As a follow-on to my article from last week, I was not surprised to receive feedback! I discussed the fact that there were many courses of differing length and quality all apparently teaching the same H&S subject, but I didn’t focus on how to identify quality courses. Courses resulting in qualifications will be of a known standard as the training provider will have had to meet the awarding bodies’ quality standards in order to deliver the training and qualification. Also, many organisations (training providers, trade associations, manufacturers), including SPRA, have worked with the CITB to become an Approved Training Organisation (ATO) and have created CITB approved short courses created from National Occupational Standards that sit on the CITB Training Directory and come with CITB grant funding for registered companies. SPRA has 13 short courses approved by CITB (created from our Specialist Applied Skills Programme-SAP and also our latest Single Ply Awareness Training-SAT course developed last year for managers, site inspectors etc.)
Of course, there will be training providers who are not yet approved with the CITB and there may be many reasons for this, but it is a conversation that you can have with them too.
Cost will always be a factor, but if we are to drive for higher quality rather than lowest price across construction, this also applies to training. In the commercial arena, you generally get what you pay for. Training is expensive in the short term, but very cost effective in the long term. If qualifications were a legal requirement before someone stepped onto site for specific works, every company would have to train to recognised standards, and if those standards didn’t exist, they would have to create them, just like SPRA did with its own Level 2 NVQ. This in turn, would fund more quality training, encourage good people into training and assessment and we start to solve the problem of poor quality workmanship that is costing money and reputations and which is surely unsustainable?.
Source: Cathie Clarke, CEO, SPRA