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New course accredits independent living retailers to assess for home adaptations equipment


Staff member
Dec 14, 2023
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BHTA and TACT launch Trusted Assessor course for retailers image

Trusted Assessing and Care Training (TACT) is working in partnership with the British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) to launch a new course designed for retailers of independent living equipment. The ‘Trusted Assessors: Assessing in the Retail Environment’ course is designed to accredit retailer members as Trusted Assessors.

BHTA represents over 400 organisations in the UK who are involved in the manufacturing, distributing, and retailing of healthcare and assistive technology products. It operates a Code of Practice to ensure high-quality service levels for the sector.

This new training-based programme enables customer-facing staff to learn the skills involved in assessing for suitable home adaptations equipment. The course was developed by TACT in consultation with BHTA and its members. It is accredited by OCN London.

TACT emphasises that retailers of equipment for independent living are experts in the product solutions they range, and this enables them to check suitability and tailor products to individual people’s needs. Many retailers are relied on in their local areas to visit people at home and demonstrate equipment to help people to live independently.

The Trusted Assessor model is based in occupational therapy models of practice and learning. This approach enables an assessor to evaluate the person and their environment in a systematic way to identify the best solution.

Assessors are taught when to refer a case to an occupational therapist (OT), and this ensures best use of staff and resources while speeding up access to much-needed equipment.

Clare Barber, Director of TACT and an OT specialising in this field, said: “We’re delighted to be working with BHTA to provide this Trusted Assessor course to their members.

“It’s a splendid example of how staff already visiting older and disabled people at home can be taught to carry out simple assessments for home adaptations with a best practice approach based on the Comptency Framework.

“Expanding the range of Assessors working in the UK by harnessing the skills of this specialist retail sector is an innovative way of speeding up access to much-needed equipment.”

The announcement of the new course follows several months of consultation with BHTA and its members.

David Stockdale, Chief Executive at BHTA, commented: “This programme underlines BHTA’s commitment to quality and raising standards in the sector. The Trusted Assessor model is known and in widespread practice in health, social care, and housing services across the UK.

“This initiative enables our retail members to be aligned with a best practice approach in assessing for equipment that in turn means they can be integrated into local pathways. Older and disabled people can expect to gain faster access to important solutions for their independence and be confident in the impartial advice provided.”

BHTA members can find out more by emailing TACT on [email protected] or visiting the TACT website and completing an enquiry.

Alastair Gibbs, the director of mobility store TPG DisableAids, praised the new Trusted Assessor course and said it has given the firm credibility.

He told AT Today: “For TPG DisableAids the Trusted Assessor scheme has been a real boost. We have various staff trained from Level 2 to Level 4 and it has given us some real credibility with a number of housing associations and local authorities. Those that were looking for a differentiator and an indicator of commitment to quality found it in our association to BHTA and Trusted Assessor.”

The post New course accredits independent living retailers to assess for home adaptations equipment appeared first on AT Today - Assistive Technology.
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