Elaine Briggs, Director of Education, Training and Innovation – Future Fit Training, Managing Director – Future Active Workforce CIC
Following the unprecedented decision to close all sport and leisure facilities as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic back in March, discussions soon began to turn to the further challenges our sector would face once the green light was given to reopen.
Along with the rest of the economy, the impact of the pandemic on the sport and physical activity sector has been devastating, and as the sector begins to emerge from closure, the challenges associated with a timely and staged reopening of facilities are many and varied. In addition to the operational challenges associated with the physical reopening of facilities and navigating the new requirements regarding cleaning, social distancing, reduction in capacity and the additional resource needed to fulfil these requirements, all staff need to be trained on new processes and refreshed on existing operating procedures. Re-engaging with both staff and customers is also a significant challenge following many months in lockdown and providing the right level of communication and guidance is essential to ensuring people feel safe to return to facilities, for staff and users alike.
Clearly, there has never been a greater need for the sector to come together to provide solutions to meet these challenges. Following on from the support provided by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) via their ‘Stronger Together’ campaign, Sport England confirmed further support would be provided to CIMSPA to commission a flexible, online learning solution to support the sector to reopen, made available for twelve months and free of charge for all users.
CIMSPA’s call was clear, to implement reopening training content for the entire workforce, which can be delivered, tracked and hosted on an interactive online platform and certificated to provide the public with the assurances that facilities are safe and clean, that customer safety is at the heart of reopening and that staff are equipped with the appropriate knowledge, skills and behaviours to manage risk and comply with the reopening guidance framework issued by ukactive. Upon completion of the training (which is open and free of charge to sport and leisure facilities, individual coaches and instructors, national governing bodies and volunteers) users will earn three CIMSPA CPD points and receive a digital certificate to demonstrate their completion of the back to work training.
The ‘ReActivate’ platform has been created by a consortium of organisations with extensive experience across digital education, health and safety, coaching and facility operations and led by Future Active Workforce, a not for profit community interest company. Partners include Future Fit Training, Sport Structures, GM Active, Right Directions and Transcend Awards and all content maps to the ukactive sector guidance.
The platform is now live and is free to use for 12 months for anyone working in the sport and physical activity sector in England, including fitness instructors, trainers, and all staff working in leisure facilities as well as grass roots sports coaches and volunteers. The content includes a wealth of resources around refresher training for facilities and new Covid-19 policies and information in addition to useful support, health, and wellness information for those staff still on furlough.
To date, ReActivate has been accessed by close to 6,000 users and hundreds of facilities. Resources are regularly updated to reflect developments and announcements in relation to the pandemic and users are able to upload their own training materials onto the platform to continue to educate their workforce over the next 12 months. At a time of unprecedented upheaval across the country, ReActivate showcases the very best in collaborative working in our sector, giving anyone who needs it the ability to return to their sport and physical activity roles with confidence and ultimately, provides the public with the peace of mind to return to their chosen sport or activity safe in the knowledge that our workforce is professional, our facilities are covid-compliant and that sport and physical activity can continue to play a crucial role in the health and wellbeing of the nation.
Any employers who would like to know more about the new ReActivate digital training platform can contact Megan Yorke at email@example.com or watch the demonstration here www.futureactiveworkforce.org/reactivate