One of the challenges that comes with owning a business is staff training and continuous professional development (CPD). This article is designed to make that process a little easier when selecting a particular course, in this case, the First Aid at Work qualifications.
If you are an employer, the HSE stipulates that you should carry out a First Aid Needs Assessment http://www.hse.gov.uk/pubns/priced/l74.pdf, this will identify specific risks and indicate how many trained first aiders you should have in your workplace, and the level of training they require.
The bad news is there are no hard and fast rules governing numbers laid out by the HSE, it depends largely on the nature of your business and the number of employees and customers that are regularly in your building. This should all be identified when carrying out you needs assessment. The good news is that if you visit http://www.vanguardtraining.co.uk/ you will find a free calculating tool that will carry out all of the hard work for you! All you need to do is enter as much information for your premises as accurately as you can, such as how many staff and customers you have on site, the different areas within the building (such as warehousing, kitchens, offices), shift patterns, remote and mobile staff (delivery drivers etc.). The calculator will then produce a printable report that you can then use as your First Aid Needs Assessment. How simple is that?
The next challenge you may face is getting to grips with the training courses themselves. We all want to ensure that our businesses are the safest possible places in which to work but it is difficult to know how to go about training personnel. Selecting the right training provider for the right price, selecting the right staff and allocating time for them to undergo training are all tasks that can be a minefield for any small business owner, office manager or business development manager. So, where do you start? Firstly, since 2013, the First Aid industry has been de-regulated so any provider can provide First Aid training. This means that any training provider that purports to be “HSE approved” is basically stating a falsehood as the HSE no longer approves any training providers. What they may state is that they “meet HSE and/or Ofsted guidelines” which is perfectly acceptable as these organisations produce the minimum standards. Since 2013 however, the onus is on businesses to carry out the due diligence to ensure that the training their employees are receiving, is adequate and from a reputable source. This can be a time consuming and difficult process that may involve researching a provider, then studying the qualification offered to ensure it ticks all the required boxes. However, this need not be the case if the training provider is accredited by an Ofqual regulated awarding body. Here at Vanguard Training, we offer qualifications that meet all HSE and Ofsted guidelines and are accredited by Qualsafe Awards http://www.qualsafeawards.org/ , this means that they are a nationally recognised qualification, meeting all the necessary criteria so that you need not carry out any legwork. By looking on a training provider’s web page and identifying the accreditation mark, such as on http://www.vanguardtraining.co.uk, you can rest assured that this training provider will teach the right qualification to your staff. You should however, call the awarding body and state the centre number provided under the logo on the training organisation’s page. Due diligence DONE!
Lastly, costs. There are a range of training providers offering different costs for the same training courses. It is entirely up to the training provider to price their courses as per their goals and aims but ask yourself, if a provider is vastly overpriced, why do they charge so much for the same course? Also if vastly under-priced, how can they charge so little? Don’t also assume that because you use one of the large, conglomerate-sized First Aid charities you will receive the best training. Most of these organisations use free-lance trainers and dress them in a uniform for the day, the course prices are a little strong too! Look for a good discount on group bookings!
If releasing staff for a period is difficult, ask the training provider to deliver courses over a longer duration, the First Aid at Work qual can be delivered in sessions spread out over 10 weeks as an example. Also, as with Vanguard, some training organisations will come to you to deliver training, provided you have a suitable room with seating and a white projection surface.
Well good luck in selecting the right training provider and I hope this guide proves useful in your quest.