Work-based learning

The work by Zaki et al. (2019) suggests individual attitudes, self-efficacy and perceived control is a significant predictor towards behaviour intent and these actions are motivated by individual beliefs. Thurgate (2018) and Nevalainen et al. (2018) agree that incorporating the issue of self-efficacy in training programs leads to positive change towards development in the trainee. Considering that self-efficacy can directly impact self-regulation, research suggest self-regulatory processes present as an influence towards learners’ achievement, intended behaviour, and emotional state. (Muller and Seufert 2018, Schunk and Zimmerman 2013).

According to Billings et al. (2021) and Yau et al. (2021), the care sector has seen a shift to adopt a new purpose and revised focus towards learning and task-based practice., learning behaviour, and academic achievements of students (Du Rocher, 2020; Mazzetti et al., 2020; Zimmerman, 2000).


Self-efficacy and learning strategies constructs are closely interconnected and presents as an essential component learning outcomes in workplace performance. (Sinclair and Ferguson, 2009; Zimmerman 2000).) Self-effective learners usually recognise themselves as having appropriate skills and equipped to lead (Schweder, 2019; Zimmerman).

Learners’ experiences of work-based learning in the health sector

Self-efficacy is aligned with Theory of Planned Behaviour (Azjen 1985), a determinant of individual goal intention is perceived behavioural control, and behavioural intent (Bandura 1991). Conceptually, there is no difference between perceived behavioural control and self-efficacy. Care workers surveys have identified specific experiences; self-evaluation, addressing goal setting, motivation, (positive/negative), emotional state and focusing on competence tasks (Cetin and Askun 2018)


Williams (2010) suggests that the core of WBL is learning from experience, examining underpinning knowledge and competence (Kolb 1984, Schön 1991 and Fry et al., 2003)

Workplace experiences according to Lester and Costely (2010) suggests action strategies, e.g. action learning, and communities of practice to support the learning environment. 

This self-regulation (personal, behavioural and environmental) suggests that a self-directed learner who is capable and there is an expectation to self-regulate their own learning, but self-regulated learners may not have the capacity or motivation to self-direct.

(Colomer et al, 2021, Jossberger et al., 2010). 


The learning culture within the health care sector has become task orientated, resulting in work-based learning becoming subjective. (Attenborough et al. 2019; Nevalainen et al. 2018).  Arundell et al. (2018) qualitative study, examined the views of registered care workers and newly inducted care workers. It was found that registered staff were disappointed in new care workers’ lack of confidence, and a lack of underpinning knowledge and skill. Ferrandez – berrueco et al. (2016) reports of insufficient time and a lack of preparation for supporting WBL, suggesting there is difficulty ensuring the workplace environment met the conditions of WBL. This view is consistent with the findings of Kemp et al. (2016) whereas learners who were unable to focus on tasks set within the training delivery component, and experienced negative support from the learning environment and tutor.

How self-efficacy affects apprenticeships learning

Workplace experience increases self-efficacy by enabling the individual to view a model and complete the task successfully (Chan et al.2017). Care workers predominately work within groups, and see themselves judged against their peers. Öqvist and Malmström (2018) posit that learners with high self-efficacy pursue goals that present challenges, and are motivated to participate effectively in programs. Learners who possess low self-efficacy are reluctant to challenge themselves and do not engage in challenging tasks.

(Çetin, and Aşkun 2018, Schunk 1990).


On consideration of the importance of how self-effective learning behaviour is linked between learning objectives and previous knowledge, this participation has a linear relationship with self-efficacy (Schweder 2019). This study considers an apprenticeship program is seen challenging and therefore learners need support; self-efficacy is an influential source supporting individuals to participate actively in a task (De Simone et al.2018)

Key factors developing self-efficacy in health care sectors

Self-efficacy presents as a direct effect on learning goals and influences motivation and learning strategies in pursuit of performing tasks towards goals and achievements.

(Zimmerman et al.2017).

Studies reveal care workers expect guidance, confirmation, and also support from more experienced colleagues (Attenborough et al. 2019). The inexperienced care worker learns best when they receive responsible tasks under the guidance of experienced care workers, this presents as gradual learning and responsibility (Christensen et al. 2017). However, there is little emphasis on the inexperienced care worker who should be given challenging service users, but not without the support of an experienced colleague (Philips 2012).

There is limited research into health care workers’ experiences of developing self-efficacy during a UK WBL apprenticeship program. Each care service is governed by the UK Care Quality Commission (CQC) and is mandated by Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.


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