Keynote speech for Highfield Chairman at international conference

food safety conference in BahrainHighfield Group Chairman Richard Sprenger will be the keynote speaker at this year’s Food Safety Conference in Bahrain.

The event, held from 15 to 17 April 2014 and now in its second year, saw delegates from the food and hospitality sectors around the globe descend on the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre for a series of presentations, forums, demonstrations and discussions in food safety.

Delegates also got the chance to attend a number of HABC workshops on its qualifications including the Level 3 Award in Effective Auditing and Inspection Skills, the Level 2 Award in HACCP for Catering, the Level 2 Award in Food Safety for Catering and the Level 2 Award in Emergency First Aid at Work.

It was the second major speech for the Highfield Chairman this year, who in January 2014 had spoken at a seminar in Doha, Qatar about the importance of a ‘person in charge (PIC)’ in implementing good food safety measures – something that has already happened in Dubai with help of HABC.

‘PICs must ensure that food handlers are trained about hygiene before they start work,’ said Richard.  ‘They must also ensure that their food suppliers are registered and approved by appropriate authorities in order to trace the origin of any food contamination’.

For more information on HABC’s work in the Middle East, go to www.highfieldabc.ae/

Concerns over SCPLH refreshers

HABC is urging SCPLH holders to undertake their refresher training as soon as possible after fresh concerns were raised about the number completing.

It is a requirement in Scotland that anyone who received a personal licence on or before 1 September 2009 must have completed refresher training by 1 September 2014.  However, there are concerns that only a small percentage of those affected have completed this, with some reports suggesting as few as 1200 of the 25,000 licence holders in Scotland having undertaken the training as of March 2014.

The failure to complete refresher training by the deadline could be potentially catastrophic for individuals and businesses, with the Scottish Government insisting that those who do not complete in time will have their licences revoked.

HABC is supporting a campaign by the Hospitality, Leisure, Travel and Tourism Consultancy (HLTTC) to raise awareness of the issue and a number of initiatives to encourage licensees to complete their training in time.

Highfield has also recently published the Licensing Course Book, which is suitable for both licence holders and educators undergoing refresher training, and can be used as a reference manual once training has been completed.

For more information, click here.

Future qualifications

HABC LogoHABC has a number of qualifications currently in development and due for launch at various points throughout 2014.

Planned for launch by June 2014 are qualifications in the following areas:

Contact Centre

Custodial Care

Environmental

Food Safety

Fork Lift Truck

Health and Social Care

Horticulture

Manufacturing

Security

Taxi Driving


And currently being developed for launch by December 2014 are:

Food Safety

Health and Safety

Pool

Public Services

Security

For more information on all of the above, click here.

Level 5 Food Safety development

HABC LogoHABC is developing a level 5 qualification in food safety.  And we’re looking for your input before we roll out trials in September. 

Aimed at learners interested in taking their knowledge of food safety issues to the next level, the qualification – which will be assessed by a written assignment or set of tasks – will be trialled in September 2014.

Areas likely to be covered will include:

·         Relating basic properties of microorganisms to food safety management;

·         Developing and maintaining a food safety culture;

·         Management of allergens;

·         Managing chemical and physical contamination hazards;

·         The role of audits and inspections in food premises; and

·         HACCP.

HABC is seeking feedback from industry and education professionals on whether they think that a level 5 food safety qualification is something they would sit themselves or would deliver to others.

The qualification will be suitable for:

·         Level 4 food safety qualifications;

·         Managers of food premises; 

·         Technical or quality managers with food manufacturing businesses;

·         Hygiene or regional food safety managers for restaurant groups;

·         Internal inspectors or auditors;

·         Learners wanting to progress into a Higher Education course, ie, Environmental Health; and

·         Trainee Environmental Health Officers working towards a degree.

To have your say, go to our Food Safety page on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/groups/Highfield-Food-Safety-Trainers-Forum-4589568?trk=my_groups-b-grp-v and let us know your views.

Improved assessment for cleaning qualifications

Following feedback from HABC Approved Centres, we’ve improved the assessment method for the mandatory units of the Highfield Level 2 Certificate in Cleaning Principles.  Learners now have the choice of either completing these three units via multiple-choice-question papers or by producing a portfolio of evidence.  Learners must also complete one optional unit, with assessment of this through a portfolio of evidence.


New qualifications for forklifts

HABC has expanded its range of logistics qualifications with the addition of two new qualifications specifically created to meet the diverse needs of those who use forklift trucks.  The qualifications will provide learners with the knowledge, skills and understanding to safely and effectively use their chosen forklift truck type, and will be relevant to the agriculture, horticulture, horticulture and warehousing sectors.

The two new qualifications are the HABC Level 2 Award in Land-Based Forklift Truck Operations (Counterbalance Type) QCF, and the HABC Level 2 Award in Land-Based Forklift Truck Operations (Reach Truck, Side Loader and Order Picker Types) QCF.

If you are a HABC Centre and would like to discuss these or any other qualifications further, please contact your account manager directly.  If you are not already a HABC Centre, call us on 0845 226 0350 or email info@highfielabc.com

HABC enters land-based skills sector with new qualifications

Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) has launched new qualifications in land-based skills sector, marking the organisation’s entry into the sector.

The three new Level 1 qualifications cover agriculture, horticulture, environmental conservation and general land-based skills, and are aimed at school-leavers and new entrants looking to begin a career in farming, horticulture, landscaping or groundskeeping.

HABC’s entry into the sector marks the beginning of a new commitment to the land-based industries. 

A Level 2 Diploma in work-based horticulture and two qualifications in land-based forklift truck operations are in development and due for launch by end of April 2014.  Training materials such as HABC’s Apprenti-kits – which support learners on government funded apprenticeship programmes and have been well-received in other sectors – will also be available from spring.

Ian Benison, Chief Executive of Derbyshire based SLIC Training, which will be delivering the HABC qualifications, said, ‘We’re incredibly excited that HABC is offering qualifications in the land-based industries, and even more excited to be the first Centre delivering them.  We have worked with HABC many times before and know how well-regarded they are in other sectors for consistently meeting the needs of employers, learners and training providers. 

The land-based industries as a whole need 60,000 new entrants by 2020 in order to be sustainable.  By offering qualifications at Level 1 we can give new recruits an insight into the sector whilst providing them with the appropriate skills and foundation from which they can make the next step in their own careers.’

Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘Launching three new qualifications, with three more planned for April, is quite a commitment and demonstrates how seriously we are taking our entry into the land-based skills sector.  When we looked at the sector we felt that it was under-represented in terms of the breadth of qualifications available, and the services being offered to training providers and employers.  We are proud of the reputation we have established in other sectors for customer care and quality, and are keen to be able to offer the same standard of service to land-based employers and training providers so that they can support learners and improve their operations.’

For more information, call our sales team on 0845 226 0350, email sales@highfield.co.uk or go to www.highfieldqualifications.com.

In the spotlight…HABC National Conference 2014

The countdown has begun to one of the biggest education and training events of the year – the HABC National Conference 2014.

And with seven seminars, scores of top industry speakers and an expected 600 delegates, it’s promising to be one of the must-attend events of the year.

Held at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on Thursday 13 November 2014, the HABC National Conference – with headline sponsor Marks & Spencer – will provide you with the latest guidance and information on the most important training issues facing your organisation today.

We’ll be bringing you a unique insight into education and training matters in a number of areas you won’t get anywhere else, including:

             Apprenticeships (sponsored by Superdrug and Apprenticeships4England);

             Fire safety and health and safety (sponsored by Shell and Staples);

             First aid (sponsored by Serco);

             Food safety (sponsored by DCLT);

             Licensing (sponsored AQLT);

             Pool lifeguarding (sponsored by Carlisle Community Ltd, Jesmond Community Leisure, North Country Leisure and Pendle Leisure Trust); and 

             Security (sponsored by MITIE).

As well as key guidance in specific sectors, a number of our seminars will also cover changes in the training landscape – from funding and legislation to apprenticeships and employer involvement – explaining  the why and when of the changes, and where you and your organisation not only fit into it all but can benefit.

And as we know the cost of a day out of your business is more than just the price of a ticket, attendance at the conference will entitle you to 6 CPD points, as well as provide you with the chance to network with fellow industry professionals and take advantage of exclusive discounts on Highfield materials only available to HABC National Conference delegates.

You’ll also be able to speak to our team throughout the day to find out why HABC has become the go-to awarding organisation for industry-leading qualifications and setting the standards for customer service.

The cost of attending one of the seminars is £135.00 +VAT for HABC-approved Centres and £195.00 +VAT for non-Centres.

 

Five important things you need to know about HABC’s new qualifications for contact centres

So this week HABC launched four new qualifications for contact centres.  And with the UK contact centre industry currently employing over 650,000 people and worth billions to the national economy, having a well trained workforce is essential.

For many consumers, an organisation’s contact centre is their only interaction with a company, and a positive experience is an essential part of the process.

So what are the five things you need to know?

Five things…

1. They do what they say on the tin
Each of the levels consists of a knowledge and competence qualification. Which means learners will get the practical skills and information businesses are looking for. Which makes them more employable. Which makes them more likely to come to you for training in the first place.  And they’re based on the standards developed by SkillsCFA…which means employers have had a say in their creation.

2. They fit into apprenticeships…
The Level 2 qualifications can be used as component parts of the Intermediate Level Apprenticeship in Contact Centre Operations, whilst the Level 3 can be used for the Advanced Level Apprenticeship.  With the recent budget announcement of extra places to be made available, apprenticeships are clearly a key part of the government’s strategy to get young people into work, and a number of funding initiatives are available – so don’t miss out.

3. …and are supported by Apprenti-kits
If you are offering the qualifications as part of an apprenticeship, there’s also a new Contact Centre Apprenti-kit available to support learners.

4. But you can take them on their own too
If apprenticeships aren’t your thing, all the qualifications can be used on a stand-alone basis.  Which gives you flexibility on delivery.

5. Signing up is simple
And if you want to offer these qualifications, we’ve made it really simple for you.  If you’re already a HABC Approved Centre, contact your account manager. If not, drop us a line on sales@highfieldabc.com or give us a quick call on 0856 226 0350.  We answer all calls within three rings and respond to all emails within a day.  We’ll help you with every step of the process, and can even help you switch your direct claim status.

HABC’s Mary takes centre stage

Mary playing the trombone on stage with Lesley Garrett and the Bel Canto Choir.

HABC’s Mary Golder got the opportunity of a lifetime recently as she appeared on stage with international soprano singer Lesley Garrett.

The quality assurance auditor accompanied the acclaimed singing star as part of the celebrations to mark 50 years of the Dore Male Voice Choir at Sheffield City Hall on 8 March 2014 in front of a packed house.

Mary accompanied Lesley Garrett – also known as the ‘Doncaster Diva’ due to her South Yorkshire roots – on trombone, which she plays as part of the Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) Brass Band. 

 ‘Appearing on stage with one of the world’s most famous soprano singers was amazing,’ said Mary, ‘and a bit different to my day to day role of providing support and guidance on quality assurance and best practice to our Centres.  Lesley Garrett was really nice and friendly, and an incredibly down to earth person.  It was a fantastic experience and a great way to help celebrate the Dore Mail Voice Choir’s 50th birthday’. 

Mary will also be playing with Leeds-based indie band Chumbawamba later this year as part of a touring show, Coal, as well as getting the opportunity to perform alongside Jarvis Cocker – someone the Unite the Union (City of Sheffield) Brass Band first encountered in 2013.

Mary said, ‘The band recorded a live score for Jarvis Cocker’s BBC4 documentary The Big Melt – which tells the story of Sheffield, the steel industry and the people who worked in it – on the opening night of Sheffield Doc/Fest in June 2013 at the Crucible Theatre, but there weren’t any trombones required that evening so we go the night off.  This time however I am hoping to get my chance to perform alongside Jarvis!’

The Sheffield City Hall performance with Lesley Garrett will be broadcast on Songs of Praise on BBC1 this May.