Expert View: Versatility in health and safety training

In a world where Google is seen by many as the first port of call for acquiring new knowledge and the economic realities of the day demand that the time employees and contractors spend away from the front line is a minimum, those in organisations who are responsible for providing information and training are under increasing pressure to be more versatile in how they ply their trade. This is as true for health and safety professionals as it is for others. For many practitioners, the statutory duty to provide information, instruction and training to ensure the safety of people at work and the notion that this duty can be exercised electronically, have been uneasy bed-fellows. There’s a comfort in sitting people in a classroom and reading to them from a power-point slide that some practitioners are loath to surrender, despite all the difficulties associated with shift-work and travel and attendance. For certain, some training has to be face-to-face and only through practical demonstration can understanding be truly verified, but the versatility of electronic training supplementary to more traditional methods is compelling. So what are the benefits? Well, employees learning at a time to suit themselves and at their own pace for one, which in turn leads to high course completion rates without the difficulty of chasing attendance. Fully customisable course content so that company-specific policies and procedures can be included alongside more generic information. And the sort of detailed analysis that enables training performance to be measured and managed. For me, two case studies illustrate the potential of electronic training for organisations both large and small. For one client,...

IOSH Approved Coaching for safety

Fantastic news today. Save for a few formalities, several month’s research, planning and creative design have been rewarded with IOSH approval for our Coaching for safety course. This is a brand new, highly original training event for practitioners and the UKs first approved course to apply high-performance, solution-focused coaching techniques to health and safety. The course is already attracting keen interest, and no wonder. In October 2005 IOSH published a report entitled What practitioners do – a survey of UK Registered Safety Practitioners to determine their roles and tasks. The study – in which 1,621 Registered Safety Practitioners from the UK took part – found that half of the top 10 core tasks carried out by practitioners, involved informing/discussing with senior managers, line managers, supervisors, safety representatives and employees possible risks and safety measures. The report concluded by noting the implications this had for guidance material, training syllabuses and CPD which would need to support competence in this area. And yet, all these years later, soft skills health and safety training of this sort remains far more difficult to source than technical training. We’re really excited about this course and itching to take it out on the road. Watch this space for more details about the syllabus and course dates and keep an eye on the SHP for further details...