Quality matters to the team at METT Training, because first aid and health and safety compliance aren’t just about box-ticking, they’re about ensuring everyone can rest assured they’re safe and protected in the workplace.
The training company was founded by Mike Neary, who discovered a talent for training during his 22 years’ service with the RAF Regiment. Having found that courses and their delivery varied massively in the civilian world, he took matters into his own hands and set up Managing Excellence Through Training (METT) in 2008.
Since then, Mike and his team have built a customer base that covers the length and breadth of the UK, and a reputation for bespoke training that meets exacting standards, and that tailors courses to clients’ businesses.
Mike delivers courses himself, and his wife Ann-Marie takes care of all administration and quality assurance, and between them they oversee a team of highly experienced professionals who cover everything from first aid and fire safety through to conflict resolution and first aid for mental health.
“Over the years, I had seen too many courses that weren’t being delivered very well, or trainers that simply weren’t up to the standard I expected, and so I decided to go out on my own and set up a training company that delivered excellence,” explained Mike.
“In the forces, I’d learned about leadership and I’d learned about first aid in extreme circumstances and that was the level of experience I wanted to bring to METT. I didn’t want trainers who’d learned in a classroom, I wanted people who had done CPR for real, who’d treated people first hand, and knew what they were doing and what they were talking about.
“All but one of our trainers have experience in the armed forces and they’ve all dealt with real-life situations that make them excellently qualified to teach others.”
METT is a member of the Armed Forces Covenant and actively looks to employ ex-Forces personnel.
Around 70% of the training METT offers is first aid training, another 20% is safe lifting and moving and handling courses, with the rest involving fire safety and fire warden training, risk assessments and other health and safety disciplines.
On the firm’s website is a first aid needs calculator that allows businesses to assess their own needs, giving them a full report on the legal requirements for their workplace, and which can be completed without METT receiving any details.
“The idea is, of course, that people will ask us to deliver any training they need,” said Ann-Marie, “but if they want to use the calculator and bring in another trainer, that’s entirely up to them. What the calculator does, though, is ensure transparency, and that we are not overselling our services or asking clients to spend money on anything other than what is needed to make their business safe and compliant.”
With big name clients including Heathrow Airport, Scania and a number of NHS Trusts, Mike is also keen to see local companies come forward to assess their needs and make certain that, as employers, they are meeting their duty of care. Courses are routinely carried out on clients’ own premises, so that the METT team can make the training applicable to the specific needs of the workplace, but this year has seen many switch online to comply with coronavirus guidelines and social distancing.
Mike added: “First aid and health and safety is not just about ticking boxes and meeting legal requirements, employers have a duty of care to their team. It may be that a relatively small company only needs two or three trained first aiders, but have they considered what happens if they run shifts, or if two of three first aiders are on annual leave at the same time? And, more recently, we’ve had companies who’ve realised they have had to furlough their designated first aiders, and so they need to get those still in work trained up as back-up.”
Training deals with the immediate response to an incident – for instance, first aid and fire training, complemented by preventative training, such as lifting, moving and handling courses that can help carers avoid injury themselves caused by poor techniques or posture when moving someone in their care.
“The important thing is to keep employees well and working for the business as they should be,” said Ann-Marie. “If you lose a key person because they’ve hurt themselves in the course of doing their job, then the business suffers. If an accident happens and there isn’t adequate first aid provision, then the situation is worse, and the company has failed in its duty of care.
“Increasingly, we’re delivering first aid for mental health these days, as employers have realised that it is important not only to read the signs that someone is struggling, but also how to deal with it the right way and get their people the assistance they need.
“Employers need to be aware of all aspects of their employees’ wellbeing and take their responsibilities seriously.”