Initial Experiences from the Pilot

In 2018, the revised concepts were put to practice for the first time: From March 2018 until April 2019, the training program was piloted at the DGUV’s Institute for Work and Health (IAG) in two courses with 20 participants each.

The courses were evaluated systematically, involving a combination of written feedback from learners and learning facilitators, submitted via specifically created feedback forms, and feedback discussions in the seminar groups after each face-to-face period. The feedback discussions were led by external moderators who were not involved in the development and implementation of the Sifa training program. In addition, observers from the project group that developed the training program were present during the pilot and added their observations to the evaluation. Whereas the written feedback forms were only used by participants and learning facilitators during the first modules, the feedback discussions evolved into a central forum for learner feedback. As the results of the pilot have shown, the redesigned training program works and participants showed pronounced role awareness early on in the training and applied the comprehensive approach as a matter of course. As planned, future safety professionals were enabled to acquire the necessary competences. Furthermore, they engaged in intensive reflections on their role as supporters and consultants and recognized the key relevance of a suitable company structure when it comes to safety and health.

Conclusion and Outlook

The first set of accidence insurance institutions switched to the redesigned Sifa training program in the second half of 2019; in 2022, the transition is expected to be completed at all training providers.

The redesigned program thus took more than ten years to develop - much longer than originally anticipated. The development of media and materials turned out to be particularly time-consuming. One lesson learned by the project group was that the design of educational media has to be part of the process from the very beginning. Owing to the rapid advances in media technology, however, the prolonged development period also enabled the inclusion of new, state-of-the-art educational media. The highly realistic simulations of work situations, for example, provide learners with excellent opportunities to practice what they have learned in real-world scenarios.

Changes in the World of Work and Changes in Sifa Training

Work and society are in a process of constant change. This change also affects what is expected of safety professionals. The redesigned Sifa training program creates the necessary foundations to enable safety professionals to adapt their knowledge to changing needs and situations. As a result, they are also prepared to more easily acquire additional competences independently at a later point (“lifelong learning”). Transformation processes occurring inside the organization are another area where safety professionals can make active contributions. Likewise, safety professionals are capable of actively exploring and addressing health and safety issues brought on by digitalization, demographic change, new technologies, and the like, each in response to different needs and fields of activity.

However, the changes in the world of work also imply ongoing changes to the Sifa training program - changes that go beyond updating legal references and technical insights. Accordingly, the Sifa competence profile must be reviewed and adapted on a regular basis, and the Sifa training program must continue to evolve.

To achieve the maximum effect in terms of prevention, the program’s contents and methods should be revisited by prevention specialists on a regular basis. The experiences and trends from the Sifa training program can be of interest with regard to regulation, much in the same way that regulation forms the basis for the Sifa training program. Likewise, engaging in international exchanges on the insights and experiences from safety professional training in other countries is another rewarding pursuit.

< Prev   CONTENTS   Source   Next >