Thinking about purchasing peer support training?
Here are some FAQ’s to help you choose your training provider:
Would you like to have training that is nationally recognised?
This makes it easier for volunteers to keep up-to-date and transfer their skills if they move around the country.
Would you like in-house training or one that is accredited and externally moderated?
Some peer support training schemes have this option. BfN’s training is offered with two units registered with the Open College Network called “Training to support the Breastfeeding mother”.
Who are you trying to reach?
To bring breastfeeding support into hard-to -reach communities training needs to be accessible and the women need to feel valued. Check whether there any costs to the women who participate in the training.
Do trainees get any added benefits such as registration and ongoing supervision with a national organisation?
BfN registration includes a requirement to have monthly supervision which gives the peer supporters a chance to deepen their skills and be supported in their work. They also receive a quarterly newsletter with up-to-date news items and critically appraised research abstracts (written in accessible language) plus the chance to particpate in online email discussions. BfN makes sure all its volunteers have equal voting rights to make their voice heard within the organisation and to feel valued as part of a breastfeeding community.
How are you going to ensure the training follows best practice standards?
- What systems are in place to protect local mothers?
- Does the training require participants to supply references which will be followed up?
- Are participants required to have a criminal record check?
Does the organisation providing the training have:
- A Code of Conduct
- A Child Protection Policy
- A Vulnerable Adult Policy
- A Health and Safety Policy
- An Equal Opportunity Policy
- Safe Home Visiting Guidelines
- A Complaints Procedure
- A Grievance Procedure
BfN’s training is backed by Supporterline which connects callers to BfN volunteers – peer supporters with additional training in breastfeeding support and telephone helpline skills.
Are the peer supporters to be insured by the PCT / Children’s Centre or would you like the training organisation to provide insurance cover?
This comes as standard with BfN training.
What about ethical issues?
Would you like your peer supporters to understand about the importance of working independently of baby feeding companies so as to avoid conflicts of interest? BfN training includes developing an understanding of why it is important not to be benefitting financially – or otherwise – from decisions mothers make about feeding their babies. These issues are set out in the WHO / UNICEF Code of Marketing of Breastmilk Substitutes and Subsequent relevant WHA resolutions. Tutors will provide ongoing supervision of peer supporters practice to ensure their independence is not compromised once they are supporting new mothers.
Who is training the trainer?
Does the trainer have a proven track record in supporting women themselves? Do they have enhanced breastfeeding training, knowledge and skills – and ongoing support from a training team to bring in new training methods and develop the training in light of evaluations and national initiatives.