Chemical Regulation Division’s (CRD) primary aim is to regulate the safe use of biocides, industrial chemicals, pesticides and detergents to protect the health of people and the environment in accordance with the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) mission.

Better wellbeing, forging career pathways and improving basic skills were all on the agenda for CRD’s Learning at Work Week. The division (within HSE), ran a week that supported business goals and divisional needs through a series of interactive and business-focused events.

The design of the week demonstrated the division’s positive and inclusive learning culture, which supports everyone’s growth and development. Colleagues were invited to make suggestions for the week in special drop-in sessions, giving everyone a sense of ownership and responsibility and making sure the programme was accessible for all. 

 Learning opportunities took place at all three of CRD’s sites. To support health and wellbeing the division provided advice in conjunction with Mental Health Awareness Week, so colleagues could recognise potential problems and address them. Through the week, colleagues were empowered to take control of their own development and use this for the benefit of others in the organisation. Skills sharing was built into the week as a way to promote internal networking, give insights into different work areas and help colleagues gain new knowledge to apply to their own subject areas.

Twenty eight bite sized learning sessions took place. There were webinars and skype broadcasts open to everyone including lessons learned from communications and chemicals in the environment. Webinars allowed CRD to design and deliver sessions with the interest of smaller cohorts specifically in mind, and make these available across the organisation too. 

Colleagues could better their writing skills and learn strategies for resilience and wellbeing in workshops. Scientific and operational colleagues heard about internal projects relevant to their work. There was a demonstration on beekeeping and drones in agriculture for colleagues interested in the environment and innovative technologies. 

Enthusiastic new starters contributed to the schedule by training others on technical areas of the business. The recruits gained new skills in delivering training whilst giving back to the division their time and energy for the investment made in them. Everyone could take part in non-work related learning opportunities too, including Spanish for beginners, craft club and sign language. 

A nominated communications lead designed a range of posters and flyers to promote the week alongside direct mail, launch messages and reminders in the weekly newsletter. HSE’s internal social media platform let colleagues in other divisions know what was happening and to encourage wider participation. The organising team acted as advocates for the week and promoted the event verbally across the division.

By using eventbrite, the team could easily see where there were still spaces on sessions and open these up to colleagues from across HSE such that 500 places were taken up over the events.

As all sessions were delivered by colleagues for colleagues, CRD ran a low cost event that has led to significant benefits for colleagues and the organisation. The profile of CRD’s L&D group has been raised and the week will inform activities planned for throughout 2019/2020.  The successful week has sparked wider interest and other Divisions are planning to participate next year.