Education, education . . .

Chalk and talk, interactive workshops, practical exercises, videos, role-play... Training delivery, according to Melanie Kenny and Wendy Jervis, URS Dames & Moore, depends on what's being delivered, and to whom.

The provision of training is highly variable and is dependent upon the organisation’s

perceived value of training. It can be:

All of the above are equally true of environmental training. Selected pieces

of legislation, for example, require proof of competency where a key environmental

management role is defined, for example, the Waste Management Licensing regulations.

Almost universal

ISO 14001, the Environmen-tal Management System standard, requires that training

needs are identified. All relevant functions within the organisation need to

be aware of the importance of conformance with the environmental policy and

procedures, the significant environmental impacts of operations, their roles

and responsibilities and the possible consequences of getting it wrong. The personnel performing key tasks need to be competent.

Most manufacturing, and many other, organisations have procedures for minimising

environmental effects or assuring regulatory compliance. These may be formal

or informal, written or unwritten, but it is almost universally the case that

a procedure will not be followed unless it is clearly communicated, understood and reinforced. As new

staff enter the organisation and

procedures change, this is a continual process.

Good environmental management, like good quality management, is the responsibility

of everyone within an organisation, but certain key tasks do often necessarily

fall to a designated individual, the Environmental Manager or Co-ordinator.

As the demands on this person change, for example in response to a changing

regulatory environment, training is often needed to ensure continuing competency

in addition to personnel and professional development. In the wider organisation,

environmental training can be used

to boost team working and employees commitment to the company.

Environmental training is an umbrella term that can cover many types of training,

which meet different needs:

  • Environmental awareness training. This is a term used to cover training

    with the purpose of giving a general appreciation of the subject. This might

    include, for example: an overview of the legislation, for example the potential

    for environmental liabilities to attach to the company during property transactions;

    or information on the site’s environmental setting and sensitive environmental

    receptors, by way of introduction to the need for good environmental management.

  • Environmental training for managers. This term can be used to cover

    training delivered to managers for business management purposes, and might

    include: an understanding of how an environmental management system designed

    to ISO 14001 could benefit the business and how it would fit into existing

    business systems; and understanding environment-related business risks and

    their mitigation, such as Environmental Due Diligence processes.

  • Environmental training for Environmental Managers, Co-ordinators

    or other key personnel. This term covers all issue-specific and technical

    training aimed at increasing the skills of staff with either specific roles

    and responsibilities for aspects of environmental management, or in certain

    business sectors. It might include: training in Environmental Auditing – the

    rationale, process and technical considerations; training in technical subject

    areas such as hazardous chemicals storage, handling, use and disposal, waste

    management, introduction to soil and groundwater issues; or train-the-trainers

    training, for environmental personnel who would be conducting general training

    within their organisations.

Appropriate delivery

As with all training, to be effective the trainer has to be clear what the objectives

of the training are, and for whom. These will determine the length and the technical

complexity of the training material. All of this will influence what is appropriate

in terms of the form of delivery – traditional chalk and talk sessions, interactive

workshops, practical exercises, videos, role play etc. Use of photographs can

be highly effective, as a colleague of mine found when the trainees finally

realised that the pictures illustrating poor environmental management practice

were taken from their own site.

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