As Bristow & Sutor directly employs its staff, all Enforcement Agents (EAs) have been furloughed during the COVID-19 lockdown. In addition to the job security benefits this provides, Bristow & Sutor has ensured furloughed EAs maintain access to continuous professional development (CPD) initiatives, for the benefit of the employee, the company and for customers.
A key benefit of furloughed staff continuing to receive CPD training and certification is that standards will not slip and EAs will be ready to work again as soon as it is safe and appropriate for them to do so. This will also benefit local authorities who cannot avoid a backlog in cases at a time when income is vital to funding essential local services.
Some of the CPD training currently being accessed includes annual GDPR refresher training and FORS training on van safety, counter terrorism and cycle safety. Our recent TfL announcement has meant the continuation of specific training designed to support that project and our fast roll-out of a new contact centre (allowing customer service staff to work from home opposed to being furloughed) has seen training provided on Ring Central telephone systems, Microsoft Teams, Yammer and SharePoint. This software will be utilised after lockdown has ended so it is useful for both non-furloughed and currently furloughed staff to be aware and to understand capabilities and usefulness. Two new starters who joined Bristow & Sutor in April could not be furloughed but are completing TCE legislation and an online introduction to the CICM Level 2 TCOG exam.
Many people could be struggling with mental well-being at this time and it is our belief that continuing to engage with CPD training has positive effects, such as maintaining a sense of growth and job normality during this difficult and challenging time. All staff at Bristow & Sutor have been given the opportunity to undertake an e-learning course on Mental Health Awareness through iHasco, with further well-being related activities set to be rolled out soon.
Enabling staff to support vulnerable people is something Bristow & Sutor is fully committed to and we believe maintaining training in this area especially will have significant benefits beyond COVID-19. The public have every right to expect well-trained, helpful and knowledgeable EAs any time they come into contact, including in the timeframe after lockdown measures are eased.
In addition to CPD training, Bristow & Sutor has acquired comprehensive PPE equipment and all staff will be trained to use this safely and correctly before any visits take place again. We remain committed to the guidance of CIVEA and all staff will be trained to adhere to the recently announced Post-Lockdown Support Plan.
By directly employing staff and keeping them up to date with CPD training and certification during furlough, Bristow & Sutor has ensured there will be no need for a sudden recruitment drive or lengthy transition period before EAs are fully prepared to provide best-in-class support once again. Bristow & Sutor remains committed as ever to its service approach of Cool, Calm and Collected.