Certification training: why one company isn't waiting for proposed changes

Apr 08, 2015

Certification trainingGolf Town, a national retailer with 56 big box locations across the country, has embarked on an ambitious certification training program in Ontario. Why now, and not after the release of new certification training standards expected later this year? "Certification training is not about ticking a box or being in compliance," says Susan Gilpin, Golf Town's manager of human resources. "A key focus of ours is ensuring our associates are trained and understand the importance of safety within our stores."

"Well-trained committees are better at identifying hazards and making recommendations for improvement," says WSPS key account manager Chad Roberts. "They're also better at being health and safety leaders, and increasing overall employee engagement. This will help integrate health and safety part into Golf Town's business model, lower its exposure to risk, and promote a health and safety culture."

Roberts first met Gilpin to take a strategic look at the company's health and safety program. One of Golf Town's priorities was certification training. Most companies with 20 or more employees are required to have a joint health and safety committee with at least two members - one worker and one management rep - certified in health and safety. People become certified after completing both Part One (basic) and Part Two (hazard-specific) training.

Golf Town is now partnering with WSPS to train 40 managers and associates from its 24 Ontario stores. "Some people already had Certification Part 1 and some needed both," explains Gilpin. She's already seeing positive results. "We know that people who have taken the WSPS training see it as very positive and recognize it as an organizational priority."

WSPS is working with Golf Town to make the training process as simple and efficient as possible. Under the company's partnership with WSPS, stores go to WSPS' website to choose the most convenient location and date, then complete a registration form and send it directly to WSPS. "This process works well for employers with multiple locations because WSPS offers a wide range of training offerings across the province," says Roberts. "In the past 15 years, 100,000 people have taken our certification training alone."

Ontario employers continue to enrol joint health and safety committee members in WSPS training ahead of the new standard's release. These certifications will be recognized after the proposed new standard takes effect and will remain valid under the terms and conditions to be announced later this year.

What's new

Here's a look at what changes are expected under the proposed standard:

  • Part One training will increase to a minimum of 3 days
  • Part Two training will increase to a minimum of 2 days and must be taken within 6 months of Part One
  • 1-day refresher training will be required every 3 years for certified members to maintain their status. Committee members certified before the new standard takes effect will likely be exempt from this requirement.
  • Part Two will need to be completed through an approved Ministry of Labour provider. Part One already must be provided by an approved Ministry of Labour provider. Provider standards are also changing, so be sure to undertake your own purchasing due diligence as you proceed.

How WSPS can help

  • Find out more about certification training and WSPS' comprehensive Part One and Part Two offerings.
  • Send your joint health and safety committee members or worker health and safety representative to Partners in Prevention 2015 Health & Safety Conference & Trade Show, where just one new idea can spark change. At Canada's largest annual health and safety event, they can network with peers, visit 400+ product and service suppliers, and attend 60+ sessions. These and many other sessions are specifically suited to improving committee performance:
    • Lessons Learned from a Lockout Incident
    • Overview of Changes to CSA Z-460
    • Highly Visible Safety
    • Just the Facts Ma'am: Investigating Work Refusals
    • Award Winning JHSCs: "USC" - The Ultimate Safety Champion