Training Courses

Delivered by healthcare communicators, for healthcare communicators.

Why train with us?

  • Our trainers are all senior NHS communications professionals with extensive experience
  • Opportunity to network and share ideas with other healthcare communicators
  • Delegates can work on their own scenarios and issues, meaning that the training isn’t just about knowledge and learning, but about delivering relevant plans and ideas that can be used back in the office
  • We use real, best practice examples from the NHS
  • Credits from each course count towards becoming an accredited AHCM communicator
  • All courses are AHCM-accredited and can be used to enhance your CV
  • All course content has been co-developed and approved by a senior University lecturer and Course Director in healthcare communications
  • Competitive prices and excellent value for money, with discounts for AHCM members

Our courses

The AHCM is committed to providing professional development opportunities for communications practitioners at all stages of their career.
In 2016 5 one-day courses are on offer:

1. Introduction to communications and PR in the NHS

Are you new to the NHS, or new to Communications and PR (or both!)? This course is aimed at the beginner, or someone who would like a refresher or to formalise their experience.

Course outline:

  • The NHS structure and how it works
  • Who's who in communications - the communications network
  • Key healthcare stakeholders and how to understand them better
  • Stakeholder management and behaviour planning tool
  • Useful communications approaches
  • The importance of key messages and how to develop them
  • Communications styles for patients, staff and other stakeholders
  • Writing a communications plan

At the end of the module, you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Have an awareness of the structure of the NHS; how it works, and key relationships
  • Understand the key stakeholders involved in healthcare
  • Understand how to assess stakeholder influence and how to plan to address their needs
  • Know how to use communications approaches to influence stakeholder behaviour
  • Be familiar with a range of communications tools to target different audiences
  • Understand how to develop key messages
  • Know how to put together a communications plan

2. Engaging your key audiences

What’s the difference between communications and engagement? How can I engage audiences to get the most out of the activity? What tools and techniques are available? How do I reach the unreachable? What is my legal duty to consult and engage? These are all questions answered in this AHCM one-day course.

3. Crisis communication

How do you communicate in a crisis? Do you know what to do in a crisis? This course will provide you with knowledge, understanding and skills to manage communications in crisis situations. By the end of the day you will have developed a communications plan for a potential crisis situation within your work environment.

At the end of the module, delegates will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Ability to define a crisis
  • Awareness of the types of crises
  • Understanding of the approaches to managing a crisis
  • Knowledge of the key stages to effective planning for a potential crisis
  • Awareness of the lessons learnt from crisis case studies
  • Understanding of the communication challenges in crisis management
  • Ability to develop a crisis plan for potential crisis situations within your work environment – preparing for the unexpected checklist.

4. Using social media in healthcare

Have you ever used social media in healthcare? How can you communicate more effectively to a wider audience using social media? If you would like the answers to these questions, this course is for you. This short course will provide you with an overview of using social media to communicate to your audiences in healthcare including practical examples and tips. This course focuses on practical skills as delegates will be addressing scenarios and case studies using a range of social media tools. All delegates need to bring laptops or tablets.

Course outline:

  • Current social media tools
  • Use of social media in healthcare
  • Benefits of social media in healthcare
  • Limitations of social media in healthcare
  • Appropriate social media tools for different audiences
  • Practice using Facebook and Twitter for business purposes
  • Plan how use social media in a different way in your current position – develop your action plan

At the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • An understanding of how social media can be used effectively in healthcare.
  • Knowledge of the different social media tools.
  • An understanding of which social media tools are the most appropriate for different audiences.
  • Awareness of the benefits and limitations of using social media in healthcare.
  • Ability to use a range of social medial tools (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others) for business purposes.
  • Awareness of how to incorporate social media into your current position.

5. Writing a communication strategy and plan

This short course is a hands-on practical session on how to write an effective communication strategy and plan. Please bring your own suggestions for a communication topic, and you will be guided through writing it. By the end of the day, you will have a communication strategy and plan for your workplace that has been reviewed and discussed among the group and is ready to implement.

Course outline:

  • What is a communication strategy and plan?
  • What is the difference between a strategy and plan?
  • Stakeholder analysis tools
  • Using communications to influence behaviour
  • Researching your audience
  • Key elements of a communication strategy and plan
  • Effective communication strategies and plans in Healthcare
  • Evaluation methods
  • Writing a communication strategy and plan for an idea within your workplace
  • Evaluating your communication strategy and plan

At the end of the course, you will be able to demonstrate the following:

  • Knowledge of what is an effective communication plan and strategy.
  • Awareness of the difference between a communication plan and strategy.
  • Knowledge of the Stakeholder analysis tools.
  • An understanding of the communications that influence behaviour.
  • Ability to research your audience.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the key elements of a communication strategy and plan.
  • Awareness of how to evaluate communication strategies and plans.
  • Ability to write a communication strategy and plan for an idea for your workplace.
  • Ability to evaluate and critique your own and others' communication strategies and plans.

Fees and bookings

Each module is one day duration (approx 6 hours).
Delegates can register online for all AHCM training courses.

Fees (per course):

  • AHCM members £150
  • Non-members £250

Fees are payable in advance at the time of booking.

Cancellation charges:

  • 21 to 7 days in advance 50%
  • less than 7 days in advance 100%

There are 10 spaces on each course and bookings will be taken on a 'first come, first served' basis.

If there are insufficient numbers booked for any course, it will be re-scheduled. Delegates already booked into the course in this case would be contacted and offered their choice of alternative dates, or a full refund.