The A, B(SI), Cs of training and certification

The A, B(SI), Cs of training and certification

Training, qualifications, and systems certification all contribute to a safer and more efficient work environment for both employees and organisations. The British Standards Institution (BSI), one of the largest training and certification bodies globally, offers some hints and tips on these disciplines.

BSI provides a comprehensive range of training, qualifications, assessment, and systems certification solutions related to health and safety (H&S) and psychological H&S at work, based on international standards such as ISO 45001 and ISO 45003. It also offers on-demand training on common workplace hazards and H&S technical areas such as risk assessment and incident investigation, as well as services in related areas including business continuity, sustainability, and digital trust. Whether from an internal perspective or looking at the supply chain, BSI helps companies to prioritise their people by embedding a culture of trust. 

What challenges do companies face regarding certification and training, and how does BSI help them to overcome these?

Some of the challenges organisations face include ensuring compliance and alignment with the latest requirements; maintaining consistent H&S standards and training practices across different regions, languages, and cultures; maintaining accurate and comprehensive records and reports for certification; and ensuring that employees actively engage with H&S training and adhere to safety protocols.

Certification and training processes help organisations understand and navigate the compliance landscape. BSI provides training and qualifications that align with any organisation’s unique needs, ensuring employees receive relevant and effective knowledge and skills. With our global presence, we can also help companies achieve consistent practice across various locations, facilitating compliance on a global scale by, for instance, providing training in local languages.

Do you have any advice for people or companies that require certification and training?

Our advice is to review the scope of your certification. If you adapt it so that multiple sites are covered by one certification, it can make the process more streamlined.

Ensure that your internal audits and auditors are covering all areas, so that when you have your independent third-party certification audit you are well prepared. If you have more than one certification – such as ISO 45001 and ISO 14001 – you can move towards an integrated management system approach.

Consider conducting a companywide training needs analysis to identify areas for improvement or skill gaps to fill. If you have a high staff turnover or there is an industry-wide shortage of key staff, a training and qualifications programme will ensure that you get and retain your share of the talent pool. 

Consider the sector in which you work: the faster moving external environment probably means you need to update your skills and knowledge regularly. Finally, encourage trained and qualified employees to focus on your company’s challenges and opportunities.

What should companies do after they’ve received training or got certified?

Remember, training and certification is only the start of the journey – you need to work on embedding it into the business and driving continual improvement. You can do this in a number of ways, including applying the knowledge gained from training and ensuring that the principles and best practices are integrated into daily operations.

Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the training and systems certification to ensure your processes are operating as intended, and assess and identify areas for improvement in training and systems certification. Furthermore, stay up to date with the latest knowledge and best practices through ongoing training, and ensure that the organisations remain compliant with current regulations.

A recent study by Harvard Business School found that organisations that are certified to H&S standards have 20% fewer reportable accidents than non-certified organisations, so maintaining certification has been shown to improve performance.

Are there training and certification trends that excite you?

ISO 45001 is the fastest growing international certification standard, demonstrating an increased focus on occupational H&S as organisations realise that prioritising their people is vital to business success and resilience. The leading organisations are also focused on psychological H&S and mental well-being, which is driving the take-up of ISO 45003 on psychological H&S.

The adoption of digital platforms and e-learning modules is on the rise. Online training allows for greater flexibility, accessibility, and scalability, making it easier to reach a distributed or remote workforce.

The accelerated adoption of hybrid auditing and assessment processes for certification, meanwhile, is allowing organisations to continue certification activities while minimising physical interactions and contributing to sustainability goals.

Training and systems certification are crucial for H&S, as they provide individuals with essential knowledge and skills to work safely, thereby reducing accidents and errors, and enhancing workplace culture. Certified systems, qualified staff, and trained personnel can identify and mitigate risks, supporting overall workplace safety and regulatory compliance.

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SHEQ Management

SHEQ MANAGEMENT is the definitive source for reliable, accurate and pertinent information to guarantee environmental health and safety in the workplace.
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