Theme 2: Technical skills for using technology

About this theme

Use this guidance to understand the skills and training your organisation needs to use different devices, software and the internet in your day-to-day work. 

This video shows how developing these skills has helped other social care providers provide better care. 

1. Use digital devices in my day-to-day work

I know how to carry out basic tasks on digital devices as needed for my role. For example, I can:

  • Connect to the internet using the Wi-Fi settings and enter the Wi-Fi password when required.
  • Turn on a device and enter any information required (e.g., usernames and passwords) to safely login.
  • Use available controls on my device (e.g., mouse and keyboard on a laptop or computer, or touch screen on a smartphone or tablet).
  • Find applications (apps) by choosing the correct icons on the home screen.
  • Update and safely change my password when prompted to do so.
  • Keep login information for a device and any websites secure, not shared with anyone or written down and left prominently near my device (see Theme 5 - Being safe and secure for more tips and advice)

2. Make use of accessibility tools on devices and help others to use these tools

I understand it is possible to adapt devices to make them more accessible and easier to use. This could include:
• Making text larger so it is easier to read.
• Changing settings to help improve access for people with specific conditions (e.g., dyslexia or arthritis)
• Changing sound options or reading text aloud.

Being able to use these settings, and help the people you support to use them, can contribute to the provision of quality, person-centred care 

3. Use the internet to access websites, search engines or emails as needed for my role

I understand that the internet allows me to access online information and content. I can connect to the internet and open a browser to find and use websites I need for my day-to-day work, and can use email safely in line with my organisation's policies.

4. Use care technologies and software in my day-to-day work

More and more care providers are using digital technologies to deliver quality care and to support their staff. The types and brands of technology in use will vary depending on your service and the people you support.

This can include:

  • Technologies that support quality of life. These technologies are used by, with or for the benefit of people who draw on care, based on their specific needs. Examples include technologies that support independence or help people to stay connected to loved ones, such as sensory technologies and communication aids.
  • Technologies that support quality and safety of care. These are technologies that can be used by care providers to improve the quality of the care they are delivering. Examples include digital social care record (DSCR) systems and electronic medication administration systems (e-MAR).
  • Technologies that support the provision of care. These are technologies that are used by people who arrange and provide care to help with business, administration and HR tasks such as e-rostering and digital payslips.

It is important that everyone working in social care can develop the skills to use care technologies and software as required for their role. This may involve, for example, accessing and updating information about people you support using a digital care record (see Theme 4: Using and management data for more advice).

5. Solve basic problems when using technology

Digital devices and applications need regular software updates so they can continue to work safely and effectively. Without these updates, problems could arise as the technology may be vulnerable to viruses or faults.

It is important you know what to do if you experience a technical problem when using technology. This may include:

  • Following instructions set out in your organisation’s policies and procedures
  • Using the device or software manual to help you solve problems
  • Using the internet, chat facilities or technical support helplines (where available) to find the information you need
  • Using online tutorials, FAQs and advice forums. 

If you are unsure what to do, you should always speak to your manager or supervisor, a ‘digital champion’ or similar.

Knowledge criteria Additional information Useful resources

6. (Depending on role) Support/lead the set-up, implementation and ongoing maintenance of technology in my organisation

There are several steps to implementing a new technology, from ensuring the right connectivity is in place ahead of set-up, to supporting colleagues with using the new system and adapting to new ways of working. This should also include identifying hazards and managing risks associated with any new technology, to ensure the safety of people who use your service.

You may take a leading role, for example, in helping colleagues to use new devices or in developing new policies and procedures for your organisation. You may also need to work with technology suppliers to ensure the installation of digital equipment runs smoothly. There are several guides available to help you with these steps.

Your organisation should also be able to maintain the technology and have access to ongoing technical support should any issues arise. You should contact your IT supplier for advice regarding technical support in the first instance.

7. Model how to use different types of technology safely, and help others to understand how digital technology can be used in their day-to-day work

Learning from peers is one of the most common ways people develop their digital skills. You can support your colleagues by:

  • promoting the use of technology to support quality care
  • demonstrating how you personally use technology in a safe and effective way
  • providing advice if you see common mistakes or unsafe practices
  • keeping your own technical skills up-to-date

8. Support others to solve problems and access learning opportunities to improve their digital skills and confidence

Being on hand to help colleagues with technical issues and to access learning opportunities will support good digital practice across your organisation. You can do this by:

  • supporting colleagues with troubleshooting and problem solving; this may be directly or by helping them to access specialist technical support
  • ensuring common problems are learned from in your organisation

It is important to remember some people may feel anxious around technology. Support should always be given in a way that is inclusive, non-judgemental and enhances confidence.

9. Stay up-to-date with how technology can be used to improve my service and proactively explore new digital technologies

Keeping up-to-date with new technologies, championing their benefits and recognising success and innovation will help to ensure your service is continuously learning and improving, as defined in the CQC’s ‘Well Led’ questions and quality statements.

Knowledge criteria Additional information Useful resources