Thames Valley IOSH Meeting
Health and Safety Training: How do you extract best value from it?
21st January 2013
Despite the awful weather condition across the country over the past week or so there was an impressive turn out for the Thames Valley IOSH meeting. This was the first opportunity I had to attend an IOSH meeting since joining Shirley Parsons Associates and I jumped at the chance. I attended the meeting alongside Shirley Parsons, who being a regular was able to introduce me to multiple Health & Safety professionals.
The topic of the meeting was Health and Safety Training: How Do You Extract Best Value From It? This was to be conducted as an open forum method with the idea from Harrison Owen. Harrison Owen’s theory is that when people focused on a specific and important purpose or task—but beginning without any formal agenda, beyond the overall purpose or theme, they could come to agree on an outcome
All attendees were split into 4 groups depending on month of their birth with the idea of bringing people from different backgrounds, industries and experience together to discuss a topic. We had to come to a conclusion where the group agreed or disagreed with the topic of conversation. Each group had 15 minutes to discuss each of the 4 topics with an independent facilitator leading the discussions and keeping an eye on the clock.
The 4 topics where;
1. Training is rightly the first casualty of the recession, its usefulness and effectiveness is seldom tangible.
2. Training is at best a means of conveying basic information (more judged upon attendance rather then learning) Training will not improve the company culture.
3. Learning & Development (training only one part) targeted to the needs of both the company and the trainees is always mutually beneficial.
4. Death by PowerPoint, training must be two-way and with the trainers gaining feedback.
After the hour of discussions all the groups came back together with each of the 4 facilitators giving their feedback on the discussions and the conclusions gained.
There were many good points raised from each group on all topics, some with very different views but one area that seems to stand out was TNA (Training Needs Analysis). TNA needs to be conducted before any training is cut or takes place. This is due to some individuals not requiring or wanting training to develop; some people are happy to continue to do what they do and have no aspirations to progress meaning any training would be a waste of money.
Also the method of training and the trainer themselves are key as the way that the training is delivered can influence how much information the trainee will take away from the training. This is important as much of the training given is a legal requirement in Health & Safety.
There is a follow-on meeting at the Thames Valley branch which will be conducted on the same format which I would be keen to attend.
I hope to see you there.
Phillip Muston – Recruitment Consultant