A different kind of learning

IOSH Managing Safely course designed and delivered by the British Safety Council

The three-day course, which follows the IOSH Managing Safely syllabus, provides managers and supervisors with the knowledge and skills needed to manage health and safety within their teams.

The British Safety Council has created this scenario-based course using latest educational techniques that are proven to engage students and deliver excellent results. This highly interactive approach to learning incorporates a variety of collaborative and independent tasks. It is a far cry from traditional courses where students spend their days scribbling notes based on PowerPoint lectures.

The British Safety Council course is actually a three-day exercise. The students are immersed in a realistic scenario where they find problems similar to those they may encounter in their workplace.

Adrian Vale, educational designer at the British Safety Council (pictured with Clare Constant below), describes the course: “It is a high-energy programme, jam-packed with exercises, interactions and information. Students learn by discussing and doing things, rather than being told what they may already know.”

Clare Constant, education manager, explains the purpose of the course: “It not only prepares people for their IOSH Managing Safely assessment, but also equips them to manage health and safety effectively in the workplace.”

Adrian continues: “The students are immersed in a continuous scenario, which challenges them to set up a company producing drinks coasters and manage a variety of health and safety issues as they go along. They must get their first orders ready for shipment by the end of the course.

“The exercise revolves around a series of tasks, each of them relating to one of the 22 hazards in the IOSH Managing Safety syllabus. Each activity is approached in such a way as to enable the students to explore each hazard.

“The first challenge for the students is to get the building ready so they can begin producing the coasters. From the start, the students are under pressure; there are immediate problems with access, heating, lighting and ventilation. The training room is deliberately set up as an empty building, dark, cold and littered with hazards.

“At this point the students may wonder what they have signed up for? The purpose soon becomes clear. Before we start teaching them anything, we ask them to discuss the emerging situations and hazards, so they have an opportunity to draw on their existing knowledge. The role of the tutor is to facilitate the exercise and bridge any gaps in knowledge and understanding.”

Students are engaged in a variety of activities. For example, they are invited to walk around the room and look at images depicting risks and requirements in relation to workplace health, safety and welfare. This leads to group discussions about what is needed to create a safe and healthy working environment for the people they are about to employ. 

The students’ efforts are frequently disrupted by Skype calls from the company’s CEO, who asks them to drop everything they’re doing and undertake an urgent task. All these interruptions are directly linked to the syllabus. For example, a local TV station plans to do a news feature about the new company. There were several safety-related incidents under the previous owners and there is now a good PR opportunity to show that things are changing. Students are challenged to come up with a media presentation highlighting the positive measures being put in place to safeguard people’s health and safety. 

Students also have to deal with some sensitive issues, such bullying, drugs, alcohol and stress.

Finally, the students’ learning is continually tested, both individually and in teams, to ensure they are adequately prepared for the end of course examination.

Case study

On 27 June, the British Safety Council delivered its new IOSH Managing Safety course to JCB managers in the company’s learning centre in Uttoxeter (the course session is pictured below). 

Christopher Briggs, group general manager of health and safety at JCB, explains why he decided to contract the course: “At JCB, we are looking at new and improved ways of getting the health and safety message across to all of our staff. The new format of the course promised to meet our expectations.

“In May 2017, the British Safety Council delivered a Health and Safety for Directors course to nine of our directors. It was extremely well received and the feedback was excellent. So, it was logical to subsequently trial the new format of the IOSH Managing Safely course. I think that the method of delivery and the interactive nature of the course put the information across far better and helped the students to see it in the context of our business.”

The students said:

Mark Prince, engineering manager

“My biggest challenge is to ensure that everyone in the team is working safely, both people in the office as well as staff working off-site.

“The course makes a manager aware of the risks and dangers and teaches them how to put processes in places. It is more interactive than the usual training courses; everyone gets involved in the exercises. In this way, the information seems to go in better. This is also a good opportunity to work and network with colleagues in different departments at JCB. I learn much better by doing things.

“I would definitely recommend the course to other colleagues in the company.”

Emma Thorley, marketing manager

“The marketing team organises large exhibitions and events, including off-site photo shoots and videography, taking people to these events. We also take suppliers with us, so we have to undertake risk assessments to ensure that neither our colleagues nor suppliers are put in danger.

“The course is very different from what I expected; even the room is not set up in the traditional classroom style. It is definitely not death by PowerPoint! We easily related to the company scenario on which we were working. The course is engaging and interactive, and it’s good to work together with colleagues on different tasks. The pace of the course is also good and it drills down on a variety of health and safety issues.”

Nicky Borough, group purchasing manager

“The purchasing team goes out to visit suppliers in factories and overseas, including to the countries where companies may not be subject to equally strict legislation as in the UK. This course raises awareness of the things we should be looking for: it enables us to assess the health and safety performance of the suppliers and our team in the environment in which we may find ourselves.

“I like the fact that the course is not a typical classroom-based learning experience and the fact that you have to work with different people, doing a variety of exercises. I enjoyed the interactions and discussions.”

Richard Dunn, quality manager

“Many people work for me are on the factory floor. The course brings into focus things that we may not have considered before and clarifies many issues and hazards.

“I have done many health and safety courses, which were run very differently. This course forces you to get involved and interact with colleagues from different departments of the company.

“The pace of the course varies throughout the day; we do different tasks and are involved in a variety of activities. At times, there is a bit of competition going on… which is good.”

Mark van der Cruyssen, senior control engineer

“My work patterns vary greatly, so the course is a good overview of things I should remember and a good reminder of processes that should be employed.

“It is divided into various tasks and activities, which call for different levels of concentration and focus. Coaching water sports at my leisure, I know that people learn in different ways and the course introduces this variety.”

For more information and to book, see IOSH Managing Safely