Those smaller training companies especially who have tried to secure work delivering Asbestos Awareness training have, in many cases been refused work due to larger companies making, what would appear to be, false claims regarding their accreditation status.
Following investigations by the Office of Fair Trading and replies to questions to the HSE, the accreditation myth has now been revealed. The following is an extract from the HSE in reply to questions asked regarding recognition, dispels any uncertainty as to the validation of any appropriate company offering its own accredited courses.
“HSE has also been made aware of a number of cases where clients or site managers appear to be under the impression that workers must be in possession of training certificates issued by specific training providers or training associations before they can be allowed access to work sites, particularly in relation to asbestos awareness. Again, this is not a legal requirement under the Control of Asbestos Regulations and training associations have been advised accordingly.”
A further comment received from the HSE reads as follows:
“HSE does not approve, endorse or accredit any particular training associations or individual training providers and associations/providers should not be suggesting otherwise in their advertising and other material. HSE has recently written to all the major asbestos training associations to remind them of this. Neither does HSE approve, endorse or accredit the content of training that is provided. In fact, legally, there is no such thing as ‘accredited’ asbestos training. While a training association may want to accredit its members to provide training courses it has developed as a condition of membership of that association, that is an internal arrangement which in no way should be seen as formal approval or accreditation of the course content by HSE.”
There now seems to be a clear mandate to all who deliver the courses that they are now able to compete on a level playing field in line with competition law and not lose business by way of misinformation from others.
It is reasonable to say that should any SME’s or others fall foul of these practices in contravention of Competition Law, the OFT and HSE would probably be interested to know about it.
It is the responsibility in due diligence of any company seeking training that they select the course appropriate to their needs. It can now be said that those promoting their courses to Industry should be engaged on individual merit and quality of services irrespective of their size or implied status.