We have been following a question posed on LinkedIn by another health & safety professional that has raised an interesting question. This revolves around whether the most important part of training for a business is:
- The quality of training – and the ability to challenge thinking and change attitudes; or
- The receipt of an accredited training certificate at the end?
The person posing the question is an established health & safety trainer, who identified that his clients are more than happy with the training that he provides. However some clients are now insisting on accredited courses. He continued, by saying that his professional body is more than happy to accredit his training courses at a minimum cost of £850 per course, an annual licence fee, a cost for each course he delivers and a cost for each certificate for individuals attending the course.
Now of course, an interesting question is whether these clients are prepared to pay for the additional costs; many we suspect probably would not. So why are the clients asking for this accredited certificate?
Our experience is that often is because of the many health & safety compliance schemes that are out there; those such as CHAS normally require a tick in the box and the accredited certificate makes ticking the box easier. Clearly if this is the case the quality of the training seems to be of less importance than the certificate.
As was said by most of those that responded, the frustration is that many of the people accrediting the courses are not even safety professionals! So how is it they can charge so much to look at a course put together by someone with infinitely more knowledge and experience than they have?
It seems strange as it was suggested that this trainer could present at a conference or similar on a subject within his competency that is considered acceptable. However he is being told if he delivers that same content as a training course to a client it’s not acceptable as it’s not accredited.
Surely businesses are losing track of the point of training; we reiterate the point that something positive should come from attending training where what is learnt ultimately makes for a safer, healthier and more productive workplace. Isn`t it time to find a way of trying to change the tick in the box mentality that seems to have developed along with the compliance accreditation schemes?