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The Spitfire & Hurricane Museum at the Managing Safely Training Course

Museum Name

Spitfire & Hurricane Museum, Kent

Museum Contact

Matt Demedts

Title of Project

RoSPA Managing Safely Course (IOSH)


23rd -25th September, 2014

Venue; Barbican Thistle Hotel, London

Instructor; Alan Bartholomew, RoSPA

What was the Project aim(s)?

I attended the RoSPA Managing Safely Course (IOSH), funded by the South East Museums Development Programme, mainly to ensure I could get a fuller understanding of Health & Safety in the workplace.

It is often toted about that the H&S is about “Covering your backside”, whilst there is undoubtedly an element of this, I found that, as with so many things, a clearer understanding of the subject leads to a more balanced view.

My museum is a very small volunteer run organisation and as such, it was important that we had an H&S trained person (not to mention an efficient H&S policy!) to avoid the pitfall and major expense of retaining an H&S consultant.

In addition to my professional reasons to attend this course, I also wanted to achieve the IOSH certification as it is widely recognised and is extremely important to my career development.

What was the impact of the project?

As a result of the course I achieved the following outcomes;

  • A balanced and realistic view of what managing safely entails. Getting away from the pre-conceived and often negative views regarding H&S.
  • Experience in writing risk assessments and putting together an efficient H&S management strategy. Thus doing away with having to pay expensive consultants whilst maintaining a the standards outlined by the HSE (Health & Safety Executive)
  • Good contacts and resources to assist me in updating my organisation’s H&S policy, as it was apparent that our museum was not up to standard.
  • A professional Certification to add to my transferable skill set.

What went well and what didn’t go well?

The 3 day course was very well-run with an excellent balance of theory and group/individual exercises covering everything from the legal aspects of H&S management right through to the practical aspects of putting together risk assessments and understanding how to ensure your organisations meets HSE standards as far as is reasonably practical (thus the opposite of the usual attitude that H&S is designed to hamper organisations).

The course also included several very well thought out videos on the impact work-related accidents can have on an organisations income generation (accidents cost the UK economy on average between 1 to 2 billion pounds a year!).  More importantly, the videos also demonstrated the impact that accidents have on the people who suffer from them and their families and for that alone the course is worth attending.

Furthermore, IOSH is one of the few courses that have an examination and project to successfully complete before the candidate can receive a certification. Whilst potentially very time consuming, I believe assessment is key, as it ensures people take the course matter seriously and put some thought into how best to manage safely rather than just “ticking a box”.

On a separate note, I was fortunate that the course instructor also runs a IOSH course specifically geared to museums (he works with English Heritage) so there were excellent, sector based “real life” examples of H&S issues and solutions. Whilst perhaps not useful to the other people on the course, it was perfect for anyone attending from a heritage background!

Top Tips

Pros Cons
Nationally recognised training Scheme. Very time consuming.
Excellent balance of theory and practice. Assessment to be completed after the course, takes up working hours.
Very good, heritage focussed, examples A lot of follow through still required.
Recognised Certification which is handy both legally and for personal development. In London or Birmingham so accommodation is necessary if you’re not from those areas.
Assessments to reinforce learning outcomes.  
Assessments to reinforce learning outcomes.  
Entirely funded by SEMDP, so cost-effective for a small museum.  

Overall Cost of Project

£620 course fee