"Becoming The Profession"
As you may know, from May through to June this year we ran a consultation on the future of the informatics profession in collaboration with the NHS in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The future challenges of modern health and care need to be met with the widespread adoption of digital technologies and techniques. We know that creating a transformational shift in the digital and informatics infrastructure has never been more critical.
To that end, the Federation for Informatics Professionals wants to enable those who work in this area to demonstrate that they meet the professional standards required and are committed to maintaining and developing the standards of the profession.
The consultation has helped us to learn more about those working in informatics in Health and Care, their current roles, the current support available for informatics professionals, their views on Professional Bodies and what professionals would like to see in the future.
A full report of our findings will be available next month, but for now we wanted to share some of our initial findings from the consultation.
A Summary of Outcomes
We have identified 6 broad themes, which we have been working with the professional bodies to address.
Six Themes for the Future
The results showed that there is a strong desire to see the profession develop so that it has parity of esteem with the other professions across health and care. This included being seen as valued colleagues and increasing the recognition of the work that is done, some of which is unrecognised and perceived as being undervalued.
Furthermore, there was a demand for the ability for individuals to demonstrate that they have met the requirements of the profession and can prove their credentials. Many people found that it was difficult to demonstrate this in a way that others would recognise, even between colleagues within the profession.
It is also important to note that recognition was important for individuals in order to help lessen feeling of isolation and to provide them with a community that they belonged to and could rely upon for support and help.
This certainly supports the outcomes measured in our jointly produced impact and learning report: “The Wellbeing of Health and Care Informatics Professionals In A Time of Pandemic”, which looked at the changes that have occurred and lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continuing Professional Development
Many respondents felt, whilst CPD was vital in a fast-moving profession, that employers often don’t recognise the need for it. Indeed, without professional demand it was more difficult to ask for and have the time to commit to CPD.
To compound this issue, a further challenge was knowing what development would help them to keep up to date and guidance on how to progress, as well as identifying what roles might be available in the future. This was felt to be particularly challenging in newer disciplines or when people wanted the skills to move into managerial positions.
Accreditation education and training
Continuing the theme of education and development, many respondents stated they wanted to simply and effectively identify the value of a particular course before committing to it. It was also noted that a better system, for signposting users to more appropriate and useful resources, would be valuable.
Once training is complete, the ability to demonstrate to employers that they are keeping up to date and developing their skills and competencies was another crucial element that will need to be addressed. This includes being able to gain credit for work being done for the development of the profession and contributing to the knowledge base for others.
Career guidance and support
Making progress in the profession was seen as being difficult and many people gave personal examples of how frustrating this can be. There were many underlying reasons for this including:
• Knowing what to do to get the next job
• Examples of poor management support
• Guidance on what opportunities are open to them
• Mentoring and coaching
• Routes and pathways
Mentoring and coaching was an area where there was huge willingness to support colleagues and share expertise, but it was identified that there were not necessarily easy ways of offering this support to those that need it.
A cross cutting theme was a desire to have opportunities to learn and be supported in a less formal way and to be part of a community. Including regular events, meeting colleagues, understanding other roles in the profession and forums for discussion and debate.
We are already working towards facilitating a space for discussion and debate in the FEDIP forum and are looking forward to supporting the community in its future development.
Simplify the landscape
Another theme that came through all of the responses was the need to simplify the process of joining the profession and for getting involved. Making participation easier and more understandable.
Full Report Published
The full report with a review of the responses will be published towards the end of August. It really is a most interesting read and we look forward to your thoughts on the consultation results. If you would like to be sent a copy of the report when it is finalised, please click below.
From the consultation responses a new FEDIP charter will be formed, outlining the core areas that we wish to see developed in the future and which will form the basis of our endeavours towards a professionalised health and social care informatics profession.
Taking what we have learned, our CEO Andrew, has met with the 4 Nations to develop a charter for the informatics profession. More news on this next month.
We’re keen to keep the momentum going and are excited to have a solid foundation from which to advocate from.
We look forward to hearing your thoughts on the consultation. If you are registered with FEDIP or the Faculty of Clinical Informatics, we would be delighted if you would join us in the FEDIP forum and for you to share your views with other professionals.
And when you are ready to begin your registration, you can do so here.
We look forward to sharing the full report with you soon.