Over the past 18 months, Astutis has successfully delivered a Contractor Management training programme to a team of over 60 Authorised Personnel (AP(C)’s within Dwr Cymru Welsh Water. The principal objectives of this training was to provide the necessary knowledge for identified Contractor Management ‘champions’ to be able to:
- Act as main contact for the contractor and site controller
- Manage the exchange of information with contractors
- Check contractors risk assessments / method statements
- Carry out project inductions
- Carry out inspections of contractors activities.
HSP805 is the DCWW Management of Contractors Procedure and sets out a series of CTR forms which provide the basis of the checklists. The Capital Team has redefined the CTR2 form (Capital Inspection Form) and also provided a draft outline checklist of questions that set out to understand the knowledge, experience, aptitude and skills of the AP(C)’s. Astutis worked closely with Simon Maclean and Nick Parkin of the Capital Delivery and Engineering Team to further evolve and develop this document so that it fits in seamlessly with the requirements of the audit programme.
Whilst there was a comprehensive set of guidelines in place for the AP(C)’s within the Capital team, there was also an eagerness to ensure that these were properly understood and all reasonable efforts were being made to manage contractor activities proactively and consistently across the business ¬ and this is where Astutis was requested to provide expertise.
However, how do you measure how successful a given training programme is?
Following ‘Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Evaluation Model’ (arguably the most widely used and popular model for the evaluation of training and learning), the DCWW Capital team sought to address level 3 - Behaviour - to benchmark the competence and progression of AP(C)’s against company procedures and best practice.
Kirkpatrick suggests that ‘Behaviour evaluation is the extent of applied learning back on the job’ - in short, implementation. It was here that Astutis was required to evaluate the success of the training undertaken by providing observation and interview over time to assess change, relevance of change, and sustainability of change.
Having developed and agreed a formal audit checklist that sets out to understand the AP(C)’s progress in practice and on an everyday basis, Astuis is currently acting as Consultant in supporting the DCWW Capital team in completing an audit program over the course of the next 6-months.
This Audit is structured to benchmark AP(C)’s knowledge of the procedures, their understanding of Hazard identification / Risk Control / Safe System of Work, ability to complete CTR forms to the agreed standard and their general behaviour and commitment to the process, visiting all AP(C)’s across Wales to evaluate performance against this best practice standard. Feedback is offered in during regular meetings with the Capital Team as well as through a formal report with recommendations for further development.
Ultimately, the main objectives of the full process are to identify those who demonstrate competence in this area and offer formal recognition as well as identifying further development opportunities of those AP(C)’s who perhaps require greater support through a possible mentoring scheme.
Simon MacLean DCWW’s CDM and Health and Safety Compliance Manager said:
'It is widely documented that health and safety on a project is largely influenced by the client. This project not only looks at compliance with DCWW’s Management of Contractors procedure but also the attitudes and behaviours that are presented and visible on a project. This project validates and reinforces the influence that the in house Capital Team possesses and utilise to ensure safe projects are delivered’
Simon went on to say that:
It is also reassuring that our staff are largely performing very well with only a handful of instances where improvements have been recommended.’
The audits are being carried out by Sophie Pelosi (Sophie is pictured above on-site with 2 representatives) who re-iterated:
‘This has been an extremely valuable process. Whilst the exercise has underlined the strengths of DCWW’s contractor management procedure, it has also highlighted features requiring attention. The audit process is increasing awareness of the vital role that the AP(C) plays in DCWW’s ‘Journey to Zero’, at the same time the Management of Contractors training, which has been completed by the AP(C)’s is reinforced.’
Dwr Cymru / Welsh Water is taking a pro-active stance on its health and safety and Astutis is pleased to be involved in and fully supports this ambitious initiative seeking to achieve a ‘zero accident’ rate.
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