Community and sustainability have been at the heart of our business since we baked our very first loaf of bread over one hundred years ago. Established in the 1920's, Hobbs House Bakery is a true family business with bakery supplies delivered and available to buy online and in our bakery shops. We operate from 4 locations in the Bristol area with 160 staff and are really proud to be a certified B Corporation.
As part of our insurance arrangements with Arch Insurance we have access to Arch Business Protection(BCarm), which provides amongst a number of risk management resources, a suite of e-learning courses.
With my priority being training, development, and wellbeing of staff, E-Learning represented an opportunity to deliver consistent training across the team, ensuring compliance and enhancing awareness of health & safety processes and procedures. At the same time, we could move away from paper records.
Like many businesses where staff don’t necessarily use technology on a day-to-day basis, moving to online e-learning felt like it would be a challenge and present a change in the way that training is delivered. We accepted the challenge, decided to launch E-Learning, and are experiencing significant benefits from doing so.
The system roll-out was smooth and the support that we received from the ABP Engagement Team during this phase was excellent. The setup included the creation of training plans to allow different e-learning courses to be allocated to people based on their training requirements, as well as the business structure which would give us better visibility over what is happening at our sites.
Since launching E-Learning we have completed more than 500 courses across a number of topics including Fire Safety, Manual Handling, Slips, Trips & Falls, and Display Screen Equipment. As well as the tutorial and test, each training course contains a self-assessment that the employee completes of their own working environment and in which they can also leave comments. This allows us to identify, consider, and address any concerns and record any action taken in the individual’s training records, providing an audit trail of activity.
The importance of this visibility was highlighted when a new member of the team completed E-Learning following their induction. It appeared that some of the information that was provided during their induction hadn’t been fully absorbed, as their responses to the checklist element of the training identified that there were some gaps in their understanding. Following this we were able to ensure that the team member was given the necessary guidance to achieve the required level of knowledge and awareness.
As is common for our sector we use external accreditation (SALSA) for which we undergo an audit process. The ABP Training reporting suite has made it much easier to evidence activity that has taken place, forming part of the accreditation process. Being a multi-site business, we are able to drill down by department/location using the reporting tools, which provide instant visibility of training records across different areas of Hobbs House Bakery.
Another benefit we have experienced has been the flexibility that the online training has provided. People being able to complete their training in stages, based at their location, without the need to spend hours or days away offsite attending face-to-face training, has worked well for the business and delivered both cost and time savings.
The ABP Engagement Team has continued to provide great support when required and has resolved queries quickly. Having successfully rolled out the online training, one of the next steps is to explore other aspects of ABP, to establish how we may look to expand our usage further. This may include using the Training Centre within the Health & Safety Management area and adding further E-Learning courses to the training suite, beyond the standard suite of courses, that are available to purchase from the broader set of topics.