Face-to-Face training during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The safety of trainers and training participants is our highest priority. We are aware of the guidance from Skills for Care on face-to-face training, and also the guidance from HM Government on working safely during the pandemic.
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This page was last updated on 24th August 2021.
Our commitment to delivering face-to-face training safely
We are more than happy to deliver face-to-face training as and when our customers feel this is right for their organisation.
Here is our commitment to the safe delivery of face-to-face training.
- We will comply fully with any measures that are required by the customer, and/or the venue, in relation to COVID-19
- Each trainer will have undergone a “COVID-19 Awareness” training session prior to delivering face-to-face training
- The trainer will complete their own risk assessment of the venue, and the participants, at the start of the training session, and will submit this electronically to St Thomas Training. This will include confirmation that suitable PPE is being worn, if required, that the venue allows for appropriate social distancing, and that participants have been asked to leave if they have any of the common symptoms of COVID-19
- The trainer will withdraw from the training if they feel they have any of the common symptoms of COVID-19
- The trainer will bring their own supply of hand sanitiser and wipes to each session
- The trainer will wipe down any communal areas (eg desks) regularly during the session
- The trainer will sanitise their own hands regularly, and will encourage all participants to do so regularly
- We will liaise with the customer beforehand to ensure that training group sizes are small enough to allow for social distancing
- Physical contact is rarely required anyway in the vast majority of our face-to-face training, but the trainer will ensure that it remains so. There are a couple of exceptions such as first aid, moving & handling, and there are specific guidelines for these subjects which continue to be updated and which we will of course observe
- None of our trainers is under any pressure from St Thomas Training to deliver face-to-face training until or unless they feel happy to do so
Face-to-face or virtual training?
Whilst we have delivered many high-quality virtual training sessions during the COVID-19 pandemic, and will continue to do so for as long as customers want this, we remain convinced that face-to-face is still the best way of delivering training in “normal” times. Here are some reasons for this belief:
- Face to face training does not involve the extra concentration and distraction of managing your controls and features of Zoom or other platforms
- The trainer has the ability to provide 'pastoral care' on the spot if necessary
- Participants tend to feel more engaged and ask more questions
- Discussions extend more around the subject, and are more diverse
- Learners feel more able to discuss and challenge practice
- The trainer can assess learner engagement better and adapt the session to ensure that
participants maintain their focus and engagement
- Eye contact and non-verbal interest and understanding can be monitored better in person than virtually, especially if a participant does not have a camera
- Participants use breaks to establish personal and professional relationships which can improve the way they work
- Participants experience a physical 'change of scene' and may be able to switch off from work more and focus on the training
- Quieter people can find it easier to “hide” in a virtual session
- It's difficult to ensure confidentiality on a virtual session, which is a concern if sensitive issues are being discussed
- The nature of our training means that we often cover difficult personal issues, eg whether someone can consent to sex, or how to support someone at the end of their life - these are discussions that are perhaps not appropriate for young children to overhear
- Participants can sometimes succumb to pressure from others to attend another virtual meeting when they have already committed to attending a virtual training session. It's much easier to resist such pressure if the participant is physically in a different location.