While the media is working itself into a frenzy about the potential effects of coronavirus on the health service, the economy and the panic buying of loo rolls, it is sensible for businesses to take time to consider their contingency plans.You will also need to distribute these plans to your team in a reliable manner and ensure that they are received, read and understood.

Training-Progress is an ideal tool for ensuring the distribution of changed protocols to your team via the Training Programme and also by the tracking of Urgent News communications.

1) Contingency Planning

First, it would be sensible to look at contingency plans should any member of your team become ill or be advised to self-isolate. The RCVS has issued advice that should help you to balance public health requirements and professional duty of care. Advice is changing rapidly and we recommend your policy is created by consulting up-to-date advice from the NHSgovernment websites, and BVA. A few additional links have been added below.

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/guidance-business- response.html

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-action-plan/coronavirus- action-plan-a-guide-to-what-you-can-expect-across-the-uk

When your policy has been formulated it should be shared with all team members. Training- Progress provides a reliable communication system called Urgent News. Urgent News allows businesses to share important information with relevant team members and track their acknowledgement of the item. Reminders can then be sent should the item remain unread. This is the ideal tool for ensuring your team is kept up-to-date with your current news.

2) Changes To Statutory Sick Pay 

You may also need to look at your sick pay policy. With people being required to self-isolate, are your provisions appropriate? Thegovernment has changed its statutory sick pay arrangements. You may also need to consider what provision you will make ifschools and childcare facilities are forced to close. If you contract an HR company they will be able to give you

appropriate advice on this. Our friends at Petaurum HR Solutions, who worked with us to create our Employee Manual haveposted a blog on a business response to the coronavirus and will be happy to be consulted professionally on this matter, shouldyou have additional queries.

You should use this information to update your sickness policy in your employee manual. Training-Progress has an inbuiltemployee manual which means that all employees can be simply notified of changes to specific sections. Thisdocument is then accessible for reference by all team members.

3) The Veterinary Angle 

As Covid-19 may be of animal origin, some clients may be concerned about the health of their pets and any potential risk they may pose to human companions. All front line staff should be armed with a current, evidence-based response.Useful sources of information for this are BVAWSAVAWHO

Again, Training-Progress clients will be using the Urgent News feature to be sure the whole team has read and understood this information.

4) Broader Protocols

This is a good opportunity to tighten hand hygiene regimes. Review and revise your current protocols; then require your team members to reassess.

You may also want to add special amendments to client greeting protocols (regarding handshaking).

Many practices have hand sanitisers provided as standard for clients but you may notice clients are far keener to use it in the present climate. Make sure your procedures are up- to-date with keeping it checked and topped up.

Practice cleaning regimes may also need to be tightened during this time; increasing disinfection of frequent use surfaces such as door handles, taps, keypads, phones and restrooms. Make sure the concentrations and contact times are appropriate for this viral threat by checking the datasheets of the products in use.

Tracking team member assessment of training tasks can be complicated, especially where reassessment takes place.Training-Progress is designed to manage changes and track the progress of all team members. Where team members have fallen behind reminders can be sent. Reports then provide evidence of training and distribution of information.

Training-Progress – The Essential Communication Tool 

Preparing your team to weather the storm will be important in protecting your business from the effects of a significant outbreak. Itwill also ensure your team feels confident in their rights and responsibilities in the coming weeks.

Training-Progress is the ideal tool to share knowledge and information with your team.

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