OTC Cert: Foundation Programme For Residential Services (Online)

A COVID-19 initiative for the ID Sector

This fully online programme is designed to equip participants with the essential skills to commence work in a residential service in the intellectual disability sector. The Open Training College has combined our broad knowledge of the ID sector with expertise from the frontline to deliver course content that is both practical and relevant.

Who is this programme for?

For the individual,  the programme provides an opportunity to invest in yourself at this time and develop skills that will support you in your job.

For an agency, it is a useful training resource to support staff being inducted into your service or being redeployed in your service. Or even for the current residential staff to keep their skills up to date.

The programme is a training resource for any person who will be working or managing within a residential service in intellectual disability services. Nurse, social care worker, health care assistant or support worker.

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Aim of this Foundation Programme

To provide key essential training to staff who have been recruited or redeployed into residential services for people with intellectual disability during this public health emergency created by COVID-19. The content is based on the induction requirements of a residential service and focuses on the key issues the employee will need to function effectively under supervision in the current environment.

Structure of the Programme

The course is structured in 12 online modules ranging from 1 to 2 hours in length. The full programme takes approximately 15 hours to complete. The materials identify and address the issues arising due to the public health emergency (COVID-19). The content of each module is based on specified learning outcomes and assessment that checks learning and understanding.

Online Access

The programme sits on the OTC's award-winning online environment YourOTC (www.yourotc.net).

YourOTC allows the employee to access the material any place, any time and from any device. It can, for example, provide quick access to just in time learning whenever an issue arises.

Programme Content

The programme focuses on key skills that support a person to provide a quality residential service at this time. Areas include person centredness, rights, safeguarding, infection prevention and control, intimate and personal care and recording and report writing.

The programme is made up of 12 modules that contain 17 hours of elearning;

  • Relevant and practical content for residential services;
  • OTC accredited certification for each module and the overall programme;
  • A range of interactive quizzes and activities;
  • Key videos and resources;
  • Up to date content on COVID-19 issues in residential services in a number of areas.

Programme Modules:

1. Person Centredness and Rights

This module introduces the employee to the continued importance of person centredness and service user rights; the principles of person-centredness and rights should not be lost in the emergency response; the understanding of which are essential for employees in this sector both now and into the future.

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2. Getting Residential Ready

3. Infection Prevention and Control

Ensuring the safety, in all its forms, of people with intellectual disabilities living in residential services is paramount in ‘ordinary’ times but is even more so during extraordinary times such as in the current PHE. Similarly, ensuring that residential services remain person-centred at all times is also of the utmost importance.

This course has been designed to provide the fundamental knowledge and skills to ensure that staff can provide safe and clean care in a disability residential environment. This training has never been so necessary as in this COVID-19 crisis, especially if participants are new to working in a residential environment and their specific IPC requirements at this time.

4. Introduction to Positive Behaviour Support

5. Introduction to Fire Prevention

The Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) module  provides a range of approaches to deescalate potentially problematic situations, and addresses the application of low arousal to situations that may generate particular stress for service users at this time, such as the need for a swab to be taken, isolation arrangements, curtailment of social and/or family activity/links.

Fire safety training is a statutory requirement and is normally delivered on a face to face basis. The current situation requires that it is moved to an online delivery. This module covers all the required content including video on fire blanket and fire extinguisher use. It also helps the learner consider fire safety in the current times and implications for fire safety arising from isolation and social distancing considerations.

6. Safeguarding Vulnerable Persons

Safeguarding is a statutory requirement for all staff and is normally delivered on a face to face basis. The current situation requires that it be moved to an online delivery. This programme is contextualised for ID services where particular and demanding requirements to safety apply.
This module covers all the required content and helps the learner consider safeguarding in the current times and identify any implications or strategies needed arising from isolation and social distancing considerations.

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7. Back Care and Safer Manual Handling

8. Intimate and Personal Care

Back Care (Manual Handling) training is a statutory requirement for all staff and is normally delivered on a face to face basis. The current situation requires that it be moved to an online delivery.
This module covers all the required content including a video of safe movement of objects. The practical demonstration by the learner will be facilitated using ZOOM or another online video process.

Intimate and personal care is provided on a daily basis in residential services. The way in which care is delivered can significantly affect the person with disability’s quality of life, self-image and self-respect. This is never more important if staff members are being redeployed to work for the first time in residential disability settings where consistently of care and the provision of a safe and comfortable environment is essential during the Covid 19 crisis.

9. Introduction to Health and Safety

10. Food Hygiene

This module identifies the key processes and protocols around health and safety and introduces the employee to the principles of positive risk assessment for service users. It will assist the learner in applying Health and Safety principles and requirements in situations of social distancing and isolating.

Food hygiene is especially important during the current emergency. This module covers all the basics of good food hygiene and also takes account of how the principles relate to delivery of the residents' meals within the residential centre during the current times. The importance of good food hygiene including the processes of thawing, refreezing, cooking temperature controls are essential skills to ensure everyone remains healthy.

11. Recording and Report Writing

12. Staff Wellbeing and Self Care

This module focuses on the essential elements of effective recording and report writing for staff working within the health and social care sector, and addresses the need for staff to understand the legislation involved in recording and report writing, and the concept of accountability inherent in this. It introduces staff working within the Intellectual Disability sector to the importance of effective recording and report writing and highlights best practice tips, tools and techniques to support them in developing effective records and reports in their role.

The module provides staff with a variety of resources to support their mental well being during these extraordinary times. It provides some background information on  the ‘fight or flight’ reaction, and how we process stress. The module looks at anxiety in terms of understanding the causes and effective management of it. Managing our own mental wellbeing is essential and the module provides many links and resources to support staff in this endeavour. A range of external supports and resources are provided for staff that need additional support.

How Will I Be Assessed?

Students undertake short modules which are assessed by online quizzes.

What Supports will be provided?

Each participant has access to a fully dedicated online learning support team.


  • An OTC accredited Certificate in Foundation Programme for Residential Services (ONLINE) will be awarded to those who complete the full programme.
  • OTC accredited certification for each module

Entry Requirements

There are no educational requirements for enrolling on this course - all you need is a access to any functional online device with audio, and motivation!


For Individuals:

€120 per head

(17 hours of online learning in 12 modules)

For Agencies who block book places:

  • 1 - 20 staff: €120 per head plus 2 free places
  • 21 - 50 staff: €110 per head plus 3 free places
  • 51 - 100 staff: €90 per head plus 4 free places
  • 100+ staff: €70 per head plus 5 free places

Fees benefits

  • High quality online applied materials developed by staff with experience of the frontline at this time
  • Materials accessible on any device
  • Content contextualised to ID and the current emergency situation
  • In-built assessment and learning check tools
  • Content include links, references to all HSE and Public Health Guidance which will be updated on an ongoing basis
  • Certification for Training Department and Staff CPD records provided for each module
  • Provision of tracking records for agencies
  • Dedicated elearning support team

At a Glance


Any person who will be working or managing within a residential service in intellectual disability services: Nurse, social care worker, health care assistant or support worker.





Certificate in Foundation Programme for Residential Services (ONLINE)


OTC Accredited Certificate










€120 (or €10 per module)









Access to a functional online device

How Do I Apply?

  1. If you are a manager and you would like the opportunity to monitor a group of staff or an individual staff member’s progress through the course, the Open Training College (OTC) would be more than happy to help. The OTC is offering tracking and/or certification for course completion for the purposes of CPD for staff at all levels. Contact us at cmurray@opentrainingcollege.com, or using the form below, to discuss the process and the cost involved.
  2. If you are an individual and are ready to pay the application fee, contact us at jweikel@opentrainingcollege.com, and we will provide you with details on how to pay and log in details to access the course.
  3. Managers wishing to enrol a group of individuals will forward the first names, last names and email addresses within 3 columns in an excel spreadsheet to llittlefield@opentrainingcollege.com. Louise will respond to each individual with login information and a "How To" ebooklet.

How Can We Help?

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