• Kate Gardner
  • 9 October 2013

Where have all the ACoPs gone?

Those of us who have been working in the health and safety arena for a number of years may have become very used to using the various guidance documents and ACoPs provided by the HSE.  In recent years I have found that these have become an invaluable resource and teaching aid for all manner of courses and I find myself constantly drawing delegates’ and trainees’ attention to this valuable resource.

As part of the ongoing review of the way information is provided to companies, the HSE has created more and varied online information to fit in with the fact that we now expect to find everything in an easily accessible, multimedia format.  However, while this may fit with our 21st Century expectation of instantly accessible data, as a tutor I now find that it is more challenging to be able to say with certainty where information can be found.

Part of any training involves providing delegates with not only the course materials for the subject under discussion, but also allowing them to explore and become familiar with the ACoPs and other guidance that they have often been in unaware of.  It is disconcerting as a tutor to suddenly find that some key ACoPs have been removed (while they are being updated by the HSE) and various micro sites have been provided instead. 

Currently, the HSE is conducting an initial review of 32 of its 52 ACOPs, with a view to revise, consolidate or withdraw them in accordance with Professor Löfstedt’s recommendations. This process will continue to the end of 2013, with a second phase complete by the end of 2014.

I’m all for making the learning experience positive, and there is a substantial amount of information available on the web, but sometimes having key information captured in a single place, that allows for ease of use, cannot be underestimated.  I hope that when the new ‘improved’ ACoPs return they retain the key pieces of information that allow organisations to understand why they should be considering good health and safety, rather than being seen solely as minimum compliance standards that are just there to create a tick box culture.  

As a health and safety professional I hope that the new guidance is clear and presented in a way that engages with everyone, but as a tutor I’m hoping that the new and improved HSG 65 will continue to be the wonderful teaching resource that the old version was.