I would like to thank all members and customers for their continued support and loyalty during these uncertain times. I hope that during these difficult times, you, your loved ones and those who you are able to reach out to are well and coping with the challenges.
The whole world is currently going through an unprecedented period of uncertainty and that uncertainly applies equally to us as an organisation.
Whether you’re a business in the UK or further afield, the Government, or a member of staff at the British Safety Council, nobody truly knows what impact COVID-19 will have, how long this period of uncertainty will last, and the long-term potential impacts.
As with other organisations around the world, at the British Safety Council the Executive Team has been working ‘around the clock’ to plan as best we can for this uncertain future. Ultimately, 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.
Although many organisations might be considering the impacts of this virus, I believe we are some way ahead of others in our planning; for example, in the rapid move to remote working. All our people now work remotely. It is good we have done so, as it allows us to be able to advise other organisations on how they may best approach these difficult matters, and I can say today we have already had great feedback from clients in respect of our ability to do this.
In addition, we have worked with our associates who deliver a significant amount of our training and audit services, to make sure that not only are they safe and well but they are also able, where possible, to continue offering services to members and customers. We are also continuously monitoring the situation and where possible finding solutions to ensure continuance of service.
We took the decision on 17 March to cancel all face to face public training until at least the end of April due to coronavirus. I hope you appreciate that our position to run face to face training became untenable in the face of government advice and guidance.
However, despite these face to face cancellations, our education and training team has been working night and day on delivering ‘live online’ options for most of our public courses and excellent progress has been made. We believe the vast majority of our training can be provided on-line. We 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.
Up until 23 March, we have been doing all we can to risk assess and continue with all feasible delivery for audits and in-company training, with control measures in place. Unfortunately, with the strict new measures announced by the UK Government late on the 23rd, it would now be irresponsible for us to continue offering these services face to face. As such, with immediate effect we have stopped all face to face in-company training and audits whether in the UK or internationally. Reinstatement timings are likely to be in June at the earliest, although we will keep this under review.
For audit clients we are restructuring delivery of our Five Star Audit product into two phases, with the first phase to be delivered remotely, with an interim report. 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.
So in conclusion, there is no getting away from the fact that this is a very difficult time and we will all be taking some difficult decisions over the coming weeks and months. 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 now fully equipped to work remotely.
Mike Robinson, Chief Executive