Wednesday, September 12, 2018

BESA Training Challenge Accepted!

Louise Calam, BESA Regional Association Manager


I have been working as one of BESA’s Regional Association Managers for 18 months now and I have spent time getting to know the members, learning the ropes and proactively communicating the benefits of BESA to all. So, I thought it was time to get stuck in to the day-to-day activity that some of our members are involved in.

We have a range of experts from air-conditioning to facilities maintenance to plumbing to ventilation hygiene. Whilst speaking to Alan Gregory, East Counties Chairman and owner of IAQ Consultancy Services, I let him know my mission of a getting better understanding of our industries. Through BESA Training, he runs and co-ordinates the BESA Accredited Grease Hygiene Training Course and without hesitation, he enrolled me on the three-day Grease Hygiene Operative Competency Course. Admittedly, after our conversation I thought, “What have I done?!”.

Thankfully, there was no need to worry. For the first day, I made my way to Swiftclean in Essex where the training course is held and found myself in an immaculate training room with Alan and three trainees from another BESA member, Hydro-X.

Day One: Comprised of the theory of health and safety, fire safety and fire spread, system design and components. Death by PowerPoint you ask? Not at all. If you haven’t met Alan yet, he is extremely easy to talk to which made the first day a cinch. Yes, there was PowerPoint but it was much more of a conversation around the table filled with past experiences from the other trainees and easy to understand, digestible information. This meant I was able to absorb regulations such as The Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 and specifications from DW172 and TR19.

Day Two: After some hours in the classroom, I was looking forward to doing some practical. The morning began with a bit more theory and revision of the previous day. Then on to the practical - setting up the work area and installing access panels. Swiftclean have a mock-kitchen training room on the ground floor of their offices, complete with ductwork, appliances, gas valves and everything you would find in your typical commercial kitchen. Firstly we secured the area with barriers, signage and “isolated” the gas and extract fan. Next job, I was passed a Draco metal cutting shear, with the intention for me to install and access a panel – thankfully my peers had faith in me to do this – I wasn’t so sure. However, as a first-timer I didn’t do too badly.  The other guys were pros at doing this so I have a whole room filled with advice which made the practical much easier.

Day Three: The day no-one looks forward to – the exam. Equipped with my comprehensive training course handbook – over 80 pages of information that provided excellent bed time reading prior to the exam. I felt I was ready. A 50 question exam paper may sound daunting, but there was multiple choice answers and it was clear we had all learnt so much because we all managed to pass the Grease Hygiene Operative training course with flying colours!

I was incredibly chuffed, as the last exam I passed was driving test in 2004!

So, if you are considering a career in ventilation hygiene and or need to train your own staff, BESA Training is the only place you need.

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