Just as there are many factors in making decisions about virtually everything in life from the car you drive, the food you eat, the clothes you wear, the house you live in, the same also holds true in making the correct decision when it comes to your workplace health & safety training provider. While cost is important in all your purchasing decisions, it shouldn’t be held as the swaying point in making those decisions.
We’ve all seen the Dollar store mania running wild where you can go and buy the same item seen in a big box store for literally pennies on the dollar. Just like anything else, while some items are real deals there are some items that simply do not compare to their higher priced siblings in the big box stores. The same holds true with training providers, not all are created equal and you really do get what you pay for.
“The only thing more expensive than hiring a
professional, is hiring an amateur”
Don’t think of workplace safety training as a cost, think of it as an investment in your workforce. By providing the training through a professional provider you’re not only following the laws that govern workplace safety but you’re also showing your workers that you really care about their health and safety. Everyone knows that if an employee feels like the company cares for them they will go above and beyond in regards to productivity and effort which reflects positively on your bottom line.
Also remember that a quality training provider should be constantly investing in their trainers and the programs they deliver. Nothing stays the same and that is especially true in the workplace H&S field.
The Ministry of Labour continues to make certification training mandatory such as; Joint Health & Safety Committee training for companies with 20 or more regular workers or Working at Heights for all construction rated companies, quality providers must constantly reinvest to stay a head of the new legislation's and best practices in order to provide their clients with the most relevant and up to date programs.
Here are a few questions to consider;
How long has the H&S Company been around for?
If the provider has been around for many years than you can bet that they are doing something right. Longevity in any industry says that the company knows how to provide quality services, training and after training support in a timely fashion and for a fair price.
Are they a Ministry of Labour Approved (MOL) provider?
While the MOL does not mandate certification approval for all training, they do for some. If your provider is a MOL approved provider you can be sure that they have gone through the long process that involves satisfying the MOL requirements and standards, which are numerous. You can also be sure that they are not a fly by night individual or company that is simply in it for the money because becoming MOL approved also costs the approved training providers a significant amount time and money, sometime in the thousands.
Putting together training programs that have to be submitted to the MOL for approval can take months to complete because of the stringent regulations and standards that the MOL requires.
Have you asked your colleagues who they use or recommend?
Many industries know one another through networking and other various sources, so go and ask who your colleagues use and also ask why. Word of mouth referrals tend to be the most trusted because most friends or colleagues are usually more than happy to truthfully let you know about a negative experience as well as a positive one.
Do they provide a fair cost for the services rendered?
If you only base your choice on the cost and nothing else than you are taking a gamble with your H&S provider. While cost is important, those companies with mid-range or slightly higher costs can do so because they provide a higher quality service and after training support. They also have invested heavily in their trainers and their training programs to include the most up to date legislation's, standards and requirements to not only keep your company compliant but also to keep your workplace safe.
They also won’t try and sell you on training or services that you simply do not require. Honesty and integrity are key points when choosing your provider.
Do they provide support after the training is completed?
Just because the training is complete doesn’t mean that your H&S providers job is done. Trusted providers also provide after training support, in most cases for free, in order to make sure they are doing everything possible for your workplace safety. Most people that are put in charge of their company’s safety training do have other job functions and can also be completely new to the safety coordinator position.
- Having a training provider that is there when you need them, whether it’s just a question or some advice you’re looking for, in a timely fashion, is absolutely priceless. Your training provider should be thought of as your very own safety coordinator, without the full-time salary and paid benefits. You only pay when services are provided yet you have H&S professionals to lean on when you need them.
- Are they flexible and able to customize training to meet your specific needs?
- Not all companies training needs are the same and if your provider only provides a ‘one size fits all’ approach you may be throwing your money down the toilet on training that is not required or not specific to your wants and needs. Look for a provider that is flexible and able to customize training to meet your specific workplace needs and requirements. Customized training also cover options for having the training take place on weekends or outside the normal business hours.
So the next time you’re looking for a training provider remember to ask yourself some of these questions. And also remember that in order to provide the highest quality training and consulting services, training providers invest significant time and money in order to deliver the best possible material and information to your workers.
Training can’t be looked at as a luxury item but rather it should be looked at as an essential component in every workplace. “We’re too busy and can’t spare our workers or we’re to poor and don’t have the money to train our workers” is a statement heard to many times in the H&S field. The statement is narrow-minded and just plain morally wrong.
Don’t fall into the routine by simply basing your decision on cost alone because if you do it may cost you much more in regards to your money, your time and most importantly your workers safety.