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We mustn’t let COVID-19 affect training!

As regular readers of The Negotiator will know, says Frances Burkinshaw, I am a great proponent of specialised training for letting agents and landlords, however…

Frances Burkinshaw

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Whenever there is an economic problem, training is always one of the first things to be slashed. Is this sensible? Absolutely not! Let us consider such a situation… in these times of economic trouble, members of staff may be laid off or made redundant.

This can lead to a shortage of employees per branch which, in turn, can also lead to pressures on those remaining members of staff. When there is pressure a result can be that mistakes are made.

Those mistakes can lead to more serious problems for the company and even financial claims against the company via vicarious liability.

At times when companies might be working with skeleton staff they need to ensure that those people are well trained and able to deal with any issue which might arise.

Terrible times will go down in history

Clearly the situation which we all face at the moment could never have been foreseen. For nearly all the population this is the worse situation we have faced. Obviously those who lived through the Second World War brought far worse situations but those numbers are reducing year on year.

This forced break from work provides an ideal opportunity to improve your qualifications! So, get training!

Frances Burkinshaw imageMy youngest daughter said the other day: “These times are what we will tell our grandchildren one day”. How right was she? When we talk about these times to future generations they won’t be able to comprehend the scale of the pandemic in the same way that most of us can’t imagine what it must have been like to live through the Second World War. Then as now many people lost many loved ones.

It would be very easy to simply cancel all training until after the end of the pandemic but that would be very foolish. Training can take other formats and many companies have very quickly adapted to modern technology and the virtual classroom.

Whilst I am rather old-fashioned and definitely prefer the face to face training of the classroom, I can also see that there are advantages, particularly now, of virtual training.

Laptop, tablet or phone!

These days everybody has a screen, whether you and your trainees’ have a laptop, tablet or mobile phone. There are several platforms available for virtual training but I prefer Zoom (free advertising!). This app has all the required functions to train people remotely – from a few to a larger number. One can still use functions such as PowerPoint to emphasise information. Delegates can be interactive with the trainer and each other.

Without a doubt momentum can be lost after a period of time and regular breaks should happen – more than in a classroom setting.

At this particular time there is lots of new legislation coming on board which we must all abide by and take seriously.

We have:
  • Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Act 2018 for all tenancies which commenced before 20th March 2019 – must now comply from 20th March 2020
  • The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (England and Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2019 This act has made changes to Part three of the 2015 Regulations. No tenancy, from 1st April 2020, may be granted where the minimum level of energy efficiency is below band E.
  • Changes to Section 21 of the Housing Act 1988 are due to be introduced but no doubt may now be delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Also there are some new Electrical Regulations which are due to be introduced (at last!) this summer but, once again, these may, perhaps, be delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Members of staff must be ready and well trained for these new regulations and the many, many other laws and regulations by which we must abide.

I am ready and willing to train delegates from companies who might otherwise have attended classroom training.

All that will be needed to join in the session will be a device, preferably with a camera and some enthusiasm!

I love classroom training but let’s give virtual classrooms a go!!

Frances Burkinshaw is an experienced independent trainer available nationally for in-house or group training. 01892 783961 or 07887 714341 or [email protected]

June 10, 2020

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