For the record
Recording skills training manual
By Liz O'Rourke

This training pack provides material that will:
  • stimulate awareness of the importance of recording in the delivery of quality social care
  • help people learn the principles of effective recording.

  • It shows how to make records that:
  • are objective and reliable
  • include the service user's perspective
  • clearly identify the worker's judgements.

  • Illustrated with numerous case studies relevant to care workers, there is also material that can help social workers review and improve their practice. The material can be used by trainers with a wide range of experience and is flexible enough to be used by managers within supervision and team meetings as well as in organised training programmes.

    "When I first embarked on this area of training some years ago, I was filled with a degree of apprehension. I did not feel I was very much of an expert and I severely doubted my ability to make such a subject engaging and enjoyable. But the more I explored the potential of the subject area with a range of learners, the more I became aware of the powerful influence such training might have. Working with learners and discussing their concerns and experiences, I have developed a confidence and enthusiasm which I hope I can share, through this manual." Author Liz O'Rourke. To continue from her introduction, "recording skills are less about writing ability and far more about being able to observe and listen, to take in information, process it and interpret it, while still being clear about how much your own subjective perception and understanding may be influencing the way in which you then describe to others what you believe you have seen and heard.

    "Workers are in a powerful position to define the reality of the caring situation in their terms, to describe it from their perspective and to believe that their professional expertise ensures objectivity. Service users, by virtue of their very disadvantage in requiring help and support, may find it very difficult to put forward any alternative."

    "Liz O'Rourke has produced a lively and enjoyable manual that will help us to ensure that this power imbalance is not abused through workers' lack of ability or confidence in recording skills."Professor Neil Thompson, Consultant Editor.

    A4 wiro. 192 pages. 978-1-903855-01-0. Published 2002. £39.95


    Liz O'Rourke
    is a training consultant, was previously training manger with Berkshire Social Services, and has had wide experience in care work.


    "Makes recording come alive… reasonably priced… an excellent investment for training sections, teams and anyone who wants to brush up on their recording skills.' Professional Social Work.

    'A comprehensive pack which can be used by trainers for organized training programmes. It is also sufficiently flexible to be used by managers within the context of supervision and team meetings. It provides material, which includes numerous illustrated case studies and exercises to stimulate an awareness of the importance of recording in the delivery of quality social care. It will enable social care working at all levels and working with any client group to identify the principles of effective recording, and help them to review and improve their practice. It is designed to help care workers to reflect on how to make records that are clear, objective, non judgemental and reliable but more importantly to include the service user's perspective… The material in the pack is presented in a simple and easy to follow format that can be used by an experienced trainer or someone less experienced in the training role... I commend Liz O'Rourke for putting together this training pack, which no doubt will make a significant difference to anyone who might use it to train or learn. She has made the process of learning simple, enjoyable and fun without losing sight of the importance of effective training.'British Journal of Learning Disabilities.