Whilst the title of the course is the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training, it is not required that health and social care providers undertake the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training specifically.

The Health and Care Act was amended in 2022 to stipulate that there is a new legal requirement that applies to all CQC-regulated services. The requirement states that CQC regulated service providers must ensure their staff receive training on learning disability and autism which is appropriate to the person’s role.

What is deemed to be “training appropriate to the person’s role” is Autism and Learning Disability Training that is mapped to the current two core Autism and Learning Disability Frameworks. The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training has been specifically designed to meet the current core frameworks on all domains within the Autism Capabilities Framework and the Learning Disability Capabilities Framework.

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training programme was written collaboratively with Health Education England, Mencap, National Autistic Society, Paula McGowan and Experts with Lived Experience in Autism and Learning Disabilities and is co-delivered with Experts with Lived Experience. The Care Quality Commission are insisting on any autism and/or learning disability training that is undertaken, outside of The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training, is co-delivered with Experts with Lived Experience to achieve that enhanced and enriched learning experience.

We are able to deliver the Tier 2 Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training. Our sister company, The Autism Training Network Ltd is able to deliver the the Tier 2 Train the Trainer Program.

Frequently asked questions

What is the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training Framework?

Following years of campaigning by Oliver McGowan’s family, the  Health and Care Act 2022 introduced the requirement for all regulated CQC registered service providers to ensure that their staff receive appropriate training regarding learning disabilities and autism. The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training Framework has been identified as the government’s preferred and recommended training for health and social care staff to undertake.

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training Framework for Learning Disabilities and Autism is a standardised package co-developed by  Health Education England (HEE) and  Skills for Care. It has been trialled with over 8,300 health and social care staff and independently evaluated by the  National Development Team for Inclusion (NDTi).

Most importantly, the training has been designed, delivered and evaluated with the help of people who have learning disabilities and/or autism.

What does the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training framework involve?

The framework encompasses two different tiers of training, and it is the employer’s responsibility to ensure their staff undergo the level of mandatory training which is appropriate to their role.

Tier 1 of the framework is designed for health and care workers who require only a general awareness of the support people with learning disabilities or autism may need. It may be adequate for frontline staff if people currently using the service do not have a learning disability or autism. Generally, it will apply to staff who do not have patient-facing roles or do not make decisions about people who use the service, such as administrators, on-site facilities or finance assistants.

Tier 2 of the framework is designed for health and care staff with responsibility for providing care and support for people who have a learning disability and/or autism. It includes anyone who may be required to make decisions about the people who use care and support services.

An  eLearning package forms the first part of the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training programme, and this has now been launched by HEE and their partners at the  Department of Health and Social CareNHS England and Skills for Care. It must be completed by all learners whether they are completing Tier 1 or Tier 2 of the framework.

The eLearning is free and available via the  elfh. NHS healthcare staff can access it via the ESR.

Following the  eLearning, Tier 1 learners will then complete a 60-minute live online webinar session, while Tier 2 learners will complete a 6-hour, classroom-based training course.

Following initial trials, evaluations clearly showed the importance and benefit of including people with real, lived experience in the training. As a result, both Tier 1 (webinar) and Tier 2 (classroom) training sessions will be delivered by a trio of trainers. An experienced subject matter trainer will lead and facilitate delivery, supported by a person with autism and a person with a learning disability, known as ‘Experts by Lived Experience.’

The framework is now available as a training category on the  Adult Social Care Workforce Data Set (ASC-WDS), with the eLearning, Tier 1 and Tier 2 training elements all included.

This enables employers to record and track which staff have completed the mandatory training and provide evidence of its completion during inspections.

Why is the Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training framework required?

The Oliver McGowan Mandatory Training Framework for Learning Disabilities and Autism marks a vital step forward in the care and support of people with a learning disability and/or autism.

Research indicates that, on average, people with a learning disability or an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) die earlier than the general public and that they do not receive the same quality of care as people without a learning disability or ASD.

The  campaign for the mandatory framework has been largely spearheaded by Oliver McGowan’s parents, Paula and Thomas, following his tragic and preventable death in 2016.

As an infant, Oliver suffered meningitis and received diagnoses of mild hemiplegia, focal partial epilepsy, a mild learning disability and high functioning autism. As a teenager, with several sporting accomplishments under his belt, Oliver began to train as a Paralympian.

In 2005, Oliver experienced seizures and was admitted to hospital, where he was given antidepressants. He was re-admitted later that year when his seizures worsened.

Despite having no diagnoses of psychosis or any other mental health disorder, Oliver was held against his will and given antipsychotic medication. This had a hugely negative impact on his mood and doctors noted that Oliver was sensitive to antipsychotic medication.

Once this medication was removed, both Oliver’s mood and his seizures returned to normal.

In April of the following year, Oliver was admitted again with partial seizures. Again, antipsychotics were administered, and Oliver suffered a range of distressing side effects. It was believed his symptoms were behavioural and Oliver was moved to a specialist adult hospital where staff restrained him, prescribed him further antipsychotic medication and failed to provide him with any privacy.

Oliver was then transferred to a Psychiatric Intensive Care unit where he received support from a specialist learning disability team who immediately recognised that he did not need to be detained – they removed all antipsychotic medication from his treatment plan.

In October of that year, Oliver experienced a cluster of partial seizures and was admitted to a general hospital. Staff sedated Oliver and, again, administered antipsychotic medication. He became very unwell and staff then suspected a life-threatening reaction to the antipsychotic medication.

After a week on life support treatment, Oliver’s parents were forced to make the difficult decision to turn off his life support machine. Oliver died on 11 th November 2016. He was just 18 years old.