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Awards joy for Richmond Fellowship Scotland staff

Staff from the Richmond Fellowship Scotland holding up their award certificates
Back row, from left: Cathy McGill, Claire Harley, Sharon Young; front row, from left: Lesley Thomson, Robert Ross, Sheena Bell, Paul Crawford, Sam Palmer, Zoe Meek and Fotoula Karampesini

The Richmond Fellowship Scotland (TRFS) is celebrating manager success in Positive Behaviour Support.

Earlier this year, the social care charity held its biennial awards day at the National Piping Centre in Glasgow. Staff from across the country came together to celebrate the achievements of their frontline managers in completing a work-based SCQF credit rated programme in Positive Behaviour Support (PBS).

The Advanced Practice in Positive Behaviour Support (AP in PBS) is a year-long programme, developed and delivered by our in-house PBS team.

During the programme of study, students identify an individual they support with behaviours of concern with whom they can apply their learning in practice. The aim is to improve quality of life and ensure their service is meeting the needs and aspirations of the individual they support.  ​

​The training programme has been developed in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University and has been awarded 30 credits at SCQF level 9. ​

To complete the programme, students must complete 300 hours of learning. This is a huge commitment, not only for the students but also for their staff teams, and requires the managers to undertake formal learning alongside weekly practice-based activities. This ensures their learning is taken back into their service and cascaded to the staff teams and the people they support, ensuring real change can be evidenced in practice. 

Who attended?

All candidates who achieved their award, along with their family members, managers and the senior management team of TRFS, joined in the celebrations. In addition, the Executive Directors and Chief Executive Officer of TRFS came along to mark the occasion.

The event, chaired by TRFS's Head of Complex Needs and consisting of several presentations, focused on PBS delivery and showcasing the impact programmes such as this can have on improving service delivery for the people we support. Presentations were delivered by:

  • Austen Smyth, CEO TRFS – Austen discussed the national struggles in social care and how TRFS were committed to overcoming these barriers by investing in the workforce and recognising the value and skills that our staff team bring to the sector.
  • Nadia Khan, Regional PBS Manager TRFS and Programme Convenor – Nadia discussed the programme and the work involved for all candidates, and showcased the positive impact of the course not only for the candidates but most importantly for the people they support.
  • Paul Crawford and Cathy McGill, Senior Support Workers and graduates of the programme – Paul and Cathy discussed the work they completed throughout the AP in PBS and how the learning had increased the quality of life of the people they support. Paul shared some fantastic videos and images of his supported individual achieving his goals, whilst Cathy showcased the benefits of working together by co-producing communication supports.
  • Mark Gallagher, Senior Lecturer Glasgow Caledonian University – Mark discussed the development and impact of PBS in Scotland and recognised the hard work and positive outcomes of the programme in improving the quality of support offered to individuals with complex needs.
  • Marie Thomson, Regional PBS Manager and CPD Facilitator – Marie discussed the ongoing Continuous Professional Development (CPD) support provided to all graduates as they continue to utilise their skills in practice and provide valuable peer support to their colleagues.
  • Holly Mackie and Jacquii Fox, Senior Support Workers and previous graduates – Holly and Jacquii shared their ongoing PBS journey since completing the programme and the importance of continuous learning through the CPD groups.
  • Pauline Radcliffe, CEO SCQF Partnership – Pauline emphasised the value of partnership working across sectors and how SCQF credit rated programmes are enhancing the workforce. Pauline went on to recognise the vast undertaking of our graduates in achieving a level 9 programme and encouraged continued partnership working to support the growth of skilled staff within the social care sector.

Some of the common themes highlighted from all presentations were the hard work and investment candidates gave to the programme and the people they support, the focus PBS has on increasing quality of life, and that ongoing learning and development is vital.

After an engaging morning with thought-provoking presentations, candidates were invited on stage to receive their certificates from CEO Austen Smyth. This was followed by a buffet lunch and the chance to network. The attendees also had the opportunity to read candidates’ poster presentations detailing the achievements of the people they had supported throughout the year. 


The event was well attended and there was great feedback about this chance to recognise and celebrate this commitment to improving people’s lives and invest in the development of frontline social care staff.

Attendees found the day to be both enjoyable and inspiring, with the achievements of our frontline staff leading the way in complex needs support. One attendee said:

“[What I enjoyed most about the event was] hearing the amazing difference that has been made in improving the quality of life for those we support.
“From today, I took away that, with the right support, anything is possible.”

For more information please contact Caroline Shaw, Head of Complex Needs at TRFS, at c.shaw@trfs.org.uk

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