Bright sparks at Develop Training have created an industry “first” with the launch of a blended training course for workers who handle high voltage electrical systems.
The course, titled Authorised Person: High Voltage (AP15b), was the result of careful research with clients following unforeseen changes to course delivery due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Develop Training, the UK's leading accredited provider of compliance, technical and safety training, had transferred a number of its courses to virtual, online delivery since the beginning of the pandemic.
As a result of the positive feedback from clients, Develop recognised that, while a high level of practical, on-site training was absolutely essential for many courses, some online provision was also useful.
Now, a range of “blended” programmes, comprising a combination of online and in-person learning, have been designed as alternatives to Develop’s traditional versions of the courses.
The first of these courses to be launched, the AP15b Authorised Person: High Voltage (Blended) training course, has recently been piloted at Develop’s Swindon training centre.
Viktors Nikolajevs, Estates & FM Training Manager for Develop Training, said: “It’s been a huge success. The pandemic was no doubt the catalyst for these blended programmes, but the model has certainly won praise from both our clients, and learners themselves."
“The AP15b course is an industry first – no one has offered a similar blended learning programme for a high voltage course before. So we’re proud to say we’re first on the grid!”
The popularity of the blended training programmes is partly down to the added flexibility it offers to learners and their employers during the challenging times created by Covid.
Instead of running the course over five consecutive days at a Develop training centre, learners now have up to two months to complete a number of online modules – in their own time - before having to attend the training centre for just three days.
Individual modules within each session are also reduced to a maximum of 30-minutes of online attendance rather than up to three hours at a training centre on the standard course model.
Viktors said: “From an employer’s perspective, employees will spend less time off-site, therefore reducing travelling costs and overtime. It’s a win-win.”
Industry employees who have attended the pilot blended course agree.
Ian Yates, Electrical Safety Manager for Welsh Water, was part of the first cohort on the pilot course. He said there was a lot of technical information to absorb on the online theory section, so having more time to complete it was hugely beneficial as long as participants took advantage of the availability of course tutors online.
"It comes down to being disciplined," said Ian. "It's important that learners schedule the time into their work diaries, then use the opportunities available to contact tutors - and they also may be able to ask someone in their own organisation if they begin to struggle with any element of the course.
"The blended course was a great learning experience, and I particularly liked the online part. I'd definitely recommend it."
To find out more about Develop Training, visit www.developtraining.co.uk.