Can you train

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Can you train

Postby getstuckin » Tue May 01, 2012 6:45 am

I was reading an HSE bulltin on a court case which reported that employees were being trained by employees who were not qualified to do so. This being one of the reasons to prosecute.

Hence, do you have to hold a training qualification to conduct training. Many small firms could not do so. Hence some what curious as to a prosecution with part of the basis found on un qualified trainer.
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Re: Can you train

Postby AdrianW » Tue May 01, 2012 7:23 am

Interesting. I have not read this article, so could you elaborate as to what training these employees were giving ?
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Re: Can you train

Postby Keith1983 » Tue May 01, 2012 7:24 am

A link to the article would be good.
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Re: Can you train

Postby Coldrop » Tue May 01, 2012 4:50 pm

I'd be more concerned if the trainer (qualified or not with a training certificate) had the knowledge and experience to deliver a particular course.

I have to remind my boss that just because I have training and H+S qualifications, it doesn't mean I can teach anything :evil:
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Re: Can you train

Postby Reddwarf » Tue May 01, 2012 4:58 pm

A lot will depend on the type and level of the course. Training someone on the basics of manual handling probably isn't going to need any form of qualification as ultimately you van buy DVD's.

But an employees teaching another employees to operate a forklift truck without the correct crediation will clearly be an issue even if that employee is the best FLT driver and will teach correctly sometimes the course needs to be accredited.

I used to deliver basic fire safety training as well as fire warden training there is no set standard for this training and research I done other companies where providing warden training anything from 2hrs to a day course (mind ended up being 6hrs).

So there are course that need to be trained by those with some form of accreditation or recognised distinction and other courses where all you have to do is be able to push play on the DVD player. The court may ask you to prove what made you feel competent to carry out the training.

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Re: Can you train

Postby frankie » Wed May 02, 2012 8:46 am

I think it's about knowing your limitations first. The court scenario may come later. I delivered a course on Portable Abrasive Wheels (Angle Grinders & Stihl Saws) and was given a job delivering a course on pedestal and bench grinders. I told the training company it was outside the area of my knowledge and they said just tell them about the portable ones then and say the principles are the same. :shock:
Needless to say, i don't work for them anymore.
I believe there should be some level of teaching/traning cert in place to ensure YOU are certain THEY have taken in the info you have given them.
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Re: Can you train

Postby eyeserene » Thu May 03, 2012 11:15 pm

I agree with the above advice. The most important factor is the competency of the trainer. What adequate competency involves depends on the nature of the training being delivered; generally the more technical and complex the training, the more hoops you have to jump through to be counted as competent.

To take manual handling as an example, as Reddwarf says one way to deliver that in-house at a basic level is to buy a DVD. What you're relying on there is the competency of the people who created the DVD. However if you wanted to deliver a recognised manual handling qualification (such as the CIEH level 2 Principles of Manual Handling) you'd need to be accredited by the awarding body, the CIEH in this case. There may also be specific qualifications needed as well, as in the case of something like forklift training where you need to hold a current RTITB instructors' licence. As a rough rule of thumb it's often said that the trainer should be qualified at two levels above the training they're delivering.

If you're thinking about getting into training in a formal sense and chasing accreditation, the City & Guilds PTTLS course is a great starter qualification and becoming a compulsory minimum requirement for recognition as a trainer. That only proves you know how to teach though, so obviously along with it you need subject-specific competency as well. Often simply being able to demonstrate experience in the subject area is good enough, but again it depends on the subject.
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Re: Can you train

Postby getstuckin » Fri May 04, 2012 7:20 am

If I might poke this around a little with no intention of winding you up.

I have highly skilled and competent people would could not train a person as they know how to communicate and not how to train.

Apart from very simple tasks and I do mean simple I don't think you can train a person without first learning to train.

Kicking about another idea, I have over my many years of employment been faced with manual handling training which consists of what a DVD, pick up box and I am then passed as being trained.

My own lesson on MH recognises that MH is a skill. The only effective way to learn a skill is to do it... listening and watching do help in grasping the knowledge but it is the doing that teaches the skill.

Hence it is a short intro, short bit of DVD / Power point, then it is teach the skill (EDI) then out into the work environment and teach how to apply (EDI) then a confirmation phase which has to be passed before I sign off on it.

So I could understand the judge comment that the employees are not qualified to train which contributed to the incident.
Employee doing on the job training, can be difficult to know what has been taught or to prove what has been taught!!!


Any ideas as to what the HSE would define as training. Does have to have a lesson plan and a qualified trainer??

Just some thoughts that I got in reading a judges one liner and the above.
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Re: Can you train

Postby eyeserene » Fri May 04, 2012 9:53 am

This has been a grey area for a long time, hence I think the current emphasis on people who are working as trainers being properly qualified. It probably doesn't apply to you for in-house training, but certainly anyone wanting to deliver any form of government-funded training has to have PTTLS as a minimum now (in England for the moment, but I believe it won't be long before the rest of the UK follows suit).

As far as what the HSE deems 'training', I'd say that comes back to what they regard the definition of a 'competent person' to be: "someone with the necessary skills, knowledge and experience" to do a proper job.

As you've mentioned in your post, competent training stands on two legs: having the necessary subject knowledge, and having the skills to pass that knowledge on. Both of these are therefore required for competence as a trainer. You make a very good point that not everyone who is good at their job is also good at passing it on. Hence I think that anyone who takes on a training role, even in-house, should be taught how to train. If that can't be done adequately the training should be outsourced.

My personal feeling is that it if you don't want to pay contractors to deliver your training it might be worth qualifying one person in the company to at least PTTLS level 3 (roughly A-Level equivalent). They could then be your Training Officer or somesuch and made responsible for overseeing all in-house training. They might lack the knowledge to deliver all the courses themselves, but they'd be able to do jobs like complete training needs analyses, check courses/lesson plans/learning materials before delivery, advise other employees on how to deliver training, carry out peer observations to ensure standards are being maintained, and maintain records to prove that training has taken place to a quality assured standard. For me that would satisfy the need to prove that the company has done everything "reasonably practicable" to meet its HASAWA section 2 duty to provide training.
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Re: Can you train

Postby Jonnie » Tue May 08, 2012 10:10 am

I think a teaching/training qualification is vital in addition to this and for protection of yourself there should be a laid down procedure for any course or skill you are teaching with records kept showing the student has achieved mastery in the skill. A motor skill would be assessed by watching the person doing it and a knowledge segment could be assessed by a written test. I have always included a statement signed by the attendee saying they understand the course requirements and that any questions that were answered incorrectly have been fully explained. It has always been one of my bugbears with NEBOSH and others that you do not know where you did not get the full 100% so you could have gaps in your knowledge.
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Re: Can you train

Postby Beanie » Wed May 09, 2012 4:22 pm

The HSE say:

"There is no precise legal definition of the term 'competent' under health and safety legislation in general. However, in relation to its meaning under the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (the Management Regulations), the following information may be useful.

Regulation 7 of the Management Regulations, which is concerned with health and safety assistance, requires every employer to "appoint one or more competent persons" to assist them in complying with their health and safety responsibilities. While the regulation don't specify any particular qualifications that have to be gained in order to be considered a competent person, it does say that "A person shall be regarded as competent ... where he has sufficient training and experience or knowledge and other qualities to enable him properly to assist in undertaking the measures".

The accompanying guidance goes onto explain:

"Competence in the sense it is used in these Regulations does not necessarily depend on the possession of particular skills or qualifications. Simple situations may require only the following:

(a) an understanding of relevant current best practice;
(b) an awareness of the limitations of one's own experience and knowledge; and
(c) the willingness and ability to supplement existing experience and knowledge, when necessary by obtaining external help and advice.

More complicated situations will require the competent assistant to have a higher level of knowledge and experience. More complex or highly technical situations will call for specific applied knowledge and skills which can be offered by appropriately qualified specialists. Employers are advised to check the appropriate health and safety qualifications (some of which may be competence-based and/or industry specific), or membership of a professional body or similar organisation (at an appropriate level and in an appropriate part of health and safety) to satisfy themselves that the assistant they appoint has a sufficiently high level of competence."

Which really says that employers and trainers should know their boundaries relative to their own abilities and the training they're delivering to their employees and choose specialists when they're not within those boundaries. In the event of an accident, it may well be "res ipsa loquitur".

I gained the PTLLS last year. It's delivered at level 3 and 4 - the higher level being just a bit more in depth. It's needed if your courses are government funded but not necessary for in-house courses. My next step is CTLLS (also level 4). I'm told I can now train to one level beneath my own qualifications.

PTLLS provides basic teaching theory and requires students to deliver a 15 minute "microteach" and observe cohorts doing the same. CTLLS includes deeper theory and requires lesson planning and preparation for at least 30 hours teaching! So even with PTLLS, I wouldn't consider myself to be a seasoned trainer. Even with CTLLS (and ATLS status), I should only deliver pre-prepared training from packs and shouldn't devise my own from a syllabus.

Whist working for a Local Authority, training in certain skills was given by staff that had attended specific "train the trainer" courses which was how refuse bin lift operations and road sweeper skills were passed on. Frighteningly, the Reversing Assistant course was delivered via DVD and a test paper by an unqualified (albeit experienced) member of staff. During the time I was there, I convinced the management of the necessity of having plant operators certified by a third party (to NPORS standard) rather than skills being passed on through "sitting by Nellie" which had been the norm. This also had the benefit of operatives being unable to refuse certain tasks using the "I''ve not been properly trained" excuse. Prior to that, the management position was that anyone who was doing a job was assumed to be competent and hence a suitable trainer! Being trained to an approved standard led to improved morale, confidence and the perception of job security (although NPORS isn't quite the "Golden Parachute" that CPSCS is considered to be). Other qualifications were delivered via the NVQ route and day-to-day issues were addressed via toolbox talks delivered by (unqualified) supervisors.

I would suggest that whether you deliver training using your own staff or have it delivered by an external provider you look at any legislative requirements as well as undertaking a cost/benefit analysis taking into account the cost of training your own trainers, providing your own facilities, trainers not doing what they're actally paid to do if training is a secondary function, the time employees are away from work versus the time training actually takes when training is external, the cost of transport to an external trainer, the cost of an external course or having it delivered in house etc. etc. Also consider whether your employees have sufficient trust/respect in your own trainer and the employer's motives for the training to be of value.
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Re: Can you train

Postby HCSafety » Mon May 14, 2012 10:30 am

Beanie wrote:PTLLS provides basic teaching theory and requires students to deliver a 15 minute "microteach" and observe cohorts doing the same. CTLLS includes deeper theory and requires lesson planning and preparation for at least 30 hours teaching! So even with PTLLS, I wouldn't consider myself to be a seasoned trainer. Even with CTLLS (and ATLS status), I should only deliver pre-prepared training from packs and shouldn't devise my own from a syllabus.


Beanie that's a great answer. I've got 23 years training experience myself but have enrolled on a PTLLS course to expand my horizons!

However I think with your qualifications you are selling yourself short when you say you would not devise your own training course despite holding CTLLS. You need to distinguish between Training and Teaching. It's subtle but they are not the same. For example I routinely devise and deliver training courses for clients and am confident to do so. However if given a syllabus and asked to devise a term of lectures based around it for FE College students, I would not be so confident!

An interesting definition of the difference (which I found via Google) is "It has been said that the essence of teaching is causing another to know. It may similarly be said that the essence of training is causing another to do. Teaching gives knowledge. Training gives skill. Teaching fills the mind. Training shapes the habits."
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