Having decided that you or your staff need to take an IOSH Course, the first step will have been deciding which of the many courses on offer is right. Once the course has been selected then the next step is working out exactly how you/your workforce would like to achieve the IOSH Certificate.
There are a two main ways to take your IOSH Course: online and class-based. This blog is going to look at both methods in more detail.
Often referred to as ‘e-learning’, online learning is the option that provides the most flexibility in how you learn. Online courses can be taken whenever and wherever is preferred, providing full control of your own learning experience. However, because of this it does require a certain level of self-motivation and organisation, as you will be responsible for making sure you complete the required work.
What You’ll Need for Online Learning
In order to study in this way you will need to have a reliable internet connection and a suitable electronic device. Many online courses are now able to be taken on devices including tablets and mobile phones, although most learners find that the experience is most rewarding when using a laptop or desktop computer.
As there are a variety of IOSH courses that can be taken online they will all be presented slightly differently. However, as a rule, the courses will all contain a variety of media including text, images, videos and ideally plenty of interactive activities to make the learning interesting and help you understand the information. A good online course will include assessments and progress reports on where you are within the course to reassure you that you are on track.
Online training for companies
If you are looking to train, a number of employees, for example on the IOSH Managing Safely course, then online learning provides a number of additional benefits. Your staff learning can fit in when they study the online IOSH course when it suits their work/home commitments. This huge flexibility means resourcing and service levels can remain unaffected. You can also monitor staff’s progress using the online learning portal to ensure that everyone is on track with their learning plan.
If you are responsible for organising IOSH training for staff members but have reservations about online, consider a blended approach. It mixes the convenience and flexibility of online combined with a tutor led training session either in a classroom or in webinars. This blended approach suits everyone regardless of location and work patterns. Find out more about this blended or OnlinePlus+ approach to training.
Key Factors for Choosing IOSH Online Learning
There are a number of important things to look at when choosing an online learning IOSH Course. Some of these include:
- Level of support that is provided alongside basic course materials
- Length of time that you have to complete the course
- Functionality available on the online course; for example are there additional learning resources within the course and the type of multimedia used
Classroom courses are the most traditional style of learning, with a group of students being guided through the IOSH course material by a tutor. Classroom courses will be held at a set time and place, with a specified number of students. The tutor leading them should be a well-qualified health and safety trainer ideally with experience as a professional, making them able to pass on a wealth of information and real life examples.
When choosing to attend an IOSH classroom course it is important to commit to attending every day of the course, as vital information will be given each day. Classroom learning means you have to take some time off work so whether this will be practical is an important point to consider.
Features of a classroom course
Many people find learning in a classroom environment very rewarding because of the opportunity for interaction. Ideas are able to be shared amongst students more easily, allowing for detailed discussion and debates. This learning environment also provides the opportunity to hear viewpoints that you may otherwise have not considered.
Another popular reason for choosing the classroom learning method is the structured timeframe dedicated to completing the course; so for example you attend the IOSH Managing Safely course over 3 days and take the short test on the last day and the course is complete with only the workplace health and safety assignment to complete within 2 weeks.
Classroom Training for Companies
If your company needs to get the workforce certified in an IOSH course using the classroom method, you can get a tutor to your preferred site to train your employees. You can agree convenient date/ time schedules and the tutor with the course provider. A benefit of this training method in your company is that you can ask for tailoring for example using typical scenarios relevant to your workplace, images and use your documentation such as policies and risk assessments.
However, it is worth considering a combination of tutor-led training to complement the online learning method and tutor led learning called OnlinePlus+ that is worth exploring.
Key Factors for Choosing IOSH Class-based Learning
There are a few important facts to consider when selecting the right classroom based IOSH Course for you. These are:
- IOSH tutor(s)’ professional experience and qualifications
- Number of learners typically on the IOSH course. The ideal is to have enough for effective interaction but not too many to limit everyone’s chance to contribute
- Format of a typical training day
Making Your Decision
A good way of helping to make your choice of learning method is to ask to see an example of the IOSH course you or your staff are considering taking. This should give a good idea of whether the learning method you are considering will be a good fit. This could be in the form of an online demo, a sample of the course materials or a brief profile of the tutor that will be leading a classroom course. Looking at material such as this will help to give a feel for the course show, insight into the learning method and most importantly whether your/your staff can achieve your objectives of successfully completing the course and using it back in the workplace.
Most people will already have a general idea of which learning style will be the best fit for them or their company before selecting a course. Despite this, it is always useful to assess the full pros and cons of each method to ensure that the one you choose will give the best chance of success and provide the best long-term retention and application of this new knowledge.
Why not find out more about the most popular IOSH course, IOSH Managing Safely.