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Training needs


Everyone who works or studies at the University of Reading requires information about the risks they may face while working or studying and how to avoid harm. This can be addressed in various ways, including training.

Staff and students must be provided with sufficient health and safety information, instruction and training to ensure they are aware of the hazards in the workplace and know what safe working procedures to follow to reduce the risk of injury or work-related ill health, to themselves and others.

These web pages signpost the information you need about:

  • H&S induction
  • mandatory H&S training for all staff and for specific roles or activities
  • refresher training

Course details can be found on our main training page.

Specialist or bespoke training

Please note that while we aim to provide a comprehensive suite of courses in-house, both on-line and face-to-face, it is not possible to cover all safety-related training needs. Some groups of staff, or individuals, will need specialist training provided by external providers. H&SS will assist in identifying suitable providers; however responsibility for ensuring that staff and students receive appropriate training rests with their managers/supervisors.


Many courses run by H&SS staff are free to university staff. Courses which incur additional costs e.g. an external trainer, supplies and equipment, may be charged to Schools/Services either at cost, or on a cost sharing basis with H&SS. See our 'Booking Training' page for information on cancellation costs.

Assessing training needs

Risk assessments should be used to determine the level of staff and student health and safety competence, training and instruction, necessary for each activity, role or project.

Training requirements for each job role should be clearly defined so that a training needs matrix can be drawn up. A sample training needs matrix, which combines job/role training requirements with a record of individual training, is given here - sample training matrix. This can be modified or adapted as necessary to suit your department's needs.

The types of training that should be considered are outlined below.

Induction training

All new staff must be provided with a structured health and safety induction to the workplace and their work as soon as possible after they start work.

1. Local induction by their manager or supervisor - a comprehensive Health and Safety Induction Checklist is available. This can be tailored to the needs of the individual School or Service.

2. Fire Precautions - available via the H&SS on-line fire safety film. Local emergency procedures should be discussed with the new staff member on their first day of work.

It is recommended that all new staff attend a University Central Induction Day, which includes basic health and safety. These are organised by Human Resources People Development throughout the year.

Mandatory training

Staff and students must be made aware of the specific health and safety risks associated with their work and work environment.

The training courses set out under course details explain which courses are mandatory, where they are relevant to an individual' job role.

Staff with health and safety responsibilities must attend the relevant training prior to, or as soon as possible after, taking up their role or starting that activity.

Attendance on a formal course may need to be supplemented by on-the-job training within the School/Service.

If Schools or Services wish to train a group of staff, some courses may be broken down into short modules, delivered at a time and venue to suit you. Please contact H&SS to find out if this is possible for your group of staff or specific course.

H&S training for managers and Health & Safety Co-ordinators

All managers, supervisors and Health & Safety Co-ordinators must attend training on managing health and safety risks.

Our short one-day training course Managing Health and Safety provides managers and Health & Safety Co-ordinators with an overview of their role, legal requirements, accident causation, risk assessment and the university systems for effective health and safety risk management.

Undergraduate and MSc Students

Students must be provided with a local health and safety induction or information when they join their course or research group. The form that this should take may vary, but as a minimum should include written information about emergency procedures, local risks, their responsibilities, incident reporting and any rules or requirements specific to their course. It is recommended that basic information is included in a School H&S code for students.

Where students are involved in practical work, within workshops, laboratories and perhaps in locations remote from the university campus, the academic supervisor must risk assess the work that is expected of the student and consider what information, training and supervision they may need to be able to carry out the assigned tasks safely.

Refresher training

Refresher training should be provided where necessary to update skills and knowledge. Recommended refresher periods are given for each H&SS course. It is the responsibility of managers/supervisors to determine if on-the job refreshers are necessary.

Training records

Staff should use UoR Learn to book on Health & Safety Services training courses. Staff can also use the ESS system to view their individual training records. Managers do not have access to individual records and therefore have to have a local system to track who requires training and refresher training.

Schools are also required to have a local system for recording postgraduate research student training. The only exception is where postgraduate students attend a course organised by H&SS, in which case their attendance will be logged on Trent by H&SS.

On- the-job training

Most training is provided 'on-the-job'; health and safety should form an integral part of the ongoing instruction and supervision of staff and students. On-the-job training for staff should be recorded as a personal learning event on ESS, in particular where this counts towards Continuous Professional Development (CPD).

Things to do now

Contact Health & Safety Services: