As a successful chemical manufacturing business spanning 35 years, we employ a number of practices to ensure that our employees are well trained in order to correctly carry out their daily jobs.
Reagent uses a systematic programme to train employees which is integrated into the general management systems of the company. Training is a requirement of our ISO status under 9001: Quality System and 14001: Environmental System and is used to demonstrate competence of operators in their respective roles.
Initial Training Provided to new Employees
As soon as a new employee starts at ReAgent, we immediately provide them with a level of training and awareness required to safely carry out their job within our workplace. The general training programme commences upon induction with an overview of the company’s health and safety policy and practices which covers aspects such as:
- Emergency evacuation
- Workplace hazards
- Fire safety
- Health and Safety at Work Act 1974
- Introduction to designated first aiders
- General welfare facilities
- A Complete Site Tour
Following this, usually a week later an insight is given into the requirements of our ISO certification covering the quality and environmental systems. Typical subjects would include company policies, handling of complaints and non-conformances, waste management and operation of the company database. When the initial induction is complete, operators will receive training that is specific to their role.
Tracking & Maintaining For Further Progress
Provision of training is only the first stage of the process, equally important is the recording and review of such training to ensure that employees remain competent to perform their duties. Reagent has developed a Training Matrix for recording training and it is this that forms the basis of the training programme.
It consists of a spreadsheet divided into various tabs, one for each department of the organisation. Titles for example would be ‘Induction’, ‘Production’, ‘Warehousing’, ‘Sales’ etc. Each of which are further divided into departmental topics then further into subject headings. As the trainee progresses through subjects relevant to them, the approved trainer will complete the matrix by ticking off subject headings. Both parties will then sign the record when the trainee feels competent with the training received. A section is available for any comments that the trainee feels are relevant to the training. For recording more detailed training, generic sheets are available for this purpose which allow the trainer to include more detail than is stated on the general matrix. These again will be signed and dated by both trainer and trainee.
Training is specific to employees job roles. For example, a member of staff in our sales department would be offered advanced training on telephone and communication skills. This would further benefit them within their position as they are able to advance relationships with customers.
Our Recent Changes to the Training Matrix
We recently made some changes to our training matrix in order to allow for a scoring system for our employees. The training matrix now allows for a scoring system to better track and keeps record of individual employee progress within their respected roles.
The matrix itself has been developed over a period of time and indeed will continue to evolve as management and business practices change. The general approach is to have an approved trainer or trainers for each department who can amend the matrix as necessary to suit requirements. In certain cases a section will be specific to a single customer requirement, this is usually connected with production measures and quality control processes for their product(s).
Storing and Referencing The Training Matrix
Employee training is retained in their own personal files which are reviewed at least annually. This review will be performed by an approved trainer to ensure that all training is up to date or highlight where further training may be necessary, which can be to satisfy company or legal requirements. Training can be providing by other company employees or through external training providers.
Examples of external training would be
- Fork Lift Truck Training
- First Aid
- Legislative subjects.
As mentioned previously, the training programme is a key requirement of the ISO certification and training must be demonstrated in order to satisfy this. During an external audit towards these standards the auditing body will always need to see records of operator training which can be taken at random for anyone in the company who has been involved in the audit process. Therefore it is important to keep records complete not only to demonstrate employee competence for our own purposes but equally to provide evidence to auditing bodies and also other customers.
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