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Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme


The Health and Social Care Skills Accelerator Programme (HSSAP), is an exciting new programme, part-funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and developed by Devon County Council, in partnership with a consortium of all the Devon NHS Trust, three local authorities and further education providers, with representatives from adult social care providers, primary care and Proud to Care.

The project runs until the summer of 2023 and aims to support the following areas.

  • Pathways into the health and social care sector for the unemployed or those looking to change careers
  • Development and upskilling of staff in health and social care roles through Level 1, 2 and 3 progression, with both apprenticeship and non-apprenticeship pathways on offer
  • Progression from apprenticeships into higher-skilled occupations e.g. Nursing, social work, allied health professions etc.

We can also support unpaid carers (those looking after, family, friends or neighbours) in a variety of ways and can offer bespoke certified and non-certified courses on request.


How can we support you?

HSSAP at Petroc can provide a variety of free and flexible courses designed to support individuals, wherever you are on your health and social care journey. You can do as little or as much as you like throughout the project and our friendly team will be on hand to guide you along the way.

Whether you would like to attend a two-hour workshop to learn new skills, or enrol on a more in-depth course, we can help.

Just take a look at the opportunities below and enquire, or contact us for more information.

Courses available


This course covers:

Definition of moving and handling. Legislation in relation to moving and handling. Responsibilities of employer and employee. Illegal manoeuvres. The anatomy of the spine. The muscles in relation to moving and handling . Lifting technique (carrying loads). Cause of back pain and the implications. Warning signs. Dos and don’ts in moving and handling. TILEO.

This is a four hour workshop and the dates are to be confirmed. If you would like to make an enquiry please contact hssap@petroc.ac.uk.

Where: Petroc, North Devon campus & Petroc Tiverton campus, can also be delivered with employer at a venue of choice.



This course covers: 

Makaton is a unique language programme that uses symbols, signs, and speech to enable people to communicate. It supports the development of essential communication skills such as attention and listening, comprehension, memory, recall and organisation of language and expression.

When:  28 April. This is a two hour workshop (10:30 - 12:30).

Where: North Devon campus 



This course covers

Describing the signs, symptoms and causes of Dysphagia. Behaviours associated with Dysphagia. Explaining how to support a resident with Dysphagia to eat and drink as safely and comfortably as possible. Identifying those that are at a higher risk of having Dysphagia, when to get a referral and what the process is. Explaining how to find help when managing an individual with Dysphagia and what tests can be completed.

When: 24 April, 2 May. This is a four hour workshop (10:00 - 14:00).

Where: North Devon campus 



This course covers:

Understanding what Autism is. Understanding signs and different types of Autism. Understanding the legislation related to Autism.

When: 18 April, 20 April. This is a two hour workshop (10:00 - 12:00).

Where: North Devon campus 



This course covers:

Being able to identify when a person lacks capacity. Knowing what procedures to adopt when there is incapacity. Knowing who to contact to resolve doubt about capacity through achieving these outcomes. Provide an improved level of service to their patients.

When: If you would like to make an enquiry please contact hssap@petroc.ac.uk.

Where: North Devon campus



The Dementia Tour Bus uses props - gloves, spiky insoles, dark glasses and headphones - to take away people's primary senses, distorting their surroundings and simulating the physical symptoms of dementia.

When: 15 May 

Where: Barnstaple



  • Understanding Epilepsy
  • Skin integrity
  • Incontinence care
  • Understanding end-of-life care
  • Equality, diversity, and inclusion 
  • Mental health awareness  
  • Care certificate 
  • Safeguarding 
  • Clinical skills 


This course covers:

Understanding the range of service provision and roles within health and social care (adults and children and young people), early years and childcare. Introducing communication in health and social care. Describing skills and qualities needed to give person-centred care. Identifying procedures relating to person-centred care. Explaining why procedures relating to personal care must be followed.

When: This course will be run over two and a half days. (Two mandatory days and then a half day for additional support, if required.)

15 May  (9:30-16:00) 23 May (9:30-16:00) 5 June (9:30-12)

29 June (9:30-16:00) 6 July (9:30-16:00) 13 July (9:30-12)

3 July (9:30-16:00) 10 July (9:30-16:00) 17 July (9:30-12)

Where: Petroc, North Devon campus


This course covers:

Understanding your role as a first aider and your responsibilities to the workforce. Quickly and accurately assessing an incident and prioritising your response. Identifying and demonstrating how to treat an unresponsive casualty and a casualty who is choking. Demonstrate how to treat external bleeding and a range of minor injuries. Recognising a casualty who is in shock and demonstrate how you would respond to that situation

When: 6 April, 17 April, 19 April,  9 May, 22 May, 1 June, 8 June, 5 July. Delivered in one day (09:00 - 17:00)

Where: Petroc, North Devon campus



This course covers:

Understanding medication and prescriptions. Supply, storage, and disposal of medication. Understanding the requirements for the safe administration of medication. Record-keeping and audit processes for medication

When: This course will be delivered one day a month.

Cohort 1: 6 March, 18 April, 4 May, 6 June, 6 July

Cohort 2: 20 March, 19 April, 16 May, 20 June, 13 July 

Cohort 3: 27 March, 29 April, 31 May, 29 June, 25 July -  Last one, so book a space today to avoid disappointment!

*Deadline for booking will be 2pm on the 26 March.

Where: Petroc, North Devon campus but can also be delivered with employer at a venue of choice, dates can be added for employers to accommodate staffing timetables.



This course covers:

Introduction to some of the basic skills needed to work in a team in a work context. Understanding how employability can be affected by your mindset, focusing on the key qualities sought by employers. Knowing the key issues when handling data in the place of work. Why processes and procedures are needed and used in the place of work. Introduction to some of the basic skills needed to work in a team in a work context. The unit will cover how teams work, recognising your own strengths in contributing to a team and the contributions of others and understanding team goals. Understanding customer needs within different straight forward contexts.

The HDA sessions are available for those currently in the Health and Social Care Sector that are working towards their Higher Development Award – find out more.

There are two Higher Development Award options:

Cohort 1: Mindset, Working in a Team, Business and Customer Service

Cohort 2: Mindset, Working in a Team, Policies and Procedures, Handling Information

Delivered once a week (10:00 - 14:00)

Higher Development Award - Cohort 1

8 March, 15 March, 22 March, 29 March, 4 April

Higher Development Award - Cohort 2

3 April, 11 April, 17 April, 24 April, 2 May

Unpaid Carers - Cohort 1

11 May, 18 May, 25 May, 1 June

Unpaid Carers - Cohort 2

7 June, 14 June, 21 June, 28 June



This course covers:

Identifying the different types and causes of dementia, how it affects individuals, families and carers, how person-centred care should be central to the care of people with dementia as well as communication techniques to help with this.

When: 5 April, 25 April, 11 May, 23 May, 7 June, 13 June, 18 July, 25 July



This course covers:

Understanding the process and experience of Dementia. Understanding the administration of medicines to individuals with dementia using a person-centred approach. Understanding the role of communication and interactions with individuals who have Dementia. Understanding the diversity of individuals with Dementia and the importance of inclusion.

When: Delivered in one day. Dates are to be confirmed - if you would like to make an enquiry please contact hssap@petroc.ac.uk.



When: 18 January - 17 May 10:00 - 12:00pm (once a month for five months, to cover four units)

Where: Petroc, North Devon campus but can also be delivered with employer at a venue of choice, dates can be added for employers to accommodate staffing timetables.

Petroc welcomes WayMakers who will be delivering an autism appreciation session.

Thursday 30 March (10:00 – 12:00)

This is an autism-affirmative, strengths-based session with 90 minutes of interactive workshop, and up to 30 minutes available for discussion plus Q&A.

The session will explore:

  • Common myths and stereotypes relating to autism.
  • What autism is and isn’t – can we define it? How we might best understand it.
  • 3 core areas of difference, with examples to illustrate.
  • The social model of disability: seeing differences not deficits.
  • ‘Spiky profiles’ of strengths and challenges.
  • Language & terminology.
  • Commonly co-occurring needs within the neurodiversity spectrum.
  • A celebration of some of the voices and art supplied by our service users.

Other Available Workshops Include: Moving and Handling, Optimal Handed Care,  Mental Capacity Act, Understanding Epilepsy, Skin Integrity, Incontinence Care, Understanding End-of-Life Care, Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion, Mental Health Awareness, Care Certificate, Safeguarding. Enquire now to reserve your place!

To sign up or to receive more information, email hssap@petroc.ac.uk

Contact us

If you can’t see a course that suits you, please get in touch and we can discuss the programme in more detail and find out how the project can support you.

If you are a provider looking for additional training for staff, we can support you with the care certificate with some friendly knowledge-based sessions that will help towards their sign off.


Josephine Lawrence Project Manager: josephine.lawrence@petroc.ac.uk / 01271 852428

Danielle Colley, Project Coordinator : danielle.colley@petroc.ac.uk

Liz Barton, Project Admin: elizabeth.barton@petroc.ac.uk

Lisa Crome, Project Worker : lisa.crome@petroc.ac.uk

James Vandeleur-Boorer, Project Worker: james.vandeleur-boorer@petroc.ac.uk


For general enquiries please contact HSSAP@petroc.ac.uk