IOSH Managing Safely: a tutor's perspective
What’s it like to deliver the IOSH Managing Safely course? We asked Jen Rogers, Health and Safety Trainer at International Workplace, to help us see a typical classroom course from a tutor’s perspective.
Before the door opens, I have no clue as to what I am going to be faced with. I might know the names and the company details of the delegates who are attending, and maybe their job titles. But I don’t necessarily know what their job entails, or their areas of expertise.
Every new course brings a sense of excitement as I look forward to sharing such a well-respected and widely recognised course with the cohort. IOSH is a globally recognised leader in health and safety - over 160,000 people study one of its courses every year.
We deliver the course in various formats: instructor-led (referred to internally as ‘face-to-face’); by eLearning; by webinar; and anything in between (referred to as ‘blended’). There have been some major changes in recent years, as the shift towards online courses has accelerated rapidly.
Today, I’m teaching a public course in classroom format, which means there will likely be a mix of delegates from different organisations in the room. There are pros and cons for every format. If I can get them all talking, the group I’m delivering to today will be able to share lots of experiences from different situations, which helps everyone to learn from each other and really brings the course to life.
As each course begins, I am always determined to provide the highest standard of training that I can, and always hoping that I will be able to answer all of the questions that will come my way. I have spent time preparing resources, researching case studies, keeping abreast with regulatory updates, as well as the looming Sword of Damocles that is Brexit, and reminding myself of the latest published statistics that are useful to have dotted about.
As far as the delegates are concerned, some may already have a sound background in health and safety, others may have little awareness and may have done no preparation at all. Most will be up for the three days that lie ahead – and the assessment project to follow – but some may be reluctant participants, attending because they’ve been told to by someone in their organisation.
On top of my determination to be interesting, accurate and informative, is our company’s drive to live up to its values of trust, innovation and excellence; so at the end of the course I, like many others, will be wondering: will all the delegates pass the assessment? Will they remember to submit their project? And will they have understood it enough to achieve a pass?
And lastly, in order to measure how good a job I’ve done, I know I’ll need to ask for feedback from those delegates: will their scores be high enough that we achieve our performance benchmark? We’re trialling a new way of capturing this important information that makes it easier for delegates to give honest opinions (so they don’t feel any pressure from me) and is more efficient for us.
The course begins, introductions are made, friendships are formed, and experiences shared in the building whirl of covering the course content, interspersed with work-related activities designed to reinforce the learning; carefully-planned timings, steering everyone towards that final assessment on the last day.
Within that whirlwind from start to finish I am constantly guiding, adapting, responding and maintaining the highest standard that I can: I take notes for future improvement, I sneak in an online visit to the HSE website to check some specific piece of guidance to share. Because what really matters to me is the often-overlooked question: what did the individual delegate take away from the course? Not just a certificate or an attendance statistic, but a real, honest-to-goodness change – or a different perspective – that is going to make a positive impact on safety in their own workplaces.
Because we’re not here just to help people pass assessments (though that is very important). We’re here to inspire our delegates to put their new knowledge to good use, to engender a health and safety culture, and ultimately to help them improve their organisation’s performance.
Standing here, about to deliver the course, this is why I love being a tutor for IOSH Managing Safely.
Jen Rogers is a Health and Safety Trainer for International Workplace