New Virtual Courses Launched to Support the Water & Environmental Industries During COVID-19

Learning & Development Associates (L&DA) have revealed the launch of two new online short courses, adapted from their larger classroom-based programmes, and developed to assist the water and environmental industries in leading innovation and managing risk and resilience.

Since water industry regulator Ofwat’s announcement in 2017 that water companies would be required to put innovation at the heart of their business plans, followed by PR19’s outcomes, the subject has been an increasingly key theme. 

Covid-19 represents a further material challenge to the water industry’s service provision capabilities. It adds to the spectrum of risks against which Ofwat expects organisations to display ‘resilience in the round’. The corporate, financial, and operational risks facing each organisation require that they mount an enterprise-wide response. Only by developing the right leadership, skills and systems can organisations maintain stakeholders’ trust and prosper.

Together with their associates, L&DA recognised both the opportunity and the need for expert, company bespoke training. The courses, Leading Innovation within the Water and Environmental Industries and The Management of Risk and Resilience will address the numerous challenges faced by organisations in the sector and provide employees with the knowledge and understanding to successfully apply appropriate techniques within their organisation and cooperatively across the sector.

The launch of these courses is timely. Ofwat recently revealed the details of their innovation competition, which includes £200m of funding aimed at uncovering new affordable solutions to long term challenges. This fund is part of their wider strategy, ‘Time to Act, Together’, which discusses the challenges that water and wastewater services face, including climate change and population growth. Covid-19 compounds those challenges, particularly to the achievement of organisations’ common and bespoke regulatory performance commitments. Acquiring competences to identify, correctly characterise and robustly manage risks and opportunities is fundamental to achieving successful outcomes. 

L&DA are confident that their training will assist companies to drive awareness of: leading innovation; implementing risk and resilience good practice; and how to build organisational cultures to deliver these initiatives. Employees will gain an understanding of how to apply principles and processes within their specific roles and their contribution to achieving personal and organisational objectives.

Simon Buckingham from Learning & Development Associates commented: “To meet the growing challenges facing the water and environmental industries the need for organisations to have a strong innovation culture and structure is more important than ever. At the heart of this is a well-trained, motivated workforce equipped with the knowledge and understanding of innovation techniques”.

Glenn Jackson, Managing Director of Learning & Development Associates added: “To meet the long-term resilience challenges facing the water and environmental industries the need for all staff within the organisation to recognise where risks and opportunities exist has risen in importance.  It is essential that businesses have a workforce that understand these risks and the contributions individuals’ actions can make toward improving organisational resilience. Since ‘more of the same’ will be insufficient to meet increasingly challenging objectives, embracing risk as opportunity also needs to enter peoples’ thinking. Seeking opportunity through innovation is not without risk, so the two courses are complementary.”

The Leading Innovation within the Water and Environmental Industries course will take place over a two-day period, with learning outcomes split into two core agendas – The Introduction to Innovation & Water Industry Drivers and the Application of Innovation Techniques & Building a Business Case. 

The Management of Risk and Resilience course takes place over three days with numerous activities being covered. Examples include: regulatory perspectives, risk tolerance and strategic, tactical, and operational resilience.

Employees are the best people to address the challenges faced by the water and environmental industries. These courses allow organisations to equip, mobilise, and empower employees’ aspirations, talents, and enthusiasms. The reward for individuals arises through their ability to make stronger, more informed, and more confident contributions to delivering organisational success.

Learning & Development Associates has substantial experience in designing and developing flexible role-focused, bespoke interventions, which provide learners from varied backgrounds with the necessary skills to better understand the principles involved in both courses at a level appropriate to their roles.

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