Virtual College

Online Training with the Health and Safety Executive

Ilkley (UK), June 2020 - Virtual College has teamed up with subject matter experts from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to develop a new online health and safety training solution for slips, trips, and falls in the workplace. It has not only been designed to help businesses meet their compliance needs, but the learner has been at the forefront of the creative process, ensuring a training solution that is relevant, engaging, flexible, and accessible to all.

Virtual College is no stranger to the importance of health and safety training. The company understands how vital it is for companies to be compliant with health and safety laws in order to avoid large fines, imprisonment, or loss of reputation.

Virtual College recognised that as slips, trips, and falls are among the biggest causes of serious accidents at work, a strong training solution was needed. By collaborating with HSE, they ensured that the content was in-depth, correct and in line with businesses' needs.

"Falls due to slips or trips remain a significant contributor to the risk of injury and ill health at work, with numerous major injuries to employees and significant costs to employers," explains Jill De Nardo, Head of Commercial Training at Health and Safety Executive. "We are pleased to be collaborating with Virtual College on this important topic and hope that by combining our strengths, we will be able to significantly extend our reach and improve understanding on the causes of slips, trips, and falls in the workplace so that they can be prevented, often with simple, inexpensive interventions."

Virtual College knew that to ensure businesses are truly compliant, they had to put the learner at the forefront of their design and creation process.

"It can't be ignored; learners can become ambivalent to compliance training, especially health and safety - they can see it as something they are forced to do, and, therefore, no one really learns from it," explains Sarah Baker, Chief Learning Officer at Virtual College. "We want to change this. We know how important training is to a business's compliance needs, but the learner is a vital part of that, which is often overlooked. So, training needs be engaging, relevant, flexible, and accessible to all. This is how we approached our new health and safety training."

Virtual College's in-house content department, which includes numerous instructional designers and graphic designers, is developing the training. They understand learners have different job roles and come from different sectors, which means that learning cannot be "one size fits all".

To tackle this, they considered different elements of the learning:

  • Relevance - To make sure that learners only receives information that is relevant to them, the content has been designed so it is as relevant and personal as possible. Three courses have been developed, each one relating to different job roles and responsibilities, and within each, they can personalise the information to common sectors, such as catering and hospitality, education, and healthcare.
  • Flexibility - The content has been broken down into bite-sized chunks to allow learners the freedom to move through the content freely, re-visit content with ease, and fit the training into their schedule.
  • Engagement - In order to increase engagement and keep the flow of content interesting to the learner, sector-specific case studies are used throughout the course, alongside a wide range of media types such as talking head videos, live action videos, graphical animated videos, interactive infographics, and downloadable resources.

Accessibility for all - They have also made sure that all the content is accessible to WCAG AA standards. This includes ensuring that the newly designed content works with screen readers, relevant images has alt text, and videos have captions and downloadable transcripts. They are also fully tested externally to ensure they meet the accessibility standards, as well as work on all browsers and devices.