Professional Development and Ethics

The accredited course focuses on the role and responsibilities of the first line manager in the social care and non-profit sector. It examines the personal and professional skills and capabilities required to occupy this complex role.

As well as helping you develop your current skills and competencies the course will also allow you identify areas that you will need to develop in order to meet the challenges that come with working in a first line position.

Who Is This Course For?

The course is for current and prospective first line supervisors and managers who are looking to develop their management skills in an accredited programme created specifically for the social care and non-profit sector.

It is particularly suitable for people engaged in continuing professional development. You will receive 10 educational credits towards a Level 6 Applied Management award upon successful completion that can be used to gain further qualifications.

At a Glance

  • Audience First line supervisors & managers in the human services & non-profit sector
  • FormatBlended
  • AwardProfessional Development and Ethics (6N14519)
  • Award Type QQI HET
  • Level on NFQ 6 (10 Credits)
  • ApplySept 16th, 2019
  • Informal InterviewsSept. 23rd, 2019
  • Online Induction ModuleSept. 30th, 2019
  • Start DateOct. 7th, 2019
  • WorkshopOct. 14th, 2019
  • Assignment DueNov. 3rd, 2019
  • Duration4 weeks
  • Fees€395

Continue to Application Centre

Course Details

Learning Objectives

After completing the course you should be able to:

  • Recognise your current strengths as a first-line manager and identify what areas you need to improve in
  • Understand the multiple roles performed by a first line manager
  • Explain the concept of information management
  • Discuss the following key management skills:
    • Time Management
    • Delegation
    • Negotiation
    • Managing meetings
    • Managing stress
  • Explain the role of ethics in human services and discuss the ethical factors that have to be considered when managing a service based on outcomes for vulnerable people


Unit 1: You & Your Role as Manager

  • Your Role as an Individual
  • Role Sets
  • The Role of the Manager
  • Formal & Informal Roles
  • Role Issues – Ambiguity & Varieties of Conflict
  • Reducing Role Conflict
  • Personal Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Being Effective & Efficient
  • Interpersonal Styles – Push, Pull & Moving Away
  • Push Styles – Aggression, Persuasion, Credibility, Assertiveness & Working with People
  • Pull Styles – Questioning, Listening, Building Rapport & Common Ground
  • Moving Away Styles – Submissive Behaviour & Disengagement

Unit 2: Communication

  • Communication in Organisations – Functions & Purpose
  • Communication Channels
  • Communication Media
  • Effective Communication
  • Barriers to Communication
  • The Communication Process
  • Sending & Receiving Messages – Guidelines
  • Skills for Effective Verbal Communication
  • Effective Listening
  • Giving & Receiving Feedback
  • The 8 Rules of Giving Feedback
  • The 3 Rules of Receiving Feedback
  • Making a Presentation – Planning, Organising & Delivering a Presentation
  • Presenting to Small & Large Groups
  • Dealing with Anxiety
  • Information Control

Unit 3: Personal Effectiveness

  • Time Management – Using Your Time Effectively
    • The Pareto Principle
    • Prioritising & Evaluating Activities
    • Planning
  • Delegation – The Process & Pitfalls
  • Effective Negotiation – The Position & Principled Approach
  • Negotiation – The Process
    • Negotiation Styles (Fisher & Ury)
    • Strategies & Tactics
    • Eight Critical Mistakes
  • Effective Meetings – The Need & Benefits
  • Running an Effective Meeting
  • Managing Stress
    • Identifying the Causes
    • Management Strategies
    • Stress Triggers


To complete the course you will need to write a 2,000-word paper that explores the relationship between the course materials and your current role as a manager. Very much a practical assignment, it will provide you with the opportunity to evaluate and expand your working practices in an environment where you have access to expert advice and the support of professional contemporaries. Having this learning community provides an opportunity to extend your management abilities in a uniquely supportive environment.

Taking the Course

The course uses a ‘blended’ approach which combines online learning, virtual tutorials and face to face workshops.

Our online learning materials are explicitly designed to accommodate the pressures that come with trying to balance work, life and learning. They make it possible to build study time around your work schedule. These are accessible through our learning centre which provides a platform for you to study, collaborate and communicate with your fellow learners. Regular online tutorials will expand your knowledge of the topic and answer any questions you have as you study.

Each workshop focuses on extending your understanding of the subject matter and helping you apply it in your working practice. The one-day session will be led by a subject matter expert who also has extensive experience in providing coaching/training to people working in the human services and non-profit sector.

Discussion, collaboration and the sharing of experiences are actively encouraged in order for the workshop to achieve one of its primary goals:

  • Facilitating the application of knowledge and skills acquired during the course to address real world challenges in a practical and effective manner.

Underpinning all of this is our learning community. This is made up of tutors who have extensive first-line experience, learning support staff who understand the human challenges people can face when attending college and our learners who are defined by their commitment to supporting each other.

We believe this creates a learning experience that is unique to the Open Training College, one that meets the specific requirements of people working in our sector and improves the quality of service our users receive. This is known as the Supported Open Learning Model. You can read more about it here.

The Learning Experience

The Tutor’s View – Brendan Collins

The course provides participants with access to contemporary management thinking about professional development and ethics. More importantly perhaps, the course contextualizes discussion of these in terms of how they impact on human services and non-profit professionals.

Our approach, which is very much focused on practical issues, and our commitment to developing a proactive learning community within the college means the course provides a perfect environment for professionals to develop their skills in an environment that allows them apply these to challenges they may well be currently facing.

The Student View – Mark Kerins, Instructor, St John of God Services

I would use the online supports a few times a week when it suited me. They were excellent and assisted me in writing a thorough assignment which highlighted my management role and my particular management skills such as negotiation and time management.


The course is QQI accredited as a HET Award at Level 6 on the National Framework of Qualifications. Successful participants will be awarded a single subject Professional Development and Ethics. Successful candidates will hold 10 credits towards the Certificate in Applied Management (Human Services).

Next Steps

Dates & Duration

The next course starts on Monday, January 14th, 2019. It runs for 4 weeks.


The course costs €395 to attend.

Booking a Place

Apply, via our Online Application Centre by January 3rd, 2019.

How Can We Help?

Contact us if you want to know more about the course.

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