Happy National Apprenticeship Week!
Tracey Rodgers,Learning and Development Manager at Rodericks Dental speaks about her role and the support Rodericks provides for it’s Apprentices.
National Apprenticeship Week takes place between the 4th and 8th of March this year, celebrating and promoting the benefits of these learning programmes.
At Rodericks, we are completely dedicated to the training and education of our professionals and we have been involved with the apprentice schemes for some time in order to give more people the chance to create a long and successful career for themselves.
My background enables me to understand how dental nurses can best make the most of their apprenticeships. I started as a dental nurse then took on roles in practice management before moving into the education field by teaching dental nurses. I have worked in variety of positions, both in independent and corporate practices. I am now the Learning and Development Manager for Rodericks, focusing on the clinical elements for dental nurses and the clinical team.
I also attend the Trailblazer groups for employer-led qualifications. These involve external meetings with skill funding agencies, other groups and independent practices, looking at employer-led qualifications and developing training courses in line with industry standards. These meetings mean I am up-to-date with how the programmes are delivered, ensuring our apprentices receive the best possible learning experience.
Support & Training
Currently, we have more than 150 apprentices in the group – I oversee the dental nurses and there are 2 IT apprentices at Head Office. Where individuals are already on an apprentice programme when they join us, we work with their training providers to complete the course. We also work with TempDent as our preferred training provider for anyone starting out on their apprenticeship journey, following which clinical individuals obtain an Advanced Diploma in Dental Nursing.
For every dental nurse that joins our apprenticeship programme, they receive a comprehensive induction. TempDent provides a 12-week online induction programme for new recruits to work through before officially starting the apprenticeship. A day’s training is then delivered in-house by our regional training partners to cover all the basics of the course. During the induction period, buddy support is provided in the practices, monitored by the practice manager and considering the person’s role in practical terms. This continues beyond the initial induction to afford on-going support for apprentices through a ‘buddy’ system. Apprentices therefore have someone to turn to with any questions and TempDent monitors their progress throughout the course while Rodericks regional training partners offer continued support.
Post Qualification Support
Upon qualification, we pay for our dental nurses to register with the GDC, which we pay annually for as long as they are working with us. We also provide all dental nurses with indemnity cover.
Further to this, Rodericks runs various in-house training programmes for dental nurses to access once they have completed the apprenticeship and gained qualification. These include training in areas like impression taking, oral hygiene education and fluoride application. We also support external post-qualification courses in fields like sedation and radiography, and will cover the costs involved where the learning of skills will benefit the practice and the patients. We are also currently in the process of becoming accredited by the National Examining Board of Dental Nurses for the radiography qualification so that we will be able to do this in-house in the near future.
The Benefits of an Apprenticeship
I believe apprenticeships afford the opportunity for individuals to move into a professional field effectively, gaining relevant experience before qualification. It’s a flexible pathway, which is beneficial to the apprentice and important to us as a business. My advice for anyone starting or on the journey would be to explore all your options – we’re more than happy to speak to anyone who would like more information.
Interested in Apprenticeships with Rodericks Dental? View our latest Dental Nurse Vacancies.
Tracey Rodgers – Learning and Development Manager at Rodericks Dental