The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has highlighted incompetent trainers and inadequate training as key factors in many workplace accidents. Unfortunately, it’s often only after such accidents that employers find out how good their training provider really is.

When accidents happen, employers are responsible for showing they have provided appropriate training for their employees. Their training organisation may also have to prove their abilities to third parties, such as the HSE.

Therefore it’s vital that companies research their training providers thoroughly and only use those which comply with health and safety regulations.

When choosing the right training provider, the HSE advises employers to make sure their external training provider has:
– a clear understanding of the company’s needs
– staff to have at least five years’ proven industrial experience
– relevant experience and teaching qualifications or professional accreditation
– adequate insurance
– practical courses that meet agreed requirements.

Martin James, commercial director, Didac Ltd, comments: “Employers need to make sure they get the right training for their organisation from an approved training provider with the relevant qualifications.

“There is nothing to stop individuals or companies deciding to provide training in wood machining, but often they don’t have the right qualifications, or suitable industrial experience, nor offer adequate quality checks. Equally, a supplier who specialises in machine commissioning is unlikely to provide the required foundation training on classical machinery.

“Training providers, whether colleges or independents like Didac, who deliver training programmes to the wood sector, should have a range of programmes in place. These could include qualifications from an awarding body such as City and Guilds, Occupational Awards or PIABC. Providers that are subject to quality inspections by Ofsted should bring a degree of confidence to the employer.

“All training should meet health and safety requirements, and managers and supervisors should also be included in appropriate training sessions, to keep them up-to-date with supervisory responsibilities. Ask for testimonials from previous customers to back up the provider’s claims.

Didac’s credentials as a safe training provider
One of three organisations that currently look after the wood sector development, Occupational Awards is an awarding organisation that helps champion high quality industrial skills. Lisa Williamson, managing director of Occupational Awards, says: “We have seen first-hand the depth and scope of Didac’s training provision. One of our key performance indicators is feedback from employers and Didac gets consistently good reviews.”

Didac works with many organisations, but are pleased to partner with the following in providing high quality training provision to their clients and members: British Woodworking  Federation, Advanced Machinery Services, Proskills and National Association of Shopfitters.