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Support Individuals With Specific Communication

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This standard identifies the requirements when you support individuals who have specific communication needs. This includes identifying individuals’ specific communication preferences and needs, supporting individuals to interact with other people and monitoring communication to identify changing needs.

Performance criteria

You must be able to:

You must be able to:

You must be able to:

Identify individuals’ communication preferences and needs

1 access information about the individual’s communication and language needs P1 where information is not available or appears incomplete, use other strategies and sources to identify the individual’s communication and language needs P2 observe the individual, their behaviour and communication cues to help you understand how the individual communicates and what specific messages they are communicating P3 pay full attention to the individual when listening to them P4 seek appropriate support when you have problems understanding and interpreting the individual’s communications P5 seek appropriate support when the individual has problems understanding you P6 work with the individual, key people and others to identify the communication methods that best meet the individual’s needs P7 complete records and reports on communication needs and processes according to legal and work setting requirements

Support individuals to interact through communication

P8 support the individual to express their wishes about who they wish to communicate with and the ways in which they wish to communicate P9 support the individual to overcome barriers they experience when communicating with others P10 support the individual to develop communication methods and skills that will enable them to be understood by others P11 support the individual to acquire any specific equipment to enable them to communicate P12 support the individual to correctly set up and use communication equipment P13 check that the equipment is working properly, taking appropriate actions to remedy any problems P14 access other specialist services and facilities, including human aids to communication, to enable the individual to communicate P15 provide opportunities for individuals to communicate with others using the communication methods and skills they have developed P16 ensure the environment is arranged to minimise barriers to communication P17 encourage the individual to engage with others

P18 encourage the individual to communicate their feelings and emotions in ways that will help you and other people to understand them P19 support other people who come into contact with the individual to communicate with them appropriately P20 support people to understand and respect the individual’s specific communication needs, to understand and interpret the individual’s communications and to use appropriate strategies and methods to be understood by the individual P21 encourage people to allow sufficient time for the individual to communicate their message, without interrupting P22 work with the individual to enable them to communicate in new and changing situations and environments

Monitor individuals’ communication needs

P23 examine records and reports to enable you to observe appropriately and recognise changes in the individual’s communication needs P24 observe the individual while they are communicating with you, with key people and with others P25 work with the individual and key people to monitor any changes in the individual’s communication P26 evaluate the changes observed

P27 seek further help, advice and support when your evaluation suggests that the individual’s communication needs have changed P28 complete records and reports about changes to the communication needs of the individual according to legal and work setting requirements


K1 legal and work setting requirements on equality, diversity, discrimination and rights K2 your role in promoting individuals’ rights, choices, wellbeing and active participation K3 your duty to report any acts or omissions that could infringe the rights of individuals K4 how to deal with and challenge discrimination

K5 the rights that individuals have to make complaints and be supported to do so

Your practice

K6 legislation, statutory codes, standards, frameworks and guidance relevant to your work, your work setting and the content of this standard K7 your own background, experiences and beliefs that may have an impact on your practice K8 your own roles, responsibilities and accountabilities with their limits and boundaries K9 the roles, responsibilities and accountabilities of others with whom you work K10 how to access and work to procedures and agreed ways of working K11 the meaning of person-centred/child centred working and the importance of knowing and respecting each person as an individual K12 the prime importance of the interests and well-being of the individual K13 the individual’s cultural and language context

K14 how to build trust and rapport in a relationship
K15 how your power and influence as a worker can impact on relationships K16 how to work in ways that promote active participation and maintain individuals’ dignity, respect, personal beliefs and preferences K17 how to work in partnership with individuals, key people and others K18 how to manage ethical conflicts and dilemmas in your work K19 how to challenge poor practice

K20 how and when to seek support in situations beyond your experience and expertise


K21 the nature and impact of factors that may affect the health, wellbeing and development of individuals you care for or support K22 theories underpinning our understanding of human development and factors that affect it

Personal and professional development

K23 principles of reflective practice and why it is important


K24 factors that can affect communication and language skills and their development in children, young people adults K25 methods to promote effective communication and enable individuals to communicate their needs, views and preferences

Health and Safety

K26 your work setting policies and practices for monitoring and maintaining health, safety and security in the work environment K27 practices for the prevention and control of infection


K28 the responsibility that everyone has to raise concerns about possible harm or abuse, poor or discriminatory practices K29 indicators of potential harm or abuse
K30 how and when to report any concerns about abuse, poor or discriminatory practice, resources or operational difficulties K31 what to do if you have reported concerns but no action is taken to address them

Handling information

K32 legal requirements, policies and procedures for the security and confidentiality of information K33 legal and work setting requirements for recording information and producing reports K34 principles of confidentiality and when to pass on otherwise confidential information

Specific to this NOS

K35 why the individuals’ rights and preferences are particularly important when individuals are using specific communication methods and language K36 how communication may alter because of the individual’s personal beliefs and preferences K37 how cultural differences affect an individual’s perception of ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’, acceptable and unacceptable communication and how this affects the approaches you should adopt to work with individuals K38 how and where to access information and support that can inform your practice when supporting individuals with specific communication needs K39 how to access, review and evaluate information, services, equipment and support to meet specific communication and language needs generally, and for the specific individuals with whom you work K40 theories relevant to the individuals with whom you work, about working with individuals with specific communication needs K41 theories about motivation and how to encourage people with communication difficulties to communicate including the use of positive reinforcement

K42 how communication and language differences and difficulties can affect the identity, self-esteem and self-image of the individuals with whom you work K43 methods, equipment and aids (including human aids to communication) to support individuals to communicate K44 how to arrange the environment to maximise communication and interaction K45 the effect which an inability to use recognised forms of language can have on the behaviour and attitude of an individual K46 the ways in which communication can be modified and augmented for different needs and made interesting/stimulating to the individual K47 the meaning of ‘contact’ and the different forms which it may take K48 the appropriateness of physical contact with the individuals with whom you are working K49 the nature of the communication differences of people who lack social understanding and imagination

Additional Information
Scope/range related to performance criteria

The details in this field are explanatory statements of scope and/or examples of possible contexts in which the NOS may apply; they are not to be regarded as range statements required for achievement of the NOS.

Note: Where an individual finds it difficult or impossible to express their own preferences and make decisions about their life, achievement of this standard may require the involvement of advocates or others who are able to represent the views and best interests of the individual. Where there are language differences within the work setting, achievement of this standard may require the involvement of interpreters or translation services.

Barriers to communication may include those relating to the physical environment; to interpersonal relationships and the emotional environment; to working practices; to the availability of resources including human or other aids or assistance; to the limitations of your own or other people’s communication skills or attentiveness; to cultural contexts; to the specific circumstances of the individual including disability, disadvantage, anxiety or distress To communicate may include using the individual’s preferred spoken language, the use of signs, the use of symbols or pictures, writing, objects of reference, communication passports, other non verbal forms of communication, human and technological aids to communication Communication cues may be those that are widely used and recognised by people; or specific to particular group(s); or specific to the individual

Human aids to communication may include people who sign; people who take notes; people who `mouth’; people who speed type The individual is the adult, child or young person you support or care for in your work Key people are those who are important to an individual and who can make a difference to his or her well-being. Key people may include family, friends, carers and others with whom the individual has a supportive relationship. Listening may encompass other ways of attending to and receiving what individuals communicate when using methods such as signing, objects of reference, touch, gesture, visual messages or technologies Others are your colleagues and other professionals whose work contributes to the individual’s well-being and who enable you to carry out your role

Scope/range related to knoweldge and understanding
The details in this field are explanatory statements of scope and/or examples of possible contexts in which the NOS may apply; they are not to be regarded as range statements required for achievement of the NOS.

All knowledge statements must be applied in the context of this standard.

Factors that may affect the health, wellbeing and development of individuals may include adverse circumstances or trauma before or during birth; autistic spectrum conditions; dementia; family circumstances; frailty; harm or abuse; injury; learning disability; medical conditions (chronic or acute); mental health; physical disability; physical ill health; poverty; profound or complex needs; sensory needs; social deprivation; substance misuse

Adherence to codes of practice or conduct where applicable to your role and the principles and values that underpin your work setting, including the rights of children, young people and adults. These include the rights: To be treated as an individual

To be treated equally and not be discriminated against
To be respected
To have privacy
To be treated in a dignified way
To be protected from danger and harm
To be supported and cared for in a way that meets their needs, takes account of their choices and also protects them To communicate using their preferred methods of communication and language To access information about themselves

Relevant occupations

Health, Public Services and Care; Health and Social Care; Associate Professionals and Technical Occupations; Health and Social Services Officers; Health and Social Services Officers; Health Associate Professionals; Personal Service Occupations; Healthcare and Related Personal Services

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