Training and certification
27 august 2020
The current pandemic might have temporarily diverted the attention of many companies, but it hasn't removed the inherent operational risks that they face. Özlem Emgen, of Riskonet Turkey, discusses why the right training and certification have never been more important.
At Riskonet we are accustomed to identifying risks and meeting them head on. And this hasn't changed with the pandemic that is currently affecting us all. In our opinion the importance of training cannot be over-emphasised, which is why we want to raise awareness for it. We believe in the value of sharing our knowledge and expertise, and training is the most effective way of achieving this. We aim to increase the level of quality and expertise throughout the market. And because we are so confident that we are doing a good job, this even includes raising that level in our competitors. At the end of the day, clients are the ones that benefit.
Using our own resources and those of our external partners, we conceive, organise and present training programmes that make all the difference for our clients. These programmes cover whatever our clients need, from fire safety to business-continuity management and from earthquakes to health and safety. They include drills, based on real-life scenarios, that coach participants in crisis management and emergency-response management. The bottom line is that they add value for participants and, by extension, their employers, our clients.
Among others we are the official partner for Europe and Africa of NFPA and organise all official NFPA training programs in these regions.
“We believe in the value of sharing our knowledge and expertise, and training is the most effective way of achieving this"
Fire safety lies at the heart of our training services. Given its potential impact on the environment, on occupational safety and on a company’s financial and reputational standing, at Riskonet fire safety clearly translates to more than just property-risk management. Fire-related training programmes have topped Riskonet’s agenda from day one. And with the aid of our trainers and partners, particularly the NFPA, we are raising awareness for fire safety in all the countries in which we operate.
Potentially catastrophic repercussions
Working as risk consultants for a broad range of industries, we help our clients identify and solve a variety of risk-related problems. And this help goes further, much further, than simply addressing the incorrect design, implementation, inspection, testing and maintenance of fire systems, for example, despite the fact that each and every one could have potentially catastrophic repercussions and must be handled immediately. But have you ever stopped to think of what would happen if you actually had a major fire? It could be never, next week, next month, next year, or even just once in the lifetime of your organisation. I sincerely hope it’s something you will not have to face, but the question is: would you be ready for it?
Before the damage is done
You certainly would be ready if you had the appropriate operational systems in place. Systems that correspond with the risks that you are exposed to. Systems that will detect and control a fire and protect your facility and operations, before the damage is done. And that is exactly my point. As an organisation you need to invest in the right fire systems, and these usually don't come cheap. Such systems are best researched and selected by a certified designer who understands the risks and is familiar with both international fire-safety requirements and local legislation. Someone who has insight into the criteria on which to base a sound selection.
By the same token, a company’s procurement department needs to know it is getting the best-possible quality and value for money. Once a fire-system designer has submitted a financial proposal, and perhaps a reference list of previous projects, the procurement department has to evaluate and compare it with other offerings and make the right decision. It’s not always easy for a designer to justify a fee in line with the level of quality on offer. But having NFPA’s Certified Fire Protection Specialist (CFPS) certification makes this comparison and justification a lot easier for a procurement department.
“Nobody knows better than we do how important it is for participants’ efforts to be rewarded with the appropriate certification"
Thanks to our expertise, we can organise any type of training that a client might require. These can vary from registered courses, such as those regulated by the NFPA, to bespoke client-specific training programmes, such as business continuity management. And, for the reasons given above, nobody knows better than we do how important it is for participants’ efforts to be rewarded with the appropriate certification.
Riskonet is continuously improving its offering to meet our clients’ requirements. Here in Turkey, for example, we have been organising and giving NFPA training courses for a long time. Recently we have been receiving many requests from candidates to take the relevant CFPS exam locally and now they can. Prior to this, to obtain the required certification candidates had to travel abroad to take the exam. One of the closest venues was Greece, but sometimes it was even necessary for candidates to travel to the US. This ability for candidates to now sit the exam in Turkey is hugely convenient for them and an advantage for those procurement departments.
Continue meeting clients’ needs
In these uncertain times you can rest assured that Riskonet will keep working on its various training and certification programmes. The current pandemic has forced us to temporarily suspend classroom trainings for a while, but we will continue to use online training tools to meet our clients’ needs. And while we certainly miss giving our classroom trainings, we take some comfort from the fact that we will meet again in the classroom as soon as this is possible. As I’m sure you will all understand, our priority at the moment is maintaining good health.