Creating a Safe Learning Environment - Covid-19 Pandemic
We stopped delivering face to face training before the ‘lockdown’ was enforced by the UK government following our own risk assessment; ever since we have been working towards a position where we can safely start face to face training again, however we will only do so once we are satisfied that the risk is manageable.
Things are not going to get back to ‘normal’ very quickly, people will be nervous and new rules will be put in place, if not by government, then by responsible businesses like ours. Only once we are satisfied that the risk can be suitably managed and mitigated, will we deliver face to face Personal Licence courses again.
I would like to take this opportunity to share our risk reduction measures and how we intend to deliver face to face training once we are permitted to do so.
Our training facility in Central London, where we hold our face to face Personal Licence courses, is located near London Waterloo Station. For people living in London many will be able to get there without using Public Transport. We would discourage the use of Public Transport at this time, but we also realise that for some, including our tutors, that may not be a possibility.
Where learners have to travel by Public Transport we would urge them to wear a facemask during their journey and wash their hands on arrival; more about handwashing later…
Social Distancing in our Training Room
We deliver our training in a relatively big room, so 2m social distancing while we deliver the training is easily achievable.
This is one area where we are quite lucky, because we already had to have the facility to sit people 1.2m apart in order to complete the exam under normal circumstances, to move people 2 m apart is therefore not difficult.
As you can see from the image of our training room, under normal circumstances we used to sit learners in a flat or ‘U’ shaped table set up depending on the number attending, it made interaction more effective. However we have individual exam desks and we will be using these now during the teaching phase as well.
While we think we would easily manage on our normal capacity, at least to start with we would ensure that the maximum class size is reduced to no more than 10 learners; we will keep this under review.
Tutor & Invigilator Interaction
Under normal circumstances there would be a level of physical interaction between learner and tutor / exam invigilator. This can be wholly removed, you will excuse us for not shaking your hand on arrival or at the end of the course and we will keep 2m away from you throughout the day.
The tutor cannot realistically wear a face covering while teaching, but the first row of tables will be well over 2m away from the tutor at all times.
Our invigilators will be wearing a facemask and gloves and we have adopted different procedures to ensure the invigilators can still check candidate’s papers on completion of the exam while maintaining a safe distance. Candidates will be asked to move to the back of the class while their exam paper is checked and if everything is correct they will be allowed to leave at that time.
Our tutors and invigilators have been trained to work in such a way as to distance themselves from learners and will themselves observe immaculate personal hygiene by regularly washing / sanitising their hands throughout the day.
Learners will be given an additional briefing at the start of the day and before the exam to remind them of the special measures in place to protect our team, as well and the other learners attending.
Health & Hygiene
All the learner desks will be assigned on arrival and learners will be asked not to change table once one has been assigned.
All tables will be cleaned prior to the arrival of learners and wiped down with an alcohol based wipe following the cleaning. Each chair will also be wiped down.
All learners will be asked to wash their hands on arrival and plenty of soap will be provided and available throughout the day. We will also ask learners to wash their hands after each break, we will try not to patronise people, but we all need reminding sometimes.
We have a supply of alcohol based sanitiser available for those who would choose to use it after washing their hands or throughout the day.
Individual Responsibility & Learner Checks
Anyone sharing a space with other people should take their individual responsibility not to spread the virus seriously. As such we will be asking anyone attending a course to confirm that they have not had any of the following symptoms in the past 14 days:
- New Continuous Cough
- Fever Above 37.8C
- Loss of Taste or Small
- Breathing Difficulties
Please be honest, even if it means you may be inconvenienced and let us know if you have any of these symptoms in the 14 days before your course. We will move you to another date once that quarantine process is finished at no additional cost.
We also reserve the right to ask any person displaying those symptoms during a course to leave.
We are not medically trained and will use a common sense approach in such cases; we will err on the side of caution. If anyone is asked to leave they will be invited to come back on another day. Please do not take offence if this happens, we are still in a time when we all need to be extra cautious.
Face Masks / Coverings
As I have already mentioned the exam invigilator will wear a face mask, but not the tutor. Because of the social distancing we can achieve in the room with a much reduced capacity, we will not insist on learners wearing face masks.
We will at this stage not therefore be providing facemasks for our learners, however we would encourage you to bring your own and wear it if you are comfortable doing so. There is no downside to wearing a mask, but to do so all day may not be comfortable for some people, depending on the type of mask they can obtain.
We will review this recommendation, should the government make any concrete recommendations.
Obviously anyone wishing to bring their own protective equipment beyond facemasks is welcome to do so. We do however at some point need to see your face to identify you prior to the exam, so if you turn up in a full hazmat suit, you will have to take the hood off at some point.
We look forward to getting courses running again, having the opportunity of meeting our clients and sharing our expertise. We look forward to being able to do this in a safe environment.
Peter Mayhew – Director
Beyond the Blue Training & Consultancy
If you have any concerns or wish to discuss any element of the measures described in this article, please do contact us.
We are still working remotely, taking bookings, advising clients and completing consultancy projects. We are helping clients who are changing their business models and require adjustments to Premises Licences and talking to those who just need reassurance that they are doing the right thing legally.
Call us on 01784 434 392 or email email@example.com
Personal Licence Courses for London can be booked online here Award for Personal Licence Holder - London
Page Updated: 22nd May 2020