Covid Secure Training Environments

Covid-Secure-Training-Environment-sign

Covid Secure Training Environments

[Updated 24/09/2020]

General

Throughout the COVID-19 lockdown, there has been an allowance for “emergency training”, which is training specifically for those who, because of their roles, required training. (e.g. healthcare workers, key workers, and new recruits to both these workforces).

From the 15th June, the UK government gave a conditional “green light” for businesses to resume trading. Naturally, we need to ensure a Covid Secure training environment for all our candidates. It is vital that we all continue to do our best to eliminate or mitigate the risks of transmitting this virus.

The government is clear that workers should not be forced into an unsafe workplace. We fully support this.

This page details the processes & procedures that we have brought into place for our courses.

Best Practice

To provide you with a Covid Secure training environment, we have undertaken a COVID-19 risk assessment for each of the subjects that we teach, just as we have for other health and safety related hazards.

In June, the First Aid Awarding Organisation Forum issued a statement (below). We believe this details best practice & alongside government requirements, we have implemented this across all our face to face courses.

Government Requirements

The UK and devolved governments have issued specific advice and requirements with regards to Covid-19. This covers working indoors, meeting, travel, etc. The current requirements/guidance for England, where they apply to our courses, are summarised below & will be discussed again at the start of your course.

“Hands, Face, Space”

Guidance: See Section 1

  • HANDS – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • FACE – Wear a face covering in indoor settings where social distancing may be difficult, and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet.
  • SPACE – Stay 2 metres apart from people you do not live with where possible, or 1 metre with extra precautions in place (such as wearing face coverings or increasing ventilation indoors).
  • Our venues classroom is laid out so that you are a minimum of 2 metres away from the next candidate. This 2 metre separation must be maintained throughout your course.
  • You are responsible for your own 2m separation from the next person.

Meeting in groups of more than 6

Guidance: See Section 2

  • It is now against the law to meet in groups of more than 6 people.
    • Exceptions
      • being those whom you live with, or have formed a support bubble with.
      • for work.
      • for education or training.
      • venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines“.

Covid-19 Secure Guidelines

Guidance: Click here

  • We have implemented & follow these workplace Covid-19 Secure guidelines at our venues. Posters confirming this will be displayed at our training venues.
  • In addition, section 3 of the guidance relating to meeting in groups of more than 6, states;
    • “As well as the exemptions above, venues following COVID-19 Secure guidelines will be able to continue to host more people in total – such as religious services in places of worship – but no one should mix in a group of greater than 6.”
  • We have limited numbers at our venues. A maximum of 8 candidates are allowed on each course. Typically there will be 1 instructor on your course (2 max). Occasionally there will also be visits by 1 internal &/or external quality assessors (IQA & EQA).
  • Typically there will be no more than 9 people within the room (8+1), with a maximum of 12 people at any time (8+2+2).
  • However, no one should spend time in a group of greater than 6. Specifically, this means before the course starts, during breaks & after the course ends.
  • You are responsible for your own 2m separation from the next person.

Masks

Guidance: Click here

  • Although you don’t have to wear a mask at our venue (it’s not one of the indicated venues), government guidance (see section 3.16) is that “People are also strongly encouraged to wear face coverings in any other enclosed public spaces where there are people they do not normally meet.”
  • Should you wish to wear a mask for the duration of your course, we will support you in this.
  • First Aid Courses
    • Where you are required to demonstrate rescue breaths during cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) sections of first aid courses, (practice and practical assessment), you will need to remove your face covering.
    • Failure to adequately demonstrate rescue breaths during your assessment would lead to an incomplete assessment and you failing the course. (All first aid courses require a 100% pass on practical skills. There are no exceptions to this rule).

NHS Covid-19 app & Track & Trace

Local Restrictions

Guidance: Click here for the very latest guidance.

Before booking your course:

Learner Screening

If you fall into the following categories, you should be aware that the government advice is to isolate yourself or restrict your contact with (or proximity to) other people. It’s therefore important that we check whether you fall into these categories prior to commencement of a course.

While it’s not lawful to refuse you access, we believe that it’s a perfectly responsible action to strongly advise you of the enhanced risks to your safety.

Clinically extremely vulnerable:

Clinically extremely vulnerable people will have received a letter telling them they are in this group or will have been told by their GP.

Clinically vulnerable people:

Clinically vulnerable people include those aged 70 or over and those with some underlying health conditions. All members of this group are listed in the ‘clinically vulnerable’ section here: Link

Wellness screening

To ensure a Covid Secure training environment, if you believe any of the following to be true, you are not permitted to attend the course:

  • You or anyone in your household has displayed any of the signs or symptoms commonly associated with Covid-19 infection within the past 14 days, these include:
    • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
    • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
    • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal
  • You have been in contact with any person within the past 14 days who has, or is suspected to have, contracted Covid-19.

These also apply to our trainers & assessors.

On the day(s) of your course:

Course sizes

Traditionally we would accept up to 12 candidates per course. As we are now ensuring a minimum space between candidates, this limits the number of candidates that we can accept in our training room.

Our new training venue allows us to accept up to 8 candidates, because of the size of the room – it’s huge!

There will be tape markings on the floor to ensure your separation. You must adhere to the marked seating and walkway areas.

Temperature checks

Infrared thermometer

On arrival at the training venue, we will ask to take your temperature, using our non-contact infra-red thermometer. Temperature checks will take place outside the building.

37oC is a healthy core body temperature. Body surface temperature typically ranges between 33.5oC & 36.9oC on the trunk, with lower temperatures on foreheads, etc.

Should you look to have a temperature, we will discuss it with you away from other candidates before allowing you entry into the building. Certain medications, medical conditions as well as prior physical exertion can lead to elevated temperatures.

Should no reasonable cause be identified, you may have contracted Covid-19 and you should follow the government advice. You will be refused entry to the course venue. It is not a justifiable risk to allow you to enter the building at this point (even to visit the toilet).

Hand washing

At the start of the course, you will be shown a video on how to wash your hands. You will then be asked to wash your hands. Please take a moment to watch the video now;

You will be encouraged to use hand sanitizer/soap & water after each transition to and from the classroom. We will remind you to avoid touching your face throughout the day & again after any transition to or from the classroom.

Cleaning

To maintain a Covid Secure training environment, we will regularly sanitise door handles/push plates, & work surfaces using 70% isopropyl alcohol spray. This kills the virus almost instantly.

2m Separation

  • A minimum of 2m distance between individuals must be observed at all times.
  • We will not be using face to face seating. Your chair & desk will have an exclusion zone around them. This will be marked on the floor.
  • If face to face activities are unavoidable, you should work with fixed partners or teams to avoid close or direct contact with multiple learners.
  • We will be keeping close proximity activity time as short as possible.
  • We will ensure good ventilation by use of open windows & doors as much as possible.
  • When involved in physical contact with others, you should pay particular attention to sanitation measures immediately afterwards, including washing your hands.

Movement around the training venue

  • A minimum of 2m distance between individuals must be observed at all times.
  • Contact with door handles, push plates, etc., will increase the spread of the virus.
  • We will provide individual hand towels for each learner or single-use, disposable gloves to be put on before any movement.
  • We will restrict access between different areas of a building or site as much as possible.

Signage

There will be a number of signs and posters to build awareness of:

  • good handwashing technique,
  • the need to increase handwashing frequency,
  • avoid touching your face and to
  • cough or sneeze into a tissue which is binned safely (or into your arm if a tissue is not available).

Toilet areas

To maintain a Covid Secure training environment, We will regularly sanitise door handles/push plates, & work surfaces using 70% isopropyl alcohol spray. This kills the virus almost instantly. The toilets will be supplied with hand soap, single use paper towels, waste bins and hand sanitiser.

Consumption of food & drink

As Covid-19 enters the body via the mouth, eyes or nose, the period of consuming food or drink increases the risk of infection. Therefore, social distancing should be increased during these periods.

As normal, you are required to bring your own lunch & snacks. Please use outside areas to eat your lunch when possible.

Hot drinks will be available as normal. The process for making drinks will be discussed before the start of the course. Please feel free to bring your own drinks, mugs, etc if you wish.

Gloves

Disposable gloves will be made available for courses that require you to touch things (manual handling, first aid, etc). Gloves should be disposed of carefully in the bins provided.

Instructors, assessors and learners must wear gloves when handling paperwork.

It’s important to remember that wearing a single pair of gloves for multiple tasks, or during interactions with multiple surfaces raises the risk levels of spreading the virus.

Where gloves are worn, they should be changed frequently. If this is not possible, it is better to wash/sanitise your hands between interactions and not use gloves.

Here’s how to remove your gloves safely:

Face masks & face coverings

There are some circumstances when wearing a “face covering” may be marginally beneficial as a precautionary measure. The evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect you, but it may protect others if you are infected but have not developed symptoms.

A “face covering” is not the same as a “face mask”, such as the surgical masks or respirators used by health and care workers. Similarly, “face coverings” are not the same as the RPE (respiratory protective equipment) used to manage risks like dust and fumes in an industrial context.

Wearing a face covering is optional and is not required by law, including in the workplace. But, if you have face coverings or masks, and wish to wear them during your course, we encourage you to bring them with you.

A face covering can be very simple and may be worn in enclosed spaces where social distancing is not possible. It needs to cover your mouth and nose, ideally from the bridge of your nose to underneath your chin, and there should be minimal gaps between the cover and your skin.

If you choose to wear a face covering or mask, it is important to use them properly.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it.
  • When wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands.
  • Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you have touched it.
  • Continue to wash your hands regularly.
  • Change and wash your face covering daily.
  • If the material is washable, wash in accordance with manufacturer’s instructions. If it is not washable, dispose of it carefully with your usual waste.

Track & Trace

We request that all learners monitor their health before and after their course. If you believe that you may have contracted Covid within a period of 14 days from the course conclusion (i.e. the last day of face to face training) then you must inform us of this straight away.

Questions

If you have any questions about any of the points above, or you want to discuss something else about the way your course will be run, please contact us to discuss it.

Links

Click here to read our other posts about Covid-19.

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