Developing a safety culture – bringing employees together through IOSH virtual classroom and eLearning


Fugro is a Dutch multinational public company headquartered in the Netherlands. It specialises in collecting and analysing geological data, both on land and at sea. Employing approximately 9,000 people in 65 countries, Fugro serves clients around the globe, predominantly in the energy and infrastructure industries, both offshore and onshore.

Andrew McNeill is Global Head of Training and Competence at Fugro. He tells us how International Workplace was chosen at the start of the pandemic to partner with the company to ensure the seamless training of over 1,000 staff in both IOSH Managing Safely and IOSH Managing Safely Refresher.

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IOSH Managing Safety - for training health and safety internationally

"We've been running IOSH Managing Safely ourselves since about 2014. We made a decision to adopt it as corporate standard for all of our supervisors and managers and we’d been running that quite successfully for five years up until early 2020. And then of course the pandemic hit and we had to put it on hold – our trainers weren't able to travel, people weren't able to meet. At the same time, we were also looking into Refresher training.

"International Workplace’s IOSH Managing Safely Refresher courses very much fit in with the way that we approach managing safely. It talks about getting managers to accept their managerial responsibility for the safety of their team, but it isn't a particularly legislative and legally focused course, which is good because we’re an international company and the legislation changes from country to country. The course is very fresh and interactive and easy for people to learn, especially for those for whom English isn’t their first language.

"In 2021 the we decided to adopt the same approach for IOSH Managing Safely as it had a growing backlog of people who had joined the company or had been promoted into managerial and supervisory positions who hadn't yet undergone the training."

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A combination of virtual classroom and eLearning

"Our team evaluated the delivery options for the IOSH Managing Safely course, and ultimately recognised that people appreciate the interactivity and the opportunity to discuss issues with colleagues – an important component of this course. We opted for the eLearning course for the bulk of the content, supplemented by three half-day webinars.

"On the whole, people have been very happy with the approach that we've taken. There are always people who would prefer to be in classroom because that's just their style of learning. But the model that we've got has been fairly flexible; it's allowed us not to take people out of the workplace for three solid days, which is what we did when running classroom courses.

"Because of the lack of travel, we've obviously saved money, but we’ve also benefited from the lack of logistics issues that go with organising a classroom course. Delivering the course virtually and through eLearning means that people don't need to all be in the same place. We can mix and match people, which has the added benefit that they then share their experience more widely with colleagues from other offices as well, which also helps us develop the safety culture that we're trying to put in place.

"The IOSH Managing Safely course is run through our own learning management system, which is connected to Workday, our HR system. International Workplace’s courses are integrated into this system through its innovative Content Connector, which means a line manager or HR manager can identify and report on learner at the click of a button, without having to involve anyone from either Fugro’s learning/HR team, or at International Workplace."

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"The course was well presented and the tutor was highly keen and helpful. The course certainly helped to open a wide perspective of the safety standards. "

Rahul Pakkath Rajan, Fugro

Tailoring IOSH training courses specifically to Fugro

"Ahead of the course, our global HSE manager briefed International Workplace’s trainers, Kate and Claire, on some of its company policies and supplied documentation to them so they understood our approach to certain things. The trainers had enough awareness of what we do as a business that, within the webinars, the conversations just developed.

"The idea was that people would bring their own situations to the discussion and then the trainer would be able to call upon the knowledge we'd provided plus the experience that they’d built up from running the courses, so we ended up with a much richer discussion. Mixing people from different parts of the organisation enables them to build up their knowledge of the types of operating environment they work in. As a business we work at sea a lot but we also do a lot of land-based work and then of course we've got people who work in the office so there's a number of different work environments with their own specific requirements."

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"Being able to just click on one link saves people having to remember different logins, so it’s a really frictionless user experience. "

Andrew McNeill, Global Head of Training and Competence

Why International Workplace?

"International Workplace’s facilitators worked closely with our team to ensure seamless delivery of training. We work with marine crews and project crews whose schedules often change at quite short notice, which means they often have to alter attendance rosters for courses.

"It's been an easy transition for us from delivering it from a classroom point of view to doing it virtually. We've probably exceeded our expectations in how successful we've been with delivering the programme this way. People have got so used to doing things virtually now that they don't think twice. At the beginning of the pandemic, people were nervous about using their cameras, they weren’t comfortable with the technology. There's been a rapid learning curve on our side, and it's an experience that most people are comfortable with now.

"The quality of the material and the trainers have been excellent. The ease with which we've been able to work with International Workplace’s team has made the switch very easy and quick and the company’s general flexibility and willingness to work with us to address our issues has been the main advantage, leading to a very smooth experience."

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