COVID -19 and the Training Industry – Keeping the Industry Afloat
We have carefully followed all information about the Coronavirus with a view to understanding the impact on the training industry as it relates to attendance at training events. Information we have gathered indicates that there has been a lot of cancellations from overseas participants as governments across the globe are closing their borders in a bid to shut out the virus. While there is no immediate solution to this, we are frantically working to ensure, in the shortest time possible, we provide an LMS (Learning Management Solution) on our website so that intending participants that cannot make it to the physical location can receive their courses and certificates online. This is something we have been working on. All we are doing now is tweaking and fine-tuning to ensure an effective take-off.
The situation at the local level is not different. People are cancelling out of fear and lack of information. While the LMS solution will still be available, to ensure attendance is not further badly impacted, there is need to inspire confidence in the training audience in an evidence-based manner by sharing information about what we know about the Coronavirus and what steps we are taking to ensure the safety of every participant is secured. It is important for us at this time to realise that though we are facing a pandemic, our response should not be one of fear but of careful and conscious personal and group safety precautions.
The steps training providers can take at this time include:
- Sending out latest information at your disposal about the virus to allay fears and dispel rumours
- Sending out advisories to your intending trainees about traveling, accommodation, feeding and local transportation.
- Putting in place and informing intending participants of the standard operation procedure (S.O.P) while on your premises.
- Educate and monitor your kitchen staff to ensure proper hygiene and strict compliance to safety standards is always maintained. Special attention should be paid to kitchen staff. They should be screened daily and made to practice regular handwashing.
- As a preventive and confidence-building measure, temperatures of participants can be taken at the entrance and participants made to wash hands and apply sanitizers.
- Social distancing - It is important to keep class size to half the capacity of the training room so that participants can be spread widely in the class.
So, what are the facts!
According to UNICEF, in a statement issued on the 4th of March 2020, the following information is true about the virus:
- Coronavirus is large where the cell diameter is 400-500 micro and for this reason “any mask prevents its entry” This means we can make branded masks (under the strictest hygienic conditions) and share to participants at your training.
- The virus does not settle in the air but is grounded. So, it is “not transmitted by air”. Ensuring every surface is kept clean and cleaned at regular intervals with disinfectants will go a long way in ensuring the safety of participants.
- Coronavirus will live up to 12 hours when it falls on a metal surface, So, “washing hands with soap “and water is well enough. This means you need to provide permanent or mobile wash-hand basins, antiseptic handwash and hand sanitizers in every training room and advise participants to wash their hands as many times as necessary.
- When Coronavirus falls on fabric, it remains for 9 hours. So, washing clothes or being exposed to the sun for two hours meets the purpose of killing it. Since nobody is likely going to stand in the sun for two hours for the purpose of killing virus, participants should be advised to bring enough clothes so that they wear one cloth per day and drop used clothes for washing daily.
- The virus lives on the hands for 10 minutes, so putting an alcohol sanitizer in the pocket meets the purpose of killing it. Where participants don’t have personal sanitizers, the sanitizers provided in the reception and training rooms should suffice.
- If the virus is exposed to a temperature of 26-27°C, it will be killed as it does not live in hot regions. Drinking hot water and sun exposure will do the trick. Staying away from ice cream and eating cold meals is important. What does this mean? It means that for this period, tea/coffee should not be limited to tea breaks. Tea should always be made available in a tea urn plugged-in to keep the water hot and served by a dedicated attendant so not everyone can touch it.
What You Can Do
If you have not done so,
- Create and implement an anti-virus standard operating procedure and educate every member of staff of their roles and responsibility in the implementation
- Communicate the assurance of safety to your participants and let them know what you have put in place to ensure their safety
- Start working on your course modules for the eventual take-off of the LMS platform so you are not caught unawares thereby loosing valuable time
Without doubt, it would help greatly if supervisory, interventionist and regulatory agencies like CMD, NITAD, ITF and a host of others will come up with assuring information and advisories at this critical time.
Courtesy: Nigerian Seminars and Trainings
WHO Covid-19 Update link
Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Update Link