The British Standards Institution (BSI) Group, one of the largest training and certification bodies globally, has helped to shape many of the world’s leading standards (from ISO 9001 to ISO/IEC 27001). We chat to them to discover the importance of standards and whether digital strides made during the pandemic will still have a role to play as in-person training picks up.
The BSI Group has 90 offices in 31 countries. Since it started operations in South Africa in 2015, BSI has grown from a staff of just three to 30 members.
What effect is technology having on standards and training?
Technology is changing the way BSI delivers many of its audit and training services. This allows us to connect to clients in new and effective ways. BSI’s Immersive Technology Solutions allow our subject matter experts to work with clients remotely and to continually deliver value to any organisation globally.
Digital training products have become increasingly popular in South Africa. BSI’s newly launched on-demand eLearning products and virtual platform training offering are specific to these digital trends within the training sphere.
Why are standards important?
Standards are a tried and tested way to work more efficiently and effectively. They help organisations to improve their performance, reduce their risk, and help them be more sustainable. There is a wide variety of ISO standards that can address every element of a business.
System certification can help any organisation to conform to its associated standard, and supports the organisation in gaining the confidence of its customers. Certification via BSI comes with the reassurance of partnering with an independent and international standards organisation, combining more than 100 years of experience with pioneering new approaches for the digital age.
How does training help within this sphere?
Training helps delegates not only to understand the standard and how to interpret it, but also to manage, implement, and audit the management system within the organisation to help the business become more resilient.
Customers were used to classroom-based training and accepted that as the norm. Since the pandemic, virtual training has become a lot more popular, as it not only saves on delegates’ travel costs, but allows the customer to take part in training from the comfort of their own home.
What does the BSI Group offer to the South African market?
We offer the full spectrum of services to help organisations work better – everything from creating standards of excellence to training people to work in more effective ways, assessing how an organisation is doing, and helping businesses to perform even better in the future.
We can combine any of our products and services to create a package that’s tailored to a business. This removes the complexity and unnecessary cost of getting an organisation to where it wants to be, regardless of its starting point.
Our expert tutors bring alive the practical benefits that standards offer and make a permanent difference to how people work. We’ve designed our courses for organisations of all sizes. They include public courses, in-company (in-house/on-site) training, and distance learning.
At the BSI Training Academy, we not only offer training for a wide variety of standards, but also offer customers an option between different formats, including:
- eLearning: Learn at your own pace, at any time, in any place.
- Virtual training: With BSI’s “live” online training, you can take the same high-quality classroom course with the same expert tutor, simply delivered in a virtual environment, regardless of where you’re located.
- Classroom-based training: Attendees are away from office distractions and benefit from interacting and networking with people from other organisations.
- In-house training: An in-house training course is held at your premises and is open only to your employees. This eliminates travel expenses and additional time away from the office, and also keeps your content and discussions confidential.
What challenges are training providers facing?
Locally, training providers have been met with several challenges, including the performance of the South African economy, the new pandemic rules and regulations, and customers’ reluctance to travel for training.
How is the BSI Group overcoming these challenges?
The BSI Group is constantly evolving and looking for new and exciting ways to bring ISO standards training to customers in different formats. Our virtual instructor-led training has received impressive reviews from our customers across the country.
What does the future hold with regards to training?
There will always be demand for training, especially within the sustainability, environmental, health and safety, and social compliance sectors, as more businesses place an emphasis on skills development within their organisations.