Thursday, July 14, 2022

BESA shortlisted for digital transformation award

The Building Engineering Services Association (BESA) has been shortlisted for a prestigious Association Excellence Award (AEA). 

This high-profile awards scheme was set up to celebrate and encourage the vital work that trade bodies, professional organisations and chartered institutions do for their members to ensure their voices are heard and their causes are championed. 

BESA has been shortlisted in the Digital Transformation category because of its rapid response to increased industry demands for digital services during the pandemic. It completely transformed its training provision in just four months and upgraded other member services to support the sector during lockdowns and then help with business recovery. 

The AEA judges recognised the importance of this work in supporting the building services sector through a critical period and congratulated BESA for its speed and breadth of response. The winners will be announced during a celebratory awards lunch at the Kia Oval, London on October 14. 

BESA had already planned to take more of its training provision online but accelerated the programme at the start of the Covid emergency and the BESA Academy was launched in August 2020it now has more than 8,000 users 

It drives apprenticeships, regulatory courses, short courses, and experienced worker programme development across the UK, ensuring they are fit for purpose and that skills needs are met. It does all of this on behalf of the entire sector, not just BESA members, so quickly became a significant rallying point during the pandemic, particularly because colleges and training centres were closed 

Building services contractors, as part of the construction sector, were required to keep working to support essential services such as hospitals, supermarkets, and vaccination services, so keeping up with training and regulatory requirements was critical. 

The judges also noted the importance of health & safety (H&S) during the crisis. This needed to be supported by a digital service to keep the industry’s SKILLcard service operational so key workers could continue to gain access sites by demonstrating their technical competence and H&S training. With physical test centres closed, BESA quickly stepped up to provide the necessary training through its Academy. 

BESA also incorporated new mandatory ‘Site Operating Procedures’ for covid working, developed by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), into their H&S course, updating it each of the six times it evolved. The association also made it available for free so employers could have confidence their workers were aware of the requirements. 

“I am delighted that our hard-working team has received this recognition for their impressive efforts to modernise our training provision,” said BESA’s director of training and skills Helen Yeulet. “They put in hundreds of extra hours at the height of the crisis to make sure members and the wider building services community could access vital support. 

“This proved crucial in keeping this whole vital sector operating but also continues to pay dividends. It accelerated the process of converting to online methods and adopting technologies that allow us to deliver education more flexibly and in a way that meets modern expectations. 

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