The importance of industry recognised accredited training

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The importance of industry recognised accredited training

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There has been some commentary recently about online training for evacuation chairs and its appropriateness of purpose. While debate is always welcomed, there is one important element that should not be overlooked when looking at any training course. Is it independently accredited?

Health and Safety in the workplace is an important area of business efficiency, professionalism and success. Companies must comply with rules and regulations to ensure a healthy and safe working environment for their employees. Training and courses keep staff up-to-date and protected from injuries and accidents.

Online training is now common place and has become a vital tool for organisations of any size, for all aspect of business life. It has become a recognised method of instructing employees on a vast range of topics, from commercial practices to health and safety issues. Who would have thought a few years ago you could take an online DSE Assessment, a Manual Handling course or even Fire Safety course, but it is now accepted as a preferred and cost effective method for training staff.

There are hundreds of Health and Safety course available, including online, in-house, classroom based and distance learning. So which one is right for you? One of the critical factors in making the decision is whether or not the course you choose is independently accredited by a recognised industry body.  Accredited courses provide a number of benefits to an organisation:

  • The achievement of excellence via competence reduces the likelihood of risk
  • Training participants, employers and members of the public have greater confidence in an institution and course which have been accredited against international standards of quality.
  • In achieving recognition by the accrediting body, the training provider is committed to self-examination and external review. It not only looks at meeting standards, but how to improve the quality of training provided on a continuous basis.

Evacusafe UK were the first emergency evacuation equipment manufacturer to have the will to put its training up for independent examination and choose one of the most recognised and respected names in Health and Safety, RoSPA.

For 97 years, The Royal Society for the prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) has had workplace safety at its forefront. It has substantial knowledge and experience in training workforces and knows organisations can reduce the number of accidents and injuries by implementing effective training programmes.

When assessing the quality of safety training RoSPA looks at the standard of each area within the specific course and score it accordingly.  They ensure that there are clear learning aims and objectives that are suitable for the depth of knowledge of the theory being delivered and a course is scored on the quality of its content and materials, and how user-friendly it is for the trainee.  Evacusafe’s courses passed with flying colours, gaining full marks in every area and an overall ‘Very High Standard’. The result - both its onsite AND online courses were approved by RoSPA.

Paul Mitchell, Managing Director of Evacusafe says “As an emergency equipment manufacturer, our industry has a duty of care to all potential operators and users of such equipment, by reducing the risk of injury. So surely the same should be expected of the training courses provided on such equipment. By offering independently accredited training courses it demonstrate to our customers, our commitment to quality in achieving a recognised industry standard, along with a nationally recognised benchmark of competency, verified by a professional body. It means that all of our training courses have been scrutinized and has come out as being a professional one.”

By not selecting an accredited training course, organisations run the risk of a number of potential harmful problems.

  • No quality standards by which the provider is being operated to.
  • Uninsured instructors carrying out training with no safe guard if anything went wrong.
  • No backing from any awarding body, so you could be getting training that does anything but satisfy your requirements under HSE Guidelines.
  • May offer to carry out multiple sessions in a day or pad out the course to justify their costs. The quality of the training/testing and indeed the topics covered and information given could be very questionable.
  • They cannot give you competence based certificate i.e. they are not the equipment manufacturer.

For organisations of any size, having workers who are trained in health and safety creates an awareness of potential hazards and issues, in turn helping to prevent the occurrence of accidents. By adopting an integrated delivery method, staff can be trained through either e-learning and/or locally delivered courses, ultimately resulting in safer emergency evacuation practices.

Paul Mitchell says “What was important to us was not only providing the flexibility to our customers of either online or onsite training but whichever format was chosen, it had been accredited by an independent Health and Safety body and not the training providers own internal ‘accreditation’.”

Remember it is you and your company who are paying for the training so you are responsible if the training is inadequate. Is it worth the hassle, hours of information hunting and the stress of trying to deal with a non-accredited training provider when you can’t find any record of your training having been carried out. Also not having the backing of an external body to confirm the content and quality of the training you had received from the accredited training provider.

Evacusafe provide two RoSPA approved onsite evacuation courses. The Basic Operator is a practical session which allows for each delegate to become confident in using the equipment. For those organisations looking to cascade Basic Operator skills to other departments or staff members, there is the Key Trainer course which includes emergency evacuation theory, followed by a practical which covers best practise for running your own in-house courses. Its online Instructional Operator course covers a list of topics and consists of a mixture of text slides, short video clips and continual quiz questions, which must be answered correctly in order to pass. Evacusafe’s online training has achieved RoSPA Course Delivery accreditation, while its practical onsite training has gained Course Material approval status.

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