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Is GWO Training Becoming Just a ‘Tick Box’ Exercise?

Updated: Feb 14

Walking around a wind exhibition and talking to organisations about their training requirements is an enlightening experience. Conversations range from the dismissive, ‘Oh the girls in the office sort that out,’ to interrogations on the size and make of the harnesses we use.


The former response usually means that sadly, within that organisation, training is a tick-box exercise, a necessary nuisance to be dealt with quickly, cheaply and as conveniently as possible. Whilst all these factors are important to any organisation, it should be a given that any training organisation makes the booking process as simple as possible. The problem with choosing a training provider solely on this criteria is that it suggests a culture within that organisation that is only concerned with quick fixes that ignore the value of meaningful training. If training budgets have been squeezed to allow only enough for essential training, doesn’t it make sense that you get the most value, by choosing a GWO training provider that not just ticks boxes, but can deliver over and above?


Why? Well, let’s not forget that the purpose of health and safety training is actually to learn something - to add value to your team and organisation. To be able to put this into practice, contribute to a positive, confident team and be able to get your job done, safely. If training is rushed, not delivered in a realistic environment (sheds, car parks, anyone?) and your team doesn't learn what they need to, the best case scenario is they fail the course and you have to find a new provider. The worst case scenario is they are not able to carry out their job because of an accident or injury. Do it once, do it right.


GWO Realistic First Aid training

How do you ensure meaningful training? Choose your provider wisely - ask questions. Does their culture align with the health and safety culture of your organisation? Do they talk about GWO training in a positive, meaningful way? How do they prepare candidates for training? How do they follow up on the training? What are the measurable outcomes of the training?


What about the GWO standards? Doesn’t that mean that all GWO training is the same whichever provider you choose? Yes - to a point. Let’s take the example of learning hours. Each GWO module has a minimum number of hours a participant must take to complete the course. So the participant can turn up, complete the theoretical element of the course, do the practical and leave. Another provider might make the learning material available in advance, have an e-learning element before training in person, hold in-person training, discuss and refresh the e-learning elements of the course. Afterwards, they might be given follow-up support and materials. Which course do you think would have lasting and tangible benefits for the participant?


Another training provider might provide training accredited for different industries, a rescue carried out at height might be done from a platform, whilst a wind industry specialist provider might carry out rescues from a simulated WTG environment. Which would be the more effective?


GWO Wind Turbine Environment Learning

You can probably guess from reading this that at Safer at Work we are not advocates of ‘tick-box’ training. You can probably guess which of the above training models we deliver. We all understand the pressures of time and training budgets can mean that organising training can feel like a burden - we can help by offering true value: thorough and realistic training, in-depth wind industry experience, support, and a friendly welcome.

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