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Mandatory training schemes are about ethos and attitude

Schemes of training courses and assessments leading to licences or certificates are commonplace in highly regulated industries such as rail, electricity, civil engineering, ports, finance and health. Crane operators, signallers, people working on power cables and overhead lines, gas technicians, truck drivers, insurers and radiologists all have to undergo them. In the public domain, driving licences are the best-known example of this.

For an organisation that runs one of these schemes, the challenge is to ensure contents stay relevant, delivery is always high quality and learners are motivated. These things are difficult in any circumstances but especially when schemes are mandatory – not least because learner and sometimes trainer and training administrator expectations of mandatory schemes can be low. They become more difficult again if the organisation has appointed third parties to deliver training and assessments on its behalf.

CAS has been providing independent monitoring and evaluation of mandatory schemes since 2012. We utilise a combination of inspections, data collection and learner feedback to track training organisation and individual trainer performance and the adequacy of training administration and locations. We provide our clients with periodic analyses, annual ratings, benchmarking and scheme improvement plans. But while these outputs are essential in the drive for continuous improvement, they are not enough. Just as important is the ethos we promote through our work – that every individual learner counts because of the trust placed in them to carry out activities that create risk and that every successful learning experience reduces a risk. We know from experience that while certificates and licences are essential indicators of competence, what really makes the difference in the workplace or behind the wheel is a competent person with a safe and responsible attitude. Developing this attitude is as much a part of a mandatory training course as its syllabus.