Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence Bill: consultation

Closes 21 Apr 2024

Mandatory Training in the Public Sector

One of the key themes we have heard through our scoping exercise, and from stakeholders and the Lived Experience Advisory Panel (LEAP), is that that there needs to be greater awareness, training on, and understanding of neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities. In particular, there is a need for this when people are trying to access help, support and services and to exercise their rights.     

Whilst there can be training options available to public sector professionals to help them to better understand and communicate with neurodivergent people and people with learning disabilities, undertaking this training is voluntary and is not necessarily developed or delivered by people with lived experience. This means that people who work in public services, such as in the National health Service (NHS) or social care, the police and prisons, can choose to do training or not, if it is available to them.  It is not consistent across different public services or delivered to a standard. It can vary in quality and effectiveness.  

What can the Learning Disabilities, Autism and Neurodivergence (LDAN) Bill do? 

Having access to staff in public services who are informed and able to understand and communicate with people effectively can make a significant difference:   

  • People are more likely to engage with services   
  • People are more likely to seek help and support at an early stage meaning crisis can potentially be avoided   
  • Staff will feel more confident in meeting needs successfully   
  • Early engagement with health and social care supports will allow a greater focus on prevention and reduce health inequalities  

Proposal 1: Mandatory Training for Public Services

We want to consider how we make training mandatory for public facing staff in some public services.  

In the first instance, we would like to consider implementing the same approach as in England, by placing a mandatory training requirement on health and social care staff. 

However, we could also consider extending this to other public sector areas. For example, the justice system, which could include the police and prison staff, and in the education system for teachers and other educators.

Although the approach in England relates specifically to training on autism and learning disabilities, we could consider a broader approach for training to be inclusive of neurodivergence more generally, as well as learning disabilities.  

As part of our approach to mandatory training we want to think about how people with lived experience should be involved. 

Please tell us what you think.

Related information

Consultation Questions

The questions in this document refer to information contained in our consultation document and various alternative formats which can all be found here

You need only answer questions in the sections most relevant to you.

Do you agree with this proposal, please tell us why?
Do you not agree with this proposal, please tell us why?
Is there anything else that we should consider in relation to mandatory training?