Press Release: Free conference for lifeguarding qualifications

Lifeguarding QualificationsOne of the UK’s top qualification bodies will be hosting a free pool lifeguarding qualifications seminar for sports and leisure professionals later this year as part of its national conference.

The Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) National Conference takes place at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on 13 November 2014, and will feature a day-long seminar focusing on the HABC Level 2 Award in Pool Lifeguarding (QCF).

Since its launch in 2011, a number of organisations have switched to the qualification, including Lifespan UK, which provides training for Virgin Active, as well as Holgates, Sport Central Northumbria University and Aquafyn Training Ltd.

The qualification has also proven popular with leisure trusts across the country, including Carlisle Leisure Trust Ltd, Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust, Jesmond Community Leisure, North Country Leisure and Pendle Leisure Trust.

Christian Sprenger, HABC Managing Director, said, ‘The free seminar will be an ideal opportunity for sports and leisure professionals to find out more about the qualification and us as an organisation, especially in terms of the support and materials we can offer, and the expert team we have. We’ll also be able to help any organisations not already offering the qualification but wanting to do so’.

Attending the seminar will allow pool lifeguard trainers and assessors to deliver the HABC Level 2 Award in Pool Lifeguarding (QCF), providing they meet all the nominated tutor and assessor requirements. Delegates will also receive complimentary copies of The Pool Lifeguard Handbook, A Question of Pool Lifeguarding and the First Aid Handbook.

The pool lifeguarding qualifications seminar – sponsored by sponsored Carlisle Leisure Ltd, Jesmond Community Leisure, North Country Leisure and Pendle Leisure Trust – is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering the apprenticeships, fire safety and health and safety, first aid, food safety, licensing and security sectors.

Three Peaks Challenge with RedCat Partnership

We know that many of our clients like to do their bit for good causes.  This May, Richard Mills of the RedCat Partnership Ltd Health and Safety Consultants, took on the Three Peaks Challenge to raise money for Break – a charity that aims to change the lives of disadvantaged young people across East Anglia.

We asked Richard to explain in his own words how the Challenge went.

Richard Mills on Ben Nevis

‘A casual conversation with a client, Ben Burt from Open Youth Trust, included the phrase “We need a challenge this year.  What shall we do?”  Whilst Ben was holidaying in Australia, I signed us up for the Three Peaks Challenge!  This involves climbing the three highest peaks in Britain (Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon) in a set time, usually 24 hours, including driving.  Well, our local charity, Break, were organising this with minibuses, accommodation and leaders, and a varied group of about 25 participants was soon brought together for the Challenge.  Many of us were novices, so 24 hours was going to be hard core.  We settled on 36 hours, which was still a stretch.

Team Roo on the summit of Ben Nevis

So, cut straight to much purchasing of gear and training.  Norfolk is flat so we improvised with whatever hills we could find.  Nervous anticipation grew as our mid-May expedition grew near.  Fort William is a long way by minibus.  At Ben Nevis, my group, ‘Team Roo’ – named after our inflatable mascot – as the fittest and most experienced team, set off last at 11 am.

Glorious sun at the bottom, snow, ice and freezing cloud at the top, so straight back down again.  Hmmm, left knee starting to complain.

Team Roo on the summit of Scafell Pike – very early in the morning!

Off to Cumbria, arriving at Scafell at 01.00 am.  Still clear evening, full moon. Perfect.  Climbing in the dark was an absolute blast, reaching the peak at 04.30 am for dawn.  Starting the descent, knee now quite painful.  Painkillers needed.  Then more.  Oh no!  Medic suggested some prescription painkillers as I’m now holding the group up.  Made it to the bottom, straight on the bus for Snowdon.

Ben Burt enjoys the scenery on top of Snowdon

Alas the defective knee plus a couple of vomiting bouts on the bus (painkiller reaction) meant my expedition was over.  Ben and Team Roo succeeded to climb Snowdon under a cloudless sky.  We raised over £20,000 between us for Break.  Well, 48-year-old knees have a few miles on them I guess.

We’re all off to the Yorkshire Three Peaks in September to abuse our knees some more.’

Press Release: Richard Sprenger leads line-up for food safety conference

Respected food safety expert Richard Sprenger leads a line-up of some of Europe’s foremost food safety authorities at a national conference this November.

Highfield Qualifications – the UK’s leading provider of compliance qualifications – will be holding its conference at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester, on 13 November 2014.

And for food safety practitioners, there will be a seminar – sponsored by Marks & SpencerDoncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and– throughout the day, featuring:

Richard Sprenger, HABC Chairman, said, ‘I am delighted that so many respected and authoritative figures will be joining me to speak on the day. The seminar is a must-attend event for anyone with food safety responsibilities, and will cover everything from the role of retailers and improving food safety culture to FSA initiatives and implementing good practice in the hospitality sector’.

The conference is expected to attract an anticipated 600 delegates including blue-chip corporate clients and brand names, leading industry experts and educators and trainers.

The food safety seminar is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering a number of sectors including apprenticeships, fire safety/health and safety, first aid, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.

Cost per attendee is £135+VAT for HABC Approved Centres and £195+VAT for non-Centres, with discounts available for early and multiple bookings.

For more information on the food safety seminar, click here.

Silver success for Exclusec

ExclusecManchester-based security firm Exclusec was celebrating this Spring after taking silver in the coveted SCOOT Headline Awards for British Business.

The firm, which is a HABC Approved Centre, was presented with its award at a prestigious ceremony in The River Room at Millbank Tower, London on 28 April 2014.

The SCOOT Awards recognises success in areas of commercial achievement such as expansion, increased profits, export orders and new jobs created. Over a million companies from the UK were invited to submit entries telling their success stories, with only a few – such as Exclusec – achieving an award, which were presented by TV and stage actress Ebony Feare.

scoot_headline_logo-538x218Michelle Khan, Operations & Compliance Director of Exclusec, said, ‘The team have worked very hard over the past few years to develop a successful security and training business which is rapidly growing, creating masses of opportunity for the unemployed as well as providing quality service for our customers. It is appreciated that this has been recognised by winning this award, hard work certainly pays off and we look forward to continuing our expansion’.

Rachael Hanson, Exclusec’s Account Manager at HABC, said, ‘This is a fantastic achievement by an organisation that has shown its commitment to raising standards in the security sector through training and qualifications. Only the very best organisations receive such recognition and it is testament to Exclusec’s dedication and professionalism that they have been honoured in this way’.

For more information on Exclusec, go to

More first-aid CPD workshops announced

First Aid Event BannerHABC has announced an additional series of first-aid CPD workshops due to high demand.

Five extra workshops will be held throughout summer and early autumn across the UK, covering Cardiff, London, Newcastle, Manchester and Doncaster.

Dates and locations of the workshops – entitled HABC Regulated First Aid Qualification Assessor and Internal Quality Assurance CPD Training – are:

• Wednesday, 23 July– David Lloyd Leisure, Cardiff;
• Saturday, 2 August– Regents College, London;
• Tuesday, 12 August– Jury’s Inn Gateshead Quays, Newcastle;
• Wednesday, 10 September– The Thistle Portland Hotel, Manchester; and
• Friday, 26 September – Academy House, Doncaster.

Last year saw many changes involving the accreditation of first aid qualifications, including the release of the new Assessment Principles for First Aid Qualifications by Skills for Health. These workshops will not only support the wider understanding of the requirements linked to first aid training in the UK, but will provide guidance to support the requirements linked to the assessment and Internal Quality Assurance of the regulated first-aid qualifications.

Each event will also provide a further update on how HABC is moving to align its assessment materials more closely to the EFAW and FAW model.

Delegates attending each workshop will receive a HABC Regulated First Qualification Assessor and Internal Quality Assurance CPD Training certificate.

Place cost £50 plus VAT per person for HABC Centres, and £60 plus VAT per person for non-HABC Centres.

For more on each workshop, click on the relevant date and location links above.

Updates to our employability qualifications

We’ve recently made some changes to our Personal Development for Employability qualifications to make sure they continue meet the needs of learners.

HABC regularly conducts reviews of all its qualifications to ensure they are fit for purpose, aid learner understanding and achievement, and are compliant with the QCF, giving you and your learners peace of mind.

The changes cover a selection of optional units contained in a number of qualifications, including:

• HABC Level 1 Award in Personal Development for Employability (QCF);
• HABC Level 1 Certificate in Personal Development for Employability (QCF);
• HABC Level 1 Diploma in Personal Development for Employability (QCF);
• HABC Level 2 Award in Personal Development for Employability (QCF);
• HABC Level 2 Certificate in Personal Development for Employability (QCF); and
• HABC Level 2 Diploma in Personal Development for Employability (QCF).

The updated Level 1 qualifications can be found here, whilst the updated Level 2 qualifications are here.

The units identified above will be available until 31 July 2014, with the replacement units made available for registrations from 1 August 2014.

For learners registered the units available until 31 July 2014, Centres will have a maximum of 12 months to complete the programme and apply for certification.

If you require further information, please contact your HABC account manager.

Last chance to have your say on apprenticeship changes

apprenticeship changesWith the new apprenticeship changes People1st is offering employers the chance to have a final say on the proposed apprenticeships standards.

The first set of apprenticeship standards in a number of sectors covered by People1st – which have been developed by employer trailblazers and include areas such as retail and hospitality and travel – will be submitted for ministerial approval on 19 June 2014.

However, consultations will remain open until 16 June 2014 so that you can contribute and make your views known.

Highfield recognised at REHIS Conference

REHISThe Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland (REHIS) celebrated 30 years of working with Highfield at its annual conference last month, with an exchange of gifts between the two organisations.

Held on 7 and 8 May 2014 at the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, the conference featured a ministerial address from Michael Matheson, MSP, Minister of Public Health, and heard 20 papers on a range of issues. The conference also raised £500 for the Famine Relief for Orphans in Malawi charity.

The gifts were exchanged between Jayne Sprenger and Dan McDade of Highfield, and Colin Wallace, President of REHIS, to mark the 30th anniversary of the partnership between the two organisations.

Tom Bell, REHIS Chief Executive, said, ‘We were delighted to celebrate 30 years of a positive partnership with Highfield, working on the development of materials for community training courses and on the exchange of advice and mutual support over the same period. This partnership would not have been as successful or have lasted as long without the mutual respect that the respective organisations and the individuals involved have had for each other’.

Christian Sprenger, Highfield Managing Director, said, ‘REHIS is one our oldest and most trusted partners, and has been with us since the beginning. It’s testament to the strong and productive relationship between the two organisations that we are still working closely together 30 years on, and we look forward to another 30 years of successful cooperation’.


Press Release: Spotlight on apprenticeship reform at HABC conference

apprenticeship reformHighfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) will be putting apprenticeship reform under the spotlight at its conference later this year with a line up including AELP, Apprenticeships4England and UKCES.

Held at Old Trafford Stadium, Manchester on 13 November 2014, the HABC National Conference will feature an apprenticeship seminar – sponsored by Superdrug and Apprenticeships4England – with some of the top people in the training sector plus businesses that have successfully implemented work-based learning, including:

• Stewart Segal, Chief Executive, Association of Employment and Learning Providers;
• Lindsay McCurdy, CEO, Apprenticeships4England;
• Moira McKerracher, Deputy Director UK Commission for Employment and Skills;
• Dr Ann Limb, South East Midlands Local Enterprise Partnership;
• Rob Mitchell, People Manager – Leadership Training, One Stop Stores Ltd;
• Sue Johnston, Apprenticeship Operations Manager, AS Watson UK; and
• Sue Renny, Apprenticeship Programme Manager, AS Watson UK.

Jason Sprenger, HABC Chief Executive, said, ‘2014 has been a year of huge upheaval for apprenticeships and we hope to bring some clarity and insight to the significant changes that the sector is undergoing. Our speakers will be providing comprehensive and timely updates on a range of areas including current and future apprenticeship developments, the constraints that providers find themselves facing, the support available and leadership training for deliverers – all within the context of the recent changes’.

The conference is expected to be HABC’s biggest yet, with an anticipated 600 delegates including blue-chip corporate clients and brand names, leading industry experts and educators and trainers.

The apprenticeship seminar is one of seven that make up the entire conference covering a number of sectors including fire safety/health and safety, first aid, food safety, licensing, pool lifeguarding and security.


Updates from the apprenticeship trailblazers

As you probably know, apprenticeships are going through a radical redesign.  Last year, the government announced it would implement many of the recommendations of the Richard Review, with an emphasis on increasing employer involvement in the overall design of apprenticeships.

That process is now well under way, with a number of ‘trailblazer’ groups having been set up.  These groups, which are made up of large and small employers, professional bodies, trade associations and sector skills councils, have been working together to design new apprenticeship standards for occupations within their sector.  Whilst some of these (Phase 1) have already delivered new standards, a further eight sectors were announced in April (Phase 2), and are currently consulting on the draft apprenticeship standards that have been developed so far.