Below are the Online Learning Resources related to learning support. If you see anything you feel is missing from this page, or if you spot a typo or a broken link, please Contact Us

SWASFT L&D  Education Support Service
Information, News & Contact

About the service

At SWAST, we recognise that not everyone is the same and that we have a diverse and unique workforce. We recognise that everyone has their own way of learning, and we’re keen to support this in every way that we can.

To that end, learning and development team are running a project, looking at how we can support our colleagues with additional learning needs to meet their full potential in the classroom environment.



For support with learning support needs in SWASFT, your first step should be to contact your local HRBP.


If you are on a University programme or other academic course, please raise with your course lead at the earliest opportunity so you can access the right support early on.


(This includes ECA courses, driving etc. For these courses, please speak to the course lead as soon as possible so they are aware you need support and can make adjustments if needed).


Below you can find some useful resources including an adult dyslexia checklist.

Resources (All clickable links)






Discovery Library – Academic resources & training

Functional Skills – English & Maths

BBC Academic Writing support page

(Starting from different levels)

Education for Health – private provider with some free e-learning

Paramedic boots on table
All SWASFT staff are able to access content on the SWASFT Discovery Library site including:

SWASFT staff now have access via the library website to an additional:

  • 3500+ core clinical journals
  • 1100+ textbooks
  • Point of care evidence tools, guideline finders and research literature databases
  • Pin boards and awareness updates for the latest news
They also run sessions to help you make the most of their services and they can do lots for you
You will need an NHS Athens password to access these resources & to attend the session – please make sure you have access before you attend

Register at or visit if you have forgotten your username or password.


You can contact the Discovery Library at:


Telephone: 01752 (4)39111

If you feel you need further development in Functional Skills in English and Maths or are looking to develop your career further and require these qualifications as part of this, we now have a Functional Skills directory to help you find exactly what you need: Functional Skills Directory

  • Functional Skills courses are usually funded by the government, however you will need to go through some initial eligibility checks in the first instance.
  • Training is usually provider in a blended format, however this will be discussed in your initial registration and assessment.
  • Where can I study Function Skills?  Check the Functional Skills Directory to find out more.

Activate your academic writing skills

Do you want to know all about writing in academic contexts? Get it right with your academic writing on the BBC Go The Distance course.

Try out their Academic Writing activities – we’ll be your guide to the English language skills you need for further education. Topics include: academic vocabulary; essay structure; writing in online discussion forums; the language of academic argument and more.

You can access the page HERE

Want to do even more?

Find out about other areas of BBC Go The Distance course:

Education for Health is a private education provider. Mainly providing paid for education, they also provide some free e-learning opportunities.

Mainly based around Primary care settings, the free resources change every now and then, so it’s worth checking back periodally if you don’t see anything you like.

Current free offerings (March 2021):

Future Learn

IT Skills for Staff

Alison Learning

Open Access Toolkit – Skills@Cumbria & MyCumbria

Free (limited access)Train the Healthcare Trainer

This informative, five-week course is based on the latest research into how adults learn. Aimed at those new to training or existing trainers who wish to update their skills, the course will also be of benefit those who design and moderate online learning.

Learn how to deliver healthcare training using evidence-based teaching methods, and progress towards becoming an expert trainer.

The course offers evidence-based methods and techniques that participants can use to ensure learning genuinely takes place and is transferred to practice.


This course is suited to anyone employed in the healthcare sector who has training as all or part of their role.

Free upgrade for UK NHS staff

A free upgrade for this course is available for NHS staff by registering here. This upgrade is also available free to NHS-affiliated staff. Check eligibility here.

Click here for more details on the course

The Digital Learning Solutions platform provides customisable IT training for all staff on Microsoft Office products, from basic through to advanced.

The platform has been developed to provide an officially recognised route of learning and certification for the whole workforce and provides certificates for each course complete.

All training is free and provided by the NHS for NHS staff

Click here or the image to go to the site & register – (it may take a couple of days for your registration to be approved in really busy times)

Full info page here: Open Access Learning Toolkit

These 2 resources are open access – meaning you don’t have to be studying at Cumbria to make use of them.

  • MyCumbria – The resource page, specifically for Paramedics, includes academic skills tools, library access, links to other learning resources.
  • Skills@Cumbria – Has the links to study skills and other resources for supporting the completion of the portfolio, reflection and academic writing.

The resources are free & open access to all & cover topics such as:

  • Finding information
  • Reading & notetaking
  • Writing at University
  • Presentations
  • reflection
  • Dissertations & Research projects
  • Referencing, plagiarism & tutnitin
  • Being critical
  • Digital Skills
  • Head-start study skills course
*Please Note – The cut-off date for openly accessing the ‘Head Start’ Courses is Wednesday 30th June. After this date, you will no longer be able to access these courses unless you are a UoC student holding a UoC Blackboard Learning Management System Login.*

You can continue to access the ‘Head Start’ courses by visiting Please be aware that this version will not be offering any badges or certification.

Free Certificate & Diploma Courses Available

Alison is one of the world’s largest free learning platforms for education and skills training. It believe that free education, more than anything, has the power to break through boundaries and transform lives.

Open Access Toolkit – Skills@Cumbria & MyCumbria

Below are some of the free courses available on Alison, which will help to improve your IT, customer service, leadership and communication skills:

*Please note – Once you complete a course, and you wish to have access to your certificate/diploma, you are required to pay for this access.*

Click Here to view the full range of certificate & diploma courses on offer.

Writing Skills – Homophones

Open University –

Free Courses

UK Gov. Careers Services – Funded Courses & Functional Skills

national careers service logo

Are You Talking Aloud? Or Is Talking Allowed? Watch What You Write, to Make Sure it’s Right

Words that look the same and/or sound the same can easily be confused. For example, if you invite people over and tell them to bring their palates/palettes, they won’t know whether they should expect to be drinking wine or painting!

Here is a short blog that may be helpful to improve you English language skills, whether it be for academic writing, if English is your second language, (or both- hats off to you if so!), or just if like me you spent a lot of time staring out the window at school!

Click here for the Homophones art website by Bruce Warden
Click here to go to the blog post

These OpenLearn courses have been proven to increase confidence and develop the skills needed to enter Higher Education and succeed with learning.

You can choose an OpenLearn course from a wide range of subjects. Some are based on Open University course materials. Others are written specifically for OpenLearn.

What are the advantages?

  • OpenLearn free courses are available immediately

    Our courses do not have a start and end date. You can start right away or at a time that suits you.

  • You can work through at your own pace

    You can spend as long as you like on an OpenLearn course, plus, if you sign up you can track your progress and work towards a statement of participation.

  • There are around 1000 courses to choose from

    The courses always focus on a specific area of learning. Some focus on important and fascinating academic subjects, whilst others help you develop skills needed for study or work.

  • You can try out what’s on offer from The Open University

    If you’re interested in taking an Open University course but are not sure what to study or if distance learning is right for you, then OpenLearn lets you get a feel for what’s on offer.

Full info page here: Careers Services

The UK Gov. has collated lots of organisations who offer free online learning in a range of subjects and levels. You can explore providers, the subjects they offer and the levels available before choosing.