FAQS - Virtual Health & Safety Training

With government guidance continuing to encourage those whose roles allow them to work from home to continue doing so, remote working has become part of what many are alluding to as the ‘new normal’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. Consequently, the rise of video conferencing software such as Zoom has seen hundreds of thousands of organisations – including SOCOTEC – carry out meetings, interviews and training courses via the web.

Here, SOCOTEC’s team of Health & Safety consultants answer a series of FAQs regarding virtual learning, with a particular focus on how it uses Zoom software to host a wide range of health and safety training courses remotely.


How do you use Zoom for virtual learning?

In the absence of the traditional classroom-based method, virtual learning sessions can be carried out via Zoom. As long as users have a good internet connection, the major advantage to opting for virtual health and safety training sessions is that they can be carried out anywhere, at any time and in any location, and can also be tailored to suit the individual needs of your business.

Once you have booked onto one of SOCOTEC’s virtual health and safety training courses, a member of the team will be in touch to send over instructions to confirm the time, date and instructions required to join the meeting. Prior to the Zoom training session, ensure that the software has successfully installed and that you have set up and validated your Zoom account via email. You will then be able to join the meeting from the Zoom home page, where you will be prompted to enter your private meeting ID and password prior to being accepted into the training session.

Is Zoom safe to use for virtual learning?  

Zoom has implemented a host of security and privacy measures to ensure that user safety is maintained at all times. These include password-protected meetings by default (as well as the option to lock meetings once all participants have joined), end-to-end encryption for all users and the implementation of a waiting room, giving the host complete control to determine who can attend the meeting.

The most important thing that you can do to keep safe on Zoom is to ensure that you have the appropriate control measures in place, such as password-protecting your Zoom account and having anti-virus and malware protection software installed onto your PC. Additional tips for ensuring that your user experience with Zoom is as safe as possible include:

  • Updating to the latest version of Zoom to ensure that the latest software and security features are installed
  • Changing your settings to ensure that all meetings are password protected
  • Checking Zoom invitations are genuine prior to opening the link
  • Keeping your meetings private and locked once all users are in attendance.

Is Zoom free to join? 

Zoom’s Basic Plan is completely free for all users, although it has a 40-minute time limit on meetings with three or more participants (allowing a maximum of 100 participants in a call). By opting for Zoom Pro Plan, meetings can run for up to 24 hours at a time, hold up to 1,000 participants on one call, and allow the host to record meetings and schedule repeat conferences. SOCOTEC has opted for the Zoom Pro package to carry out all of its remote training sessions, allowing users to share the same benefits and features for free when they join the call.

How many people can join a Zoom meeting?

If a member of SOCOTEC’s Health and Safety Consultancy is hosting the meeting, up to 40 people are able to join onto the remote training course at once. However, depending on the nature of the training, each meeting will be subject to a maximum set of numbers, which users will be notified of when they are making a booking.

Will I need a laptop for my virtual learning session?

Users will require either a desktop/laptop PC or a tablet device in order to participate in the Zoom training session. These must be video-enabled and have a fully functioning speaker and microphone in order for the delegate to be an active participant. While the Zoom app is available for download via your smartphone, SOCOTEC recommends that virtual health and safety training sessions are not suitable for delivery or participation on these devices.

If you have booked onto a remote training course as a group, please make sure that each delegate uses a separate device in order to remain fully compliant with current social distancing guidelines. If possible, it is also recommended that each participant signs up to the training course using their individual email address so that they can be sent separate invitations.

Can my virtual learning session be tailored to my industry?

Zoom training sessions can be tailored to your industry, although this is largely dependent on the nature of each individual sector. By tailoring your virtual training course to your industry’s requirements, additional development charges may be incurred as a result. If you are interested in pursuing this, please contact a member of SOCOTEC’s Health & Safety Consultancy, who will be able to assist with bespoke training course requirements.

What is a COVID-19 risk assessment

With the latest government guidance permitting businesses across the leisure and hospitality sectors – such as pubs, restaurants, holiday accommodation, hairdressers and cinemas – to reopen their doors from 4 July, employers are legally required to carry out a risk assessment prior to reopening in order to take all reasonable steps and safeguarding measures that will help protect employees and the general public against the virus.

When undertaken properly, a COVID-19 risk assessment will identify the situations and activities that may cause the spread of the virus, consider who could be at risk and decide the likelihood of an individual’s exposure. This includes deciding which jobs and tasks can be changed to minimise the risk of transmission, ensuring that those in the workplace adhere to current social distancing guidelines and maintaining strict levels of hygiene at all times. As a result, employers will be able to determine how situations can be removed, or where this is not possible, altered to control the risk and keep transmission rates as low as possible.

Why do I need a COVID-19 risk assessment?

It is important for employers to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment prior to reopening their premises, as they have a duty of care to ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of staff, contractors and visitors at all times. In addition, they must also demonstrate to key stakeholders and employees that they have adapted the workplace and associated working practices to ensure that hazards have been identified and that control measures are in place to reduce the risks to the lowest level reasonably practicable.

How do I book onto COVID-19 Risk Assessment training?

Those who are interested in booking onto SOCOTEC’s virtual COVID-19 Risk Assessment training course can make a booking via our online shop, which can be accessed via this link. Once the course has been booked and payment has been made, SOCOTEC’s Health & Safety Consultants will issue you with an email invitation detailing how you can join on the day of the training.

When will I receive the additional resources required to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment?

As part of the virtual risk assessment training course, delegates will be provided with audit materials in the form of COVID-19 risk assessment templates and guidance documents immediately after the training session. This will equip them with the confidence to carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment based on their newly acquired knowledge, which is tailored to their individual business needs.

Do all delegates need their own PC to participate in virtual learning sessions?

Delegates are permitted to share a communal screen, but they must ensure that they adhere to the current social distancing guidelines at all times. As aforementioned, each device should be Zoom-enabled and have access to a microphone and speakers so that delegates can ask questions throughout the training.

Will I complete a COVID-19 risk assessment during the course?

Delegates will not complete a COVID-19 risk assessment as part of their training. Instead, they will gain an understanding as to how risk assessments are undertaken, with an emphasis on COVID-19 hazards and risks in a variety of workplace settings. Upon completion of the course, delegates will be provided with user-friendly documentation, which will guide them through the risk assessment process. If you require ongoing support, please enquire about SOCOTEC’s range of ‘Business Ready’ packages, which provide further guidance and support for employers who are looking to safely return to work after the global pandemic.

Will delegates receive a certificate following completion of the COVID-19 risk assessment training course?

Once they have successfully completed the virtual risk assessment training course, delegates will be emailed a certificate as proof of their newfound expertise, which will then be available for them to download and print.

How can SOCOTEC help?

In addition to COVID-19 risk assessment training, SOCOTEC is able to offer a comprehensive range of health and safety courses using virtual/remote technology. From IOSH and CITB-accredited training to dedicated e-learning courses covering such topics as Fire Safety, Pandemic Awareness and PPE, delegates have a broad selection to virtual learning sessions to choose from, many of which can be tailored directly to the bespoke requirements of their business and employees.

Visit SOCOTEC’s online Shop for further information, or get in touch with our Health & Safety Consultancy team today.