HSE Training: Is face to face always the best option?

23 Jul, 2014



In particular, in the international fields of Oil and Gas and Construction where the risk of injury or fatality is higher than in most industries, the issue is extremely pressing.

The task of communicating HSE training effectively, efficiently and using a cost-effective method is a challenge every organisation needs to address.


So, what methods of training exist for HSE?

  • Instructor-led classroom training
  • Online training
  • Blended learning – Online and face to face
  • Hands on training in the workplace

Although a variety of training methods exist, the predominant form of training in HSE for NEBOSH, CCNSG Safety Passport and CSCS to name a few is still an instructor-led, day long course in an often inconvenient location that trainees need to take a whole day off to complete, resulting in loss of earnings and productivity to the organisation.


How much does face to face training cost?

Below is a breakdown of an instructor-led face to face training session held just outside London for the CCNSG Safety Passport.

  • 4 hours travel from the trainee’s home to the training centre
  • £9.40 London Underground travel expenses to Zone 6
  • £180 Course fee
  • £200 Lost earnings

The total cost of the day’s training for one participant was £389.40 and this does not include the loss of productivity for the company. If the company is funding training this is an extremely high cost way to deliver training.


How long does face to face training take?

The course time was listed on the website as 8:30am until 4:30pm – an 8 hour day. However, after speaking to one course participant it appears that a lot of time during the day was not utilised efficiently.


Reason time not utilised                                                                       Time taken

Start of the day when trainees arrive                                                   20 minutes

Break during the morning session                                                       30 minutes

Break for lunch                                                                                     1 hour

Break during the afternoon session                                                     30 minutes


Total time wasted                                                                                2 hours 20 minutes


How was the training delivered?

The training session was delivered by a trainer in a classroom using PowerPoint and the instructor speaking for 90% of the time. At the end of each module the trainer would give a short paper-based test where the pass mark was a minimum of 15/20.

The trainee interviewed stated this was a very unengaging way of learning and many trainees were using their phones or were engaged in conversation with other trainees during the lecture. The interviewee also felt there was no guarantee that any of the participants would be able to retain the information afterwards as it was presented very passively. There was also no scope to take into account trainees’ own experiences in the industry, practical application of safety rules and participants’ own backgrounds, which would affect how they put the theory into practice.


Is there an alternative?

Using an Immersive Learning Environment (ILE) would address many of the issues mentioned above. There would be no travel time as trainees would be able to access directly from their workplace or home. All that is required is a computer and internet connection and trainees can begin immediately. Therefore, the time and money spent on commuting is taken out of the equation. Trainers would also benefit from being able to access from anywhere, as then they can spend more time upgrading skills and improving their training materials instead of traveling to remote training locations. This also reduces operating costs for both businesses, as the training firm can utilise training talent from anywhere and not rely on geographic availability.

Using an immersive learning environment is also more engaging and trainees will retain the information for longer than a traditional PowerPoint led training session. Task Based Learning (TBL) and Situational Learning are proven methodologies, both of which yield excellent results and are particularly well suited to trainees that come from an environment where learning by doing is the norm.

So to make sure that safety is a priority in any business, Immersive Learning Environments (ILEs) are an effective alternative for giving employees ready access to training where they can prepare for HSE certification, top up their skills and be updated about new safety procedures.


Want to learn more about immersive learning? Contact us to speak with one of our team.