May I firstly wish all our members, customers and supporters a very happy New Year.
The word ‘unprecedented’ had a good outing in 2020, but I think we do need to acknowledge that 2020 was different and in fact ‘unprecedented’ due to COVID-19. Not only has COVID-19 had an immense impact on British Safety Council, but I know from talking to many members and customers during the year, that thousands either personally or from an organisational perspective had first-hand experience of the negative impacts too.
Like most people, as we enter 2021, I can’t say that I am going to look back at 2020 with any great relish but from a British Safety Council perspective, I can take some positives from this unprecedented time, particularly when it comes to our impact.
We have invested significantly in our digital learning capabilities over the last few years and many organisations have been able to benefit from this. During 2020, we were one of the first health and safety organisations to launch Live Online training. This proved to be popular with many organisations and enabled aspiring health and safety professionals to continue their education.
Although many members and customers were initially forced to pull back on audit and consultancy work, through our development of remote services, we ended the year with significant numbers embracing this new approach to health, safety and wellbeing.
As I write this message now in January 2021, the UK has just entered another national lock down and this is mirrored in other countries. The new COVID-19 variant is providing huge challenges for our national health service as well as many organisations. I’m sure that many of us thought that as we entered 2021 things might be different, however, the period of uncertainty continues, and I want to update you all on what this means for British Safety Council training and audit services.
As with the original lock down, we need to make sure that not only do we protect our staff but where possible we continue to deliver the service our members and customers expect and need.
From a training perspective, this means that much of our face to face activities have been stopped for the time being. As I have mentioned though, Live Online training has been a huge success and therefore I expect disruption to be kept to a minimum. Much of our training can be provided on-line. I encourage any members and customers considering a transfer to the next face to face classroom session to consider Live Online instead.
Alternatively, if a transfer to later this year is more appropriate to your circumstances, we are offering all candidates the option to transfer to a course later this year free of charge. Please talk to your account manager about this. The only exceptions to this approach will be in relation to organisations carrying out vital services, who require critical training to support their activities. Requests in this regard will be reviewed on an organisation by organisation basis and involve a full risk assessment.
Like training, much of our audit work has now moved to remote delivery, with excellent client feedback. The strict new measures announced by the UK Government, mean that it would now be irresponsible for us to continue offering audit services face to face for the time being, however, with remote delivery now a proven solution, the impact should be negligible. Alternatively, if a transfer to later this year is more appropriate to your circumstances, we are again offering the option of free transfers. Please talk to your account manager about your options.
Clearly, we are not out of the woods yet on COVID, however, we are entering 2021 with some confidence. We stand ready to work with our members and customers to support your efforts and where possible continue to deliver the services that you need, want and expect from us. If you have any questions or concerns please do talk to your account manager, who are fully equipped to work remotely.