See How De Montfort University Have Used e-learning To Make Health and Safety Training More Effective in 4 Key Ways

By IANPEMBERTON | Published: 25/07/2012

The head of health and safety at De Montfort University in Leicester, Michael Haynes-Coote, who has been using e-Learning to train staff on health and safety for 4 years, explains in a new video report the 4 key ways in which the online training has delivered health and safety more effectively.

The university has benefitted from the online training system by simultaneously saving time, raising the standards of health and safety and delivering the training to a wider range of staff.

Before you purchased the e-Learning system how did you deliver health and safety training?

We’d gone down the traditional route of delivering face to face training courses, requiring staff to book time out of work to go on to a course. We also tried to develop some of our own in house online courses; trying to generate content on our intranet. But we found it was an intensive job to create the courses and there wasn’t the same amount of administrative control with regards to gathering that feedback from the user. Where as the e-Learning vehicle is a lot more robust in administrating and checking that staff were getting the right level of competency.

So what have been the benefits of using e-Learning as one of the ways you now provide Health and Safety training?

In many ways the benefits have been to get the message across to a wider audience. The fact that staff can log on and do this at their work station, they can access health and safety training in bite sized, interactive modules, actually means we can get a greater base level of health and safety awareness. Where as previously it would have been “come and do a formal course”. So we can get a greater awareness of health and safety core issues. This builds the foundations so that we can deliver more training, if there’s a need or staff can at least access health and safety training and validate or verify some of the core topics and then have that skill set available to them.

What specifically do you like about the Human Focus e-Learning system?

I think there are many benefits; it’s well structured and the administrative go with it so I think it took alot of pain out of thinking about e-Learning and how we were going to deliver it to the university. Then there is the immediacy of it, it’s visual, it’s audio, it’s interactive.

So it covers a number of learning styles and it’s a quick fix. It’s an intense 30 minute input which make it easy for people to engage with. I think previously we’ve run quite formal courses at half a day, full days, couple of days…and I think e-Learning has allowed us to get this message across in a lot easier much broader way.

How have you used the extensive library courses?

Us understanding the breadth of courses that Human Focus had and then looking at them and seeing “that’s relevant, that’s applicable” We’ve gone from [using] 4 or 5 [courses] to nearly a dozen now.

How have you used the risk assessment function?

We’ve enhanced it so that we are now using it for computer use. The display screen assessment use has now gone online and that’s been very well received, again moving away from a more laborious paper system now to an electronic online complete-your-on screen-assessment . That’s been very well received by sections across the university. It seems to flow better. It offers staff something more real time, more up to date. The whole look and feel of the training is more up to date.

How has the training records management function helped you?

I think we found that because of the administrative system that we could track in terms of the competencies, the pass marks that staff are getting. We can offer feed back then to safety managers saying this is what’s happening in your area. We sometimes use the e-Learning as a pre-element. So if staff are going on a fire safety course, we ask them to do the e-Learning as a pre-read. So that we know everybody in the room should be coming from the same level of awareness. So as well as using e-Learning in its own right we are now using it as a pre-reading element whether its for a contractor management or asbestos [training] and that then allows us to go on to the next stage of doing case studies or having discussions about the topic knowing that people have already completed the e-Learning element.

Would you recommend the Human Focus system to others?

Very much so. We are very grateful of having the e-Learning offer in our training facility. We’re constantly checking to see which additional courses we can add or how we can use the e-Learning better; as I say linking it to pre-reading or as part of employee induction. So, we see e-Learning as very much a key part of our learning needs analysis. We will continue to try to develop it and use it as a training tool for the fact that it makes health and safety more bite size, easier for people to engage with [and] within their own time or work place.

For more information on the Human Focus e-Learning system and to get free no-obligation trial access, then please email