MHFA England quality assurance framework
© MHFA England 2021 Company registration number 702 1392
Welcome Our quality assurance framework Raising a quality concern
M embership levels Role expectations
Instructor Member Associate Instructor National Trainer
Here at Mental Health First Aid England, we take pride in being the nation’s leading provider of mental health skills and awareness training. We’re committed to making sure everyone who attends our courses gets a safe and high quality learning experience. Our members are at the heart of what we do. Their skills, hard work, and passion for delivering training in workplaces and communities, are vital to achieving our mission of training one in ten people in mental health skills and awareness. We want to be as clear as possible in the expectations that we have of our Instructor Members, and we want to support their development as much as we can throughout their journey with us.
Our quality assurance framework sets out our approach to maintaining consistent standards across all MHFA England course deliveries. It will give an overview of the approach, our expectations, and the tools we’ll use to measure progress. It also sets out our commitment to developing the membership experience. I would like to thank the Instructor Members who have formed the quality assurance steering group for their knowledge, experience and support in developing this framework and handbook: Ross Abbott, Shindo Barquer, Sue Bennett, Nick Ellis, and Sue Hayward. Your input has been invaluable. We’ve designed this framework to encourage a culture of continuous development across our Instructor Member community. We hope it empowers them to continue to deliver the high quality training MHFA England is known for, as we work together to improve the mental health of the nation.
Simon Blake OBE Chief Executive Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England
Our quality assurance framework
Why do we have a quality assurance framework?
To build trust and confidence in the MHFA England offer
To proactively ensure every learner gets high quality training
To identify learning and development requirements
To celebrate and share good practice
MHFA England’s quality assurance framework:
Drives continuous improvement
Sets clear expectations
Measures performance against expectations
We have developed a set of role expectations for each of our three member profiles (Instructor Member, Associate Instructor, and National Trainer). Setting clear expectations
We set a high bar for prospective Instructor Members and they must go through a rigorous selection and training process to ensure they meet the role expectations. Our Instructor Member handbook outlines the required procedures that ensure every Instructor Member delivers our courses consistently to our quality standards.
These role expectations outline the behaviours we expect and uphold
throughout an instructor’s journey with us, from those in training, all the way through to our most experienced members.
Measuring performance We use a suite of monitoring tools designed for the specific roles our members carry out. These tools allow us to identify examples of high quality performance and areas for improvement. Across our membership community, we: - Encourage learners, clients, members, or anyone else who has a quality assurance concern to report it using our confidential quality concern reporting route - Collect learner evaluation data from every course delivered and replay the feedback to Instructor Members in real time on our member dashboard - Review all learner evaluation data and identify any quality assurance concerns - Follow up on all quality assurance concerns and gather information to understand the situation fully - Conduct observations of course deliveries where we have identified quality assurance issues We will be introducing the following features to the Instructor Member dashboard: - Enhanced course evaluations from learners who are willing to provide us with more detail on their learning experience, anonymised but visible to the Instructor Member
- All Instructor Members will be required to log a light touch self-reflective record after each delivery - Peer feedback from co-deliveries, visible to both co-deliverers We use a targeted approach for those delivering high volumes of our courses (25+ courses per year), for Associate Instructors, and National Trainers: - Proactive observations of course deliveries by these Instructor Members - Three performance reviews per year for Associate Instructors to review feedback from clients and learners, highlight examples of good practice and achievement, and identify development opportunities - Annual performance reviews for National Trainers to review feedback from learners, co-deliverers and plenary speakers, identify examples of good practice and achievement, and identify development opportunities - Regular moderation process for National Trainer application decisions, assessment decisions and sign-off decisions, ensuring that given rationales are appropriate and consistent with MHFA England standards. This exercise will feed into regular standardisation sessions and good practice sharing between National Trainers to strengthen their performance as a team
Driving continuous improvement The monitoring tools outlined above will allow us to recognise and celebrate examples of high quality performance. We are committed to supporting our members to learn and grow their knowledge and skillsets. Every Instructor Member will be required to complete an annual learning needs self-assessment to identify areas for development. The trends identified in this assessment will form the core content of a new MHFA England Instructor Development programme.
Engagement with the MHFA England Instructor Development programme will be a mandatory part of membership (replacing current CPD requirements) and Instructor Members will be required to log their learnings on their dashboard.
Raising a quality concern
MHFA England is committed to making sure every learner on our courses gets a safe and high quality learning experience from our members. We will investigate and resolve any instances where this is alleged to not be the case. If you have a quality related concern about an Instructor Member, Associate Instructor, or National Trainer, we encourage you to raise the concern directly using our confidential quality concern reporting form .
Quality concerns raised are processed and investigated by the Quality Assurance team. You can be sure that the Quality Assurance team will take your concerns seriously and will update you on the progress and outcome of the investigation.
The investigation and resolution process
1. Information gathering After you have submitted your quality concern, the Quality Assurance team will contact you within three working days. We will discuss and agree with you which information you are comfortable for us to share with the member and how we can maintain your anonymity if you prefer. At this stage, interviews may be held with the person raising the concern, any other willing witnesses, and with the member in question, to understand their experiences of the concern raised.
2. Investigation This stage focuses on understanding in more depth how the concern fits into our knowledge of this member. The Quality Assurance team may: - Conduct an objective observation of the member’s course delivery - Review recent observations already conducted for this individual - Review their historic learner evaluations - Review their co-delivery feedback - Review the member’s post-course reflections
3. Resolution There are number of potential outcomes, based on the type of quality issue identified, which can include: - Sign off for the member to continue delivering without further action - Agreement of a development plan and time limited review process - A written warning - Removal from a specific role (for example, Associate Instructor or National Trainer role) - Removal of membership A record of the investigation and resulting action will be held on the Instructor Member’s data record for future reference. In the case of removal from a role or membership, there is an appeal window of 15 working days for the member to provide additional evidence following the communicated outcome. The appeal will be reviewed by a member of the MHFA England executive team unconnected with the original investigation.
4. Feedback The person raising the concern will be updated by the Quality Assurance team with a summary of the outcome of the investigation where it is appropriate to do so. The Quality Assurance team will aim to resolve all quality related concerns within two months of the concern being raised. In some instances, where observations or further action may be needed, the resolution process may be extended beyond this timeframe.
Instructor Members Aft er sign-off , instructors-in-training become approved Instructor Members. This means they are granted the right to deliver the Mental Health First Aider course. Their role is to deliver high quality mental health learning experiences on behalf of MHFA England. Instructor Members may be in-house (employed and delivering MHFA England products within their organisation), or independent (self-employed and delivering MHFA England products to their own clients). See the full role expectations for Instructor Members here. Upskill courses Instructor Members can qualify to deliver MHFA Champion (one day) or Mental Health Aware (half day) courses by applying for and successfully completing an upskill course. Extension training Instructor Members can also qualify to deliver another Mental Health First Aider product (for example, if they currently deliver Adult MHFA and wish to add Youth MHFA to their range), by applying for and successfully completing extension training.
Those who progress from the seven day MHFA England Instructor Training programme must co-deliver a minimum of two Mental Health First Aider courses, and provide a self-reflective record documenting their development, as well as a full set of learner evaluations to their mentor. Their mentor makes an assessment about whether the instructor-in-training has met the quality standards of the Instructor Member role expectations . If successful, they are accepted onto an MHFA England Instructor Training programme cohort and become instructors-in-training. Instructors-in- training are guided through their training by two National Trainers, one of whom is assigned as their mentor. During the programme, instructors- in-training are assessed against the Instructor Member role expectations . Any candidate who has not met the expectations will be unable to continue their journey with us. Instructors-in-training Applicants for the role of an MHFA England Instructor Member will complete an application form detailing how their knowledge, skills and experience meet the application assessment criteria .
If successful, the instructor-in-training is signed off as an Instructor Member to deliver the Mental Health First Aider course.
Associate Instructors Associate Instructors deliver MHFA England products directly to MHFA England clients. Their role is to deliver high quality mental health learning to MHFA England workplace and community clients, ensuring the creation of amazing client and learner experiences. When we have vacancies for Associate Instructors, applications are open to any Instructor Member. Applicants need to detail how their knowledge, skills, and experience meet the published assessment criteria. The prospective Associate Instructor assessment process involves a written application, interview, and observation of training delivery. See the full role expectations for Associate Instructors here.
National Trainers National Trainers deliver MHFA England Instructor Training programmes. They support on delivering and creating training to support Instructor Member development. Their role is to deliver high quality training and mental health learning experiences to Instructor Members. They ensure we have a pool of confident, knowledgeable, and skilled MHFA Instructor Members. When we have vacancies for National Trainers, applications are open to any Instructor Member. Applicants need to detail how their knowledge, skills and experience meet the published assessment criteria. The prospective National Trainer assessment process involves a written application, interview, and observation of training delivery. See the full role expectations for National Trainers here.
Role expectations Instructor Members Competent and successful Instructor Members will demonstrate all the listed attributes.
1. Act as an ambassador and representative for MHFA England, playing a key role in our vision to
4. Remain considerate and mindful of own safety and wellbeing by managing Stress Containers and maintaining an appropriate work/life balance 5. Establish and maintain a collaborative and professional relationship with MHFA England based on confidence, trust, and respect 6. Employ and maintain professional and reasonable standards when communicating with MHFA
improve the mental health of the nation
2. Embody MHFA England’s values: accessible, clear,
empowering, trustworthy and innovative
3. Celebrate, support, and respect the diversity of our learners and colleagues by being actively inclusive of people with different identities and beliefs. Think carefully about language, imagery, and video choices. Challenge any behaviours from learners and peers that do not reflect the words and spirit of MHFA England’s equity and inclusion commitments
England, learners or clients
7. Actively engage with and be supportive of quality
assurance procedures and activities
Knowledge and understanding
8. Demonstrate working knowledge and understanding of MHFA England’s vision and mission to improve the mental health of the
11. Demonstrate understanding of the potential impact and implications of negative and/or stigmatising attitude and/or language towards mental health on the learning experience of learners 12. Demonstrate thorough knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of the importance of key messages and models explored in the course 13. Develop thorough knowledge and understanding of MHFA England products for which they are
9. Demonstrate up-to-date knowledge and understanding of mental health trends and
10. Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the impact of race, racism, oppression, inequalities and intersectionality on mental health and
14. Be sufficiently IT proficient to enable successful
16. Competently navigate all relevant sections of the
classroom course deliveries
Instructor Member dashboard
15. If delivering online, be sufficiently IT proficient to enable successful course deliveries and learner management using the Online Learning Hub and
17. Competently use the online course management
18. Competently facilitate effective and engaging course deliveries in line with MHFA England quality standards
any other platforms used
Role summary - Delivering high quality mental health training on behalf of MHFA England - Creating amazing learner experiences
Commitment to learning
19. Reflect on each course delivery performance
24. Actively embrace opportunities for peer-to-peer learning 25. Actively embrace and respond appropriately to peer feedback to improve delivery practice 26. Engage with the MHFA England team to provide constructive feedback and insight to support continuous improvement of products and learning
20. Actively improve and progress own practice as an Instructor Member 21. Actively keep knowledge of mental health trends, services, and signposting resources relevant and 22. Regularly refresh knowledge and understanding of good practice related to equity and inclusion and embed learnings within own practice 23. Keep up to date with the subject area of the products in their accredited product range e.g. Adult/Youth/Armed Forces up to date
27. Demonstrate good practice in the preparation and
Aiders. Where required encourage suitable MHFA England resources and products to embed effective support for the role of the
delivery of courses
28. Consistently demonstrate a high quality standard
Mental Health First Aider
34. Uphold, promote, and protect the reputation of MHFA England courses through effective advanced planning and preparation for course deliveries 35. Demonstrate positive attitude and de-stigmatising language towards mental ill health and mental
29. Deliver courses in accordance with the product, session plan, and Instructor Member kit 30. Promote and book MHFA England course deliveries (where applicable)
31. Organise the logistics of delivering MHFA England
36. Demonstrate effective delivery of key messages
32. When delivering courses exclusively within
and action plans (ALGEE)
37. Ensure delivery language, terminology and style reflects awareness and understanding of cultural differences and influences, and provide an appropriately inclusive experience for learners 38. Provide Mental Health First Aid support to learners on the course where required
- Enquire about safeguarding and protective provisions made by the employer to support the role of the Mental Health First Aider
33. When delivering independent course deliveries:
- Enquire about safeguarding and protective provisions in place for Mental Health First
Role expectations Associate Instructors Competent Associate Instructors will demonstrate all the listed attributes, as well as the attributes expected of Instructor Members.
1. Role model excellence in adhering to MHFA
3. Always behave in a professional manner when communicating with MHFA England clients 4. Actively engage with and be supportive of quality assurance procedures and activities in relation to
England policies and procedures
2. Actively respond to all MHFA England communications about course deliveries in a
course deliveries to clients
Knowledge and understanding
5. Demonstrate thorough understanding of desired
and intersectionality on mental health and wellbeing, and within the context of the relevant client sector 9. Demonstrate understanding of the potential impact and implications of negative and/or stigmatising attitudes and/or language towards mental health on the learning experience of learners, within the context of the relevant client
6. Demonstrate sound working knowledge and understanding of the MHFA England vision and
7. Demonstrate extensive knowledge and understanding of MHFA England products for
which they are accredited
8. Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the impact of race, racism, oppression, inequalities
10. Collaborate effectively with MHFA England team to successfully manage complex relationships with
13. Be sufficiently IT proficient to proactively manage learners and problem solve technical issues experienced as part of online deliveries, and signpost clients to any further required technical
11. Successfully manage relationships between learners, considering the complexities of power dynamics based on race, gender, sexual
14. Successfully navigate all relevant sections of the
orientation, and disability
Associate Instructor dashboard
12. Be sufficiently IT proficient to enable successful training course deliveries and learner management using the MHFA England Online Learning Hub and any other platforms used
- Delivering high quality mental health training to MHFA England workplace and community clients - Creating amazing client and learner experiences
Commitment to learning
15. Reflect on each course delivery to clients
19. Actively embrace opportunities for Associate Instructor peer-to-peer learning 20. Actively embrace and respond appropriately to Associate Instructor peer feedback to improve
16. Actively improve and progress own practice as an Associate Instructor 17. Actively keep knowledge of mental health services and signposting resources relevant and up to date, particularly in relation to relevant client sectors 18. Keep up to date with the subject matter area of the products in their accredited product range e.g. Adult/Youth/Armed Forces within the context of relevant client sectors
21. Have a track record of high quality training
25. Deliver MHFA England products and courses to clients in their role as a representative of MHFA England 26. Actively deepen knowledge of cultural and intersectional sensitivity regarding mental health and widen breadth of knowledge in relation to appropriate and intersectional signposting 27. Contribute positively to the learning experience of the learners within the context of the client sector
delivery across a range of products
22. Develop a collaborative and professional relationship with MHFA England clients
23. Demonstrate relevant sector specific knowledge
24. Demonstrate good practice in the preparation and delivery of courses to clients, including background research on the client to understand the organisation and leading pre-course planning
28. Proactively provide feedback on course delivery
to MHFA England team
Role expectations National Trainers Competent National Trainers will demonstrate all the listed attributes, as well as the attributes expected of Instructor Members.
1. Role model excellence in adhering to MHFA
4. Actively engage with and be supportive of quality assurance procedures and activities in relation to the (face-to-face and online) MHFA England Instructor Training programme, upskill, and recap
England policies and procedures
2. Actively respond to all MHFA England communications about course deliveries and programme deliveries in a timely manner 3. Cultivate knowledge and understanding of the importance of equity, diversity, and inclusivity in each new cohort of Instructor Members
5. Remain considerate and mindful of own safety and wellbeing by managing stress containers and maintaining an appropriate work/life balance
Knowledge and understanding
6. Demonstrate extensive knowledge and understanding of MHFA England’s vision and
and online) MHFA England Instructor Training programme, upskills, and recaps for which they are
7. Demonstrate thorough working knowledge and understanding of the content, key messages and learning for learners for the (face-to-face
8. Demonstrate understanding of desired learner
9. Demonstrate excellent facilitation skills by relating content to context and deepening knowledge of
12. Be sufficiently IT proficient to proactively manage learners and problem solve technical issues experienced as part of online deliveries, and signpost learners to any further required technical
10. Successfully manage relationships between learners, considering complexities of power dynamics based on race, gender, sexual
13. Develop strong and effective mentoring
orientation, and disability
relationships with mentees
11. Be sufficiently IT proficient to enable successful training course and programme deliveries and learner management using the Online Learning
14. Appropriately navigate questions and challenge misconceptions that might arise related to
privilege and racism
Hub and any other platforms used
- Delivering high quality instructor training and mental health learning experiences to Instructor Members - Ensuring we have a pool of confident, knowledgeable, and skilled Instructor Members
15. Demonstrate effective coaching skills to support
and recap deliveries in line with MHFA England
mentee reflections and self-evaluation
16. Demonstrate highly skilled, facilitative, effective, and engaging (face-to-face and online) MHFA England Instructor Training programme, upskill,
17. Successfully navigate all relevant sections of the
National Trainer dashboard
Commitment to learning
18. Keep up to date with delivery practices relating to the (face-to-face and online) MHFA England Instructor Training programme, upskills, and recaps 19. Reflect on the delivery of each (face-to-face and online) MHFA England Instructor Training
21. Actively embrace and respond appropriately to National Trainer peer feedback to improve
22. Actively improve and progress own delivery practice of (face-to-face and online) MHFA England Instructor Training programme, upskills, and recaps
programme, upskill, and recap
20. Actively embrace opportunities for National Trainer peer-to-peer learning
23. Have a track record of high quality training
28. Actively deepen knowledge of cultural and intersectional sensitivity regarding mental health and widen breadth of knowledge in relation to appropriate and intersectional signposting 29. Manage responsibilities towards the cohort throughout their in-training year
delivery across a range of products
24. Take ownership of the relationship with mentees, in accordance with the MHFA England mentoring guidance 25. Act as the initial point of contact for mentees and endeavour to respond in a timely manner to
30. Contribute positively to the learning experience of
resolve mentee queries and issues
their Instructor Member cohort
26. Demonstrate effective and timely planning and preparation for delivering the (face-to-face and online) MHFA England Instructor Training
31. Provide constructive and supportive feedback, early interventions and follow-up action plans to
support mentee development
programme, upskills, and recaps
32. Engage with new products and learning
27. Deliver the MHFA England Instructor Training programme, upskills, and recaps in their role as a
interventions being scoped and developed where
representative of MHFA England
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