As an employer, your duty of care towards your workforce is continually developing which can make managing your staff and meeting their needs increasingly difficult. Manually tracking and managing the training of your employees is not just inefficient but can also lead to errors and ultimately danger and harm. However, there is new technology that means spreadsheets and drawn-out admin tasks are a thing of the past. HSE People finds out more about My Training Passport who are leading the way!
HSE People: Firstly Mark, thank you for taking the time to sit down with us so we can find out more about you and My Training Passport.
Can you please tell us a bit more about your background to get us started?
Mark: I have a long history within industrial safety and training spanning over 25 years. Those early years working for major manufacturers of safety equipment gave me insight and experience in so many industrial sectors that shaped and formed my ideology for first principle thinking, customer service, understanding needs and how the use of technology to improve safety and the wellbeing of workers is paramount. In 2004, I decided to step away from working for manufacturers and with 2 other directors started a specialist safety and training company, Total Protection (UK) Limited. We focused on bringing new technologies to organisations across the UK, by understanding the needs of companies and their employees.
HSE People: Excellent, thank you. What was then the inspiration for My Training Passport?
Mark: It was back in 2014, whilst trying to land a major UK company as a training client, that again I was hearing the same concerns & complaints from companies about how to manage training requirements, which always is time consuming and inaccurate. Having staff presenting this information to clients was incredibly difficult and often out of date when needed or difficult to find. Typically, everyone was using spreadsheets, running around trying to find evidence of training or duplicate certificates and the time and cost to do so was staggering. With connectivity improving and new technologies emerging, I pitched to them the concept of an automated system that would continually check and remind people about training and also give users immediate access to training competencies via a single card, regardless of provider or awarding organisation.
HSE People: Amazing! So you think we need to move away from the manual management of compliance and employee training?
Mark: Yes! Short answer is, first off it is too time consuming and full of inaccuracies being done manually, particularly as organisations grow, so does their training needs and manually checking all the time becomes a chore. We have onboarded numerous clients, that were highly confident that all their data was accurate and up to date – we have yet to see this to be the case, we always find something that is out of date. Then with the addition of our roles function organisations now have the ability to identify skill or compliance gaps. Any competitive systems simply remind/alert on the training that it can see on the system, MTP also looks and alerts on the training it cannot see within particular job roles. This has also highlighted areas for clients that needed addressing, that could have been costly if not addressed.
Secondly, the ease of which organisations can quickly and easily share training/compliance information is much easier – employees/contractors can be challenged upon demand and the information is available immediately for checking. Clients can also check contractors/ and sub-contractors in advance and when they arrive on site and throughout the contract/project – there is greater visibility – too often project teams for example are all up to date at the start, but as time progresses, qualifications/training elapse and because of busy scheduled these are often over looked/missed as it’s a manual process, with a smart system like MTP, checks are being made all the time to ensure compliance. Thirdly, I would say the risk of having out of date training/compliance is not worth it. An excellent safety and training record will not win an organisation any business, but a poor or out of date safety/training record will certainly cost or even lose you business, so having the reassurance that it is continually monitored and there is visibility across your organisation has to be a no brainer.
HSE People: What is different about My Training Passport compared to other providers?
Mark: Firstly we only focus on managing training/asset records, rather than try and be a software solution that covers a multitude of things. We are also incredibly agile making changes and improvements to ensure we are the best at what we do. . We listen to our clients needs and often these are echoed amongst others so we look to implement features that will reduce or remove these pains to make life easier and people safer. Examples could be our SmartSession+, ordinarily a company would perhaps be looking to deliver some in-house training or Toolbox Talk to a group of employees/contractors. Normally this would involve attendees, manually signing in on a registration sheet and then receiving the training. Afterwards the names are deciphered, and each one added individually to the management system. With our SmartSessions, attendees simply scan their smart card on arrival to register attendance, the training is delivered and with a few clicks afterwards, all training is uploaded, certificates produced and loaded onto the portal for immediate viewing via their smartcards. We have introduced additional ways for staff to present their training and skills.
Also not being focussed on a single specific industry or sector has helped, plus how these organisations also vary in size, from under 9 employees where our service is free, to organisations with in excess of 2000 employees, all looking for the same thing – assurance that their staff have the right training they need and that it is in date so they remain compliant.
HSE People: You can tell how passionate you are about helping people. On that note, which sort of businesses would benefit from MTP?
Mark: A nice thing about MTP is we are not pigeonholed into one particular sector or industry. The system can be tailored to meet a clients needs, but any business that employs staff that require regular training to carry out their task safely and ensure the business is compliant, so we do a lot of work with construction, Civil Engineering companies. Facilities Management is also a great example of the flexibility of MTP, as the staff that are employed all require different skills and training to be maintained for their clients and managing this solely on a spreadsheet is far too time consuming and susceptible to mistakes. Demonstrating compliance to their clients is also incredibly easy for them and is so well received, that they then insist other contractors take up our system because of the improvements and cost reductions that can be seen. We are working with companies providing healthcare and those that work offshore – all very different, but at the same time they also need to ensure that staff are trained, staff can progress and that visibility amongst stake holders is clear.
HSE People: Such a simple idea but so effective for so many different types of companies and industries! What do you see as the future of compliance training?
Mark: I think compliance training now, typically means the ‘bare minimum’ needed, we want to see compliance training being pushed beyond the bare minimum. So for us, we are now looking at how we can use machine learning, AI to help organisations improve their current levels of training. It will anonymously take key information such as industry, job role, employee needs and compare similar organisations to make suggestions for future training requirements by bench marking them against each other. Employees and prospective employees can easily see how they can develop their own skills and training, which helps improve employee retention and ensures businesses stand out. We are looking at how a businesses can organise and book training to ensure they get the best possible prices on training, by grouping and forecasting accurately future needs and tying this in with workloads and projects. A lot of our clients are typically working on their own clients sites, so a new attendance feature is also going to be available.
HSE People: Amazing, thank you so much Mark. We’re really excited to see what’s next for My Training Passport!
If you would like to find out a little more about MTP and how it can help your business you can schedule a no obligation online meeting with Mark directly using this link https://calendly.com/mytrainingpassport/45min