Volunteers are an important component in the safe delivery of the majority of events that take place in the UK – and it is therefore essential that they receive some basic security awareness training aimed at recognising suspicious behaviour, and how to respond in the event of an incident.
Volunteers are your “eyes and ears” at an event. In fact, your volunteers are your key representatives as they are often the only people involved in the delivery of the event that your average attendee will interact with, so it’s important that they are trained well and know how to respond appropriately to a wide variety of situations.
When delivering security awareness training for volunteers, we believe that the following aspects must be covered:
- Alert not alarmed – how to be vigilant and recognise suspicious behaviour
- Unidentified or suspicious items – what to do when you come across an item that is “out of place” in your location
- Stop procedures – what volunteers are expected to do in the event of a temporary halt to some or all of the event
- Evacuation or invacuation – understanding where the Emergency Assembly Points are
- Cordons – how to assist in implementing an effective cordon
- Effective crowd communication – simple, effective and consistent messaging
- Violent attack – following the Stay Safe principles of Run – Hide – Tell
But how can you deliver effective training for volunteers without putting a huge time and cost burden on both the organisation and the volunteer? After all, face-to-face sessions incur travel costs for everyone as well as costs for hiring a venue. And if you wait until the volunteers arrive on site, the training is often little more than a rushed briefing, where people are crammed together often without the benefit of supporting presentational materials, and no opportunity to reflect on the session before going out to work.
This is why Training 4 Resilience have pioneered the use of a Virtual Classroom for volunteer training.
We provide the platform and deliver a training course that is tailored to each event or client. There is a live instructor delivering the course, and participants join in the session from their own location anywhere in the world and listen to the training, interacting and asking questions of the instructor and their peers as if they were in a traditional face-to-face classroom.
The costs of such training are significantly cheaper that more traditional approaches – there are no travel costs for anyone involved, and there is no need to hire a venue and provide refreshments. The system can support up to 100 participants on each session, and there are no additional costs for providing training sessions in the evenings or at weekends. An electronic register is generated by the system so that individual attendance can be confirmed; and sessions can be recorded for audit purposes.
We have been providing online training for volunteers for the last 3 years, and in 2017 alone we will have successfully trained approximately 1,000 volunteer event stewards using this method.
- All very simple, joining on tablet was quick and easy – all worked perfectly
- I’m not brilliant with computer technology and this is my first experience with online training. I found it simple to access and did not experience any problems throughout the session.
- Really well presented and clear. Paced just right too.
- I found that the on-line course contained the right mix of information content and humour to make it both informative and enjoyable.
- Friendly trainers, picked up on all questions from the chat. Very motivating!
Training 4 Resilience have been supporting the safe delivery of events through training, and tabletop exercises to test and validate plans, since 2011.
Training 4 Resilience