Page 4: The training cycle
The training cycle shows how to plan an effective training programme which meets the needs of the organisation and the individual. Having established a clear set of strategic training objectives, trainers within organisations need to ask the following questions, which correspond to the training cycle outlined in the five phases:
- To achieve our strategic objectives, what are the implications for the skills, attitudes and knowledge of all the people at various levels of the company? (Setting objectives)
- What is the current position and does that indicate any gaps in existing skills, knowledge and attitudes? (Identification of training need)
- Can I design an effective training response to fill this gap? (Choice of training method)
- How will I know when I have achieved success? (Evaluation)
It is important to remember that the training cycle is on-going. Constant evaluation of each aspect is the key to a successful training programme. The whole training programme took place over five definite phases which related to the objectives of SAFE.
Delivering the training
Having set training objectives to meet the business needs, several existing training packages were considered and proposals from external training providers were invited. British Steel Engineering Steels decided to start with a two day Management of Health and Safety training workshop. Senior line managers were involved in its design and it was cascaded from directors to middle managers and supervisors. A number of training methods were employed, including problem solving exercises, lectures and videos. The primary aim of this workshop was to increase line managers’ ability to manage Health and Safety.
This workshop had clearly defined objectives, specifically designed to meet the needs of senior managers. At the end of the course, senior managers were expected to:
- understand the legal framework for safety with particular emphasis on recent European legislation
- interpret the legal requirements in a practical organisational context
- understand the principles of risk assessment and be able to apply these to the working environment
- understand the economic cost of failure, plant damage, lost production etc. and how positive management of Health and Safety can contribute to the positive image of a business
- understand the need to obtain a commitment from individual employees and the safety representatives in a practical and positive way which ensures that Total Safety Management is seen as a process which involves all employees
- identify standards and controls in their own area of responsibility to improve performance.
Clearly identified objectives mean the success of the course can be evaluated. Following the training, senior managers began the process of identifying training needs within their own areas and setting clear objectives against which success could be measured. This exemplifies the concept of cascading.
During the first six months of the phase one training, the evaluation process identified the need for further training of supervisors and middle managers. A one day workshop, designed to meet their specific needs, was introduced to complement the initial two day course.
A number of senior managers attended a specialist Occupational Health and Safety course. This provided a broad understanding of the management of Occupational Health and Safety, giving an insight into the sorts of problems that may arise and the principles which could be used to solve them.
Senior middle managers continued to attend the specialist Occupational Health and Safety course.
Trade union representatives attended a special in-house course on training for safety representatives delivered by trade union and management facilitators. In addition a basic safety awareness course was delivered to office staff.