Four Future Leaders give their views on online training and discuss whether learning virtually is both enduring and effective.
Jamie Laing GradIOSH
Group safety business partner, Sainsbury’s
E-learning isn’t a silver bullet, and in fact blended learning – which combines on-the-job experience, interaction with others and formal learning, which may well be e-learning – delivers the greatest retention of knowledge and return on investment. At Sainsbury’s, our learning consultants are the first point of contact when a subject matter expert (SME) thinks they need training developed. They’re great at challenging our thinking and helping us get to the root of the issue, which can result in creating something very different to what we first envisaged. It’s important to do what’s right for the learner, not the SME.
Blake May TechIOSH
Compliance manager, Transport for Wales
Online training has been seen as a quick and efficient way of displaying competence at a cost-effective price that is repeatable across a large workforce. The part that interests me is how we ensure that the level of competence achieved from online training is really helping workers and is not just convenient. These courses must teach and protect the people doing them, not just the company funding the course. There is no doubt that online training is here to stay, but I would like to see how content-driven online courses can be blended with practical and engaging activities to ensure practical and technical competence is retained.
Sarah James GradIOSH
Assistant health and safety adviser, Carney Consultancy
I have completed my NVQ level 6 virtually and this has opened my eyes to the benefits of online training. I have also signed up to do my NEBOSH diploma, with the classes to be taught via Microsoft Teams in the evening, allowing me to continue to work full-time. Completing studies online allows me to spend more time at home to focus on studying rather than travelling. I was worried that I would be doing this completely solo; however, I have learned that the other students can all be involved with the class via webcam and can communicate via a chatroom-style app. It’s brilliant that learning can continue with some sense of normality.
Liv Beckinsale TechIOSH
SHE and facilities coordinator, Kärcher UK
Online training is a great way to learn as you go – there is less stress finding time for everyone to go on one physical course – they can simply log on and complete the courses at their own pace within a given timeframe. As long as the online course itself is interactive enough to engage the trainee, I would say this is one of the most effective forms of training, ensuring there are questions to keep the mind engaged and thinking about the topic. Overall, I think the effectiveness in relation to time, cost and engagement has worked well within our business.