Bio-safety training for DHSC
To help manage the spread of COVID-19 and support economic
recovery there is a need for widespread and frequent testing, with
samples being analysed in public health laboratories. The massive
increase in testing from pre-pandemic levels has required both
higher throughput from existing labs and the opening of new
facilities. This has involved the recruitment of many new staff,
bringing with it challenges around training, including in safe
In November 2020, the Department of Health and Social Care
(DHSC) identified the need for a programme of bio-safety training
aimed at recently recruited staff. DHSC required around 4,000
new recruits working in pathogen testing laboratories to achieve a
consistent level of knowledge, allowing them to work safely with
hazardous biological materials.
DHSC wanted to work with HSE to develop this training because of
our reputation and expertise as well as our connections within the
scientific and government communities.
To address different levels of pre-existing knowledge and also
the volume of trainees, HSE recommended a distance learning
solution with an online programme of about 2.5 hours. We
were able to quickly bring in subject matter experts to develop the
content and partnered with Virtual College. who built the delivery
The training focussed on safe working practices and the
legislative requirements for working in a pathogen testing
laboratory, giving trainees the confidence to work in a way that
would not compromise the health and safety of themselves or others.
It also developed their ability to identify when they need to call
upon others to provide health and safety advice and support.
Learning was split into modules and trainees completed an online
assessment on completion.
DHSC was clear that they wanted the programme to be developed
according to feedback and so we delivered to lab technicians at
first then used their feedback to refine the training and make it
as impactful as possible.
HSE training is unlike that of any other provider - our
content is built around up-to-date real-world expertise, robust
science and current regulations. Training is delivered by experts
in their fields and is fully aligned with the requirements of the
HSE's expertise was spot on. The project team were
knowledgable and proactive in terms of helping to develop excellent
content and the HSE relationship manager knew who to bring in at
the right time. We were very well supported.
Felix Bramley, NHS Test and Trace, DHSC
The challenge we faced - developing six online modules
within a matter of weeks - could not have been achieved without the
collaboration of all the team players across the three
organisations, whether that was HSE's subject matter experts
working closely with our instructional designers to create this
robust and interactive training, or the project managers working
together to ensure the tight deadlines were met and everything ran
smoothly. It was no small feat, and the positive feedback we have
received from learners is fantastic proof that the collaboration
and hard work has more than paid off.
Simon Falconer, Virtual College
To find out how we could help you with your bespoke training
needs, please email email@example.com
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