policies.

Community service workers must clearly identify client needs and work in ways that will enable fulfilment of those needs. To do so they must be aware of changes/ improvements and research results that will impact on their work and the services that can and should be offered to clients. They should use this understanding to make continuous improvements to the service they offer and to the operational functions of the organisation for which they work.

Activity 9.

What should you consider when determining and developing your professional development goals?
When setting developmental goals you will analyse your current competencies and ask:

What do you want to do?
Why do you want to do it?
When do you want to do it?
What are the competencies you require in order to achieve your goal?
What resources and support will be required?
How does this fit with the organisation’s requirements now and into the future?
How will you acquire the necessary competencies?
Who can assist?
Ensure that goals are SMART, set specific timeframes for achievement of steps, make action plans, and reward self for achievement.

Consider your own learning style preferences and match learning opportunities with your preferred style.

Identify a personal goal that you wish to develop. Use the SMART goals and devise a plan of how you will attain that goal. Provide your answers in the table provided.
Specific Answers must demonstrate how the goal is clear and precise— address specific problems/ issues and have clearly defined outcomes.

Measurable Answers must demonstrate how progress toward achievement can be measured and assessed.

acheivable Answers must demonstrate how the goal contains stretch elements but is not unreachable.

Realistic/relevant Answers must demonstrate how the goal is realistic and relevant to the issue/ need.

Time-based Answers must demonstrate how much time the goal will take and when will it be achieved—able to be tracked in time.

Activity 10.

Choose a community service on which to base this activity. Find a copy of the Regulations that apply to your chosen service. List the major areas covered and note points of interest that are relevant to you.

Regulations can include:

employee qualifications and ratios
operating procedures, such as:
– maintaining records
– health and safety requirements
– access to clients
– hygiene
– programming
– facilities and equipment
– use of space
Summative assessment 1

Question 1.

Explain how you evaluate your own work and why it is necessary to do so.

Evaluations could involve:

asking for feedback
referring to job description
self-analysis of tasks performance
utilizing structured feedback from performance reviews 
This is necessary so you will know what you are doing well and what needs improvement.
Question 2.
What are the critical aspects of receiving and giving feedback?

Give feedback and reinforcement for good work. 
Answer could include:
know what you want feedback about
have samples or evidence of areas that you want to discuss or present
have a plan of suggested ideas or solutions of your own
know what action you are prepared to take
ask for suggestions and support for improvement
ask for alternative resources or methods to support improvement
be honest
do not take offence
respect the different opinion and values of others
use the information constructively
set a timeline for action and stick to it 
Make sure that feedback is constructive and includes (where necessary) improvement strategies.

Question 3.

What professional development opportunities have you sought?

Dependent on the improvement opportunity selected by the learner.

Question 4.

What is the importance of upgrading skills?

Answer could be:

to ensure that your job skills remain relevant and you are able to work at the necessary 
levels of competence
to ensure that you remain valuable to the organisation
to ensure that you are able to continue providing the best service for clients
to increase your confidence in yourself

Question 5.

What industry developments do you consider will have an effect on an organisation’s practices over the next few years and might, therefore, affect your skill requirements?

Dependent on learner research but could include, for instance, greater industry regulation, therefore need for higher accreditation.

Question 6.

How do codes of ethics affect professional, community service delivery?

A code of ethics offers a series of guidelines to assist workers collectively and individually to conduct their practices in ethically accountable ways in the pursuit of the organisation’s objectives, rather than setting out instructions. It should, therefore, serve to inform workers of the behaviours required of them, to inform other stakeholders of the organisation’s intentions and to ensure that management and workers act in ways that are acceptable to and accepted by the community.

Question 7.

If, when working, you identify skills gaps or learning development needs, how will you go about addressing these developmental needs?

If the learner is working the answer will be dependent on the guidelines and workplace policies that need to be followed. If the learner is not working, then their own initiative will need to be used.

Question 8.

List at least four different types of learning styles and describe which one you relate to and why.

Learning styles can include:

hear other people talk and explain things (lectures, training sessions)
experience things themselves, simply do things
read texts and notes
conduct research
watch others perform (demonstrations, on the floor at work or watching videos or DVDs)
make notes or draw diagrams to aid in learning
discuss learning experiences with others
reflect on new learning experiences alone
even listen to music and/or move around while they learn 
Learners can also discuss learning styles such as: § auditory
§ visual
§ tactile 
§ information processing § personality patterns
§ social interactions 
Learners can identify with any of the above styles.

Question 9.

Outline the steps involved in self-management.

Answers to include a description of:
Self-management is the ability to manage your personal reactions to responsibilities and challenges in work and life. This involves managing your time and adapting to changing situations. It requires you to reflect on your experiences and their effect on your physical and mental state. Self-management requires the background skills of reflection, self-awareness, planning and monitoring, time management, flexibility and self-appraisal.

Points of self-management include:

goal skills
goal setting
planning and monitoring

Question 10.
Further research the five-factor model of personality Big Five theory and outline each of the five factors.

The Big Five Personality Traits:
You are organised and disciplined, dedicated and loyal—especially at 
work. Excellent performances and strong commitments are standard. Of all the Big Five 
Personality Traits, this one will take you far in your career.
You are friendly, pleasant and easy to be around; your relationships are 
mostly strong. You are a social creature, and get your energy from being around other 
people. This Big Five Personality Trait opens many doors.
You feel anxiety, and you worry often. Your anxiety can make you emotionally 
unstable, and you are more likely to struggle with depression and sadness. This Big Five 
Personality Trait can lead to physical ill health.
You love adventures and trying new things; you are insightful and imaginative. 
Creativity adds spice to your life, and you are not afraid to take risks. People with this Big 
Five Personality Trait are often risk takers.
You are assertive, talkative, and do not mind being the centre of attention (in 
fact, you prefer it). Being alone is not your favourite activity; in fact, the more the merrier. This Big Five Personality Trait is found in extroverts all over the world.

Question 11.

Describe how and why it is important to have organisational guidelines for professional development.

Answer should be to:

measure a return on investment
target specific training needs for the organisation
ensure the training selected is relevant to a person’s job
track and document the training history of employees
comply with the organisation’s Management Information System (MIS), training 
documents, such as, applications to attend training, certificates and records of competency 
are entered on HR database
gain approval to attend training course
monitor and control the cost of training 
To ensure that training will be properly targeted, training money will not be wasted and that the ultimate results of the training/ learning will benefit both clients and employees.

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