Good health!

Posted on 20 Dec 2010 by The Manufacturer

Edward Machin investigates the range of occupational health & safety courses at Woodland Grange, an EEF training centre located in the heart of England’s rolling fields.

Widely held as one the UK’s foremost training providers, the chalk and talk approach taken by all-too many professional awarding bodies is nowhere to be seen on courses offered by the EEF/Woodland Grange partnership. “As a result, our pass rates remain second to none,” says Pav Randhawa, an EE F services adviser at the Leamington Spabased venue. “It’s not uncommon for us to achieve one hundred per cent and, at a very minimum, low eighties.” As a residential training centre, things don’t get much better than Woodland Grange, either.

Located among 16 acres of bucolic Warwickshire countryside, attendee networking remains very much the order of the day — during lunch breaks and evening free-time alike. Indeed, first-class restaurant, catering and leisure facilities ensure that it remains the ideal location to share and develop global best practices, whatever your tipple.

National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health (NEBOSH) courses take pride of place for those at EE F/Woodland Grange. Thanks to its range of globally recognised qualifications designed to meet the health, safety, environmental and risk management needs of both private and public sector employees, manufacturers from around the globe travel to this little corner of middle England in search of core health & safety awards. As such, the majority of courses — NEBOSH included — held at Woodland Grange are built around a programme of highly interactive, classroom-based learning; death by PowerPoint this is not. Given their considerable industry backgrounds, moreover, “Tutors have their own, relevant experiences to impart, so it’s not an overly textbook-heavy experience,” explains Randhawa.

“That said, and while there are numerous syndicate exercises and the continual opportunity for discussion, we do so within the syllabus framework.

There is no going off piste here, which some providers can, on occasion, be guilty of.”

All work and no play…
The latest addition to Woodland Grange’s course portfolio is the NEBOSH International Certificate in Construction Health & Safety. Launched this September in pilot version, the two-week course was attended by supervisors and managers from as far afield as Canada, India and Eastern Europe. Following a syllabus outlined by NEBOSH, EE F’s trainers — led by Mark Bush — ensure the schemes of work, lesson plans and practical activities are in line with the former’s aims and learning outcomes. “And the initial feedback has been, frankly, brilliant,” says Randhawa, an EE F/Woodland Grange employee since 2003.

“Attendees are fully trained as construction design management coordinators, and come away with a leading qualification which they can put to use in a global context.”

“Increasingly we’re finding that businesses — manufacturers especially — are crying out for internationally-themed health and safety training,” she emphasises. “Yes, we’re a training provider, but ultimately all of us are here to save peoples’ lives. Employees should go home in exactly the same condition they set out and, pleasingly, this safety-centric approach is now filtering into international waters.”

Delivering single day awareness training courses to fully-formed MScs, then, what of the future for Randhawa and EE F at Woodland Grange? “We are, in particular, looking to expand into ever more international training and all the permutations therein,” she says, “coupling it with the high-level behavioral safety market that we currently lead.”

Manufacturing-based health & safety training with a lager chaser; doesn’t sound too disagreeable, now, does it?