Train Aid Ltd are set to become an Ofqual registered training provider from April 2013. The move will apply to all first aid at work courses that the company runs throughout the UK. The new Ofqual registration concept will replace the old HSE approval scheme. The government have now favoured an Ofqual model, which should open up the market place, and allow greater flexibility for businesses enrolling their staff on first aid courses.
The HSE approval scheme ensured that a high standard of training was maintained throughout the industry. It forced companies to externally moderate their courses, and drove out incompetent companies / freelancers. It was however very costly to implement, which no doubt had a knock on effect to the consumer. The government recognised this through the Lord Lofsted report, which concluded that the HSE approval scheme should be removed in its entirety.
From April 2013 the UK business sector will be free to choose a trainer provider from the full spectrum of the marketplace. This should have the effect of opening up the marketplace to new providers, and will allow a greater level of flexibility. It will be down to consumers to select a training provider, who they feel can deliver a reputable course. If unsure they can refer to an Ofqual approved provider, which proves their training meets a recognised standard.
Many training providers are concerned that standards could actually end up falling within the industry. The problem lies in the fact that theoretically anyone can now provide first aid at work courses and claim the content to be reputable. More and more companies like Train aid are becoming Ofqual registered to prove that their training meets a certain standard. It looks like it will replicate and replace the old HSE approval scheme. Train Aid’s Bill Casserley was on hand to provide his view point:
“Everyone within the industry was understandably concerned when the review was published from Lord Loftsed. However after having some time to deliberate over the findings I think it all makes sense. The most important people within the industry are the consumers who are purchasing the courses. This new system gives them more flexibility and will ultimately save them more money”.