Allergen Bingo!

Here we go – world’s first outing of allergen bingo – loads of ways of playing this! Today’s session is a short slot on a level 2 course, so it’s just at awareness level as they will be doing the full allergens training shortly. Can’t wait to see how it goes!

Notice that these cards include all 25 specific named allergens as required by UK legislation. Comments welcome as always.


Deja vu – inspired by face to face all over again

Now I am back to delivering face to face training again, I am re-discovering just what makes this engagement ‘in the room’ so inspiring. A recent level 3 Health and Safety course (CIEH) gave me the chance to roll out an old favourite – the responsibilities mind map.

So here it is reproduced for anyone to use, to engage their learners in understanding just how many personnel are involved in the health and safety of equipment operation.

Each branch can be expanded to list out the key responsibilities of the particular individual/team

This can be used to teach… teamwork, legal duties, communication, training, authorisation etc.

And other topics can go in the central idea area, such as slips and trips, noise, or even stress (that’ll be a good one!)

Of course, its ideal if the learners map this out themselves, but here is a trainer’s cheat sheet to help!

Creative training techniques for online and face to face – getting back, moving on and building better courses.

There can’t be any trainer who hasn’t reflected over the last two years about where training might go both personally and generally in the world of work.

It’s been a tough and sad time, and many trainers may have been hanging on, marking time, or just keeping going but without a sense of planning and direction we all used to take for granted. Some may have scaled back or even stopped, while some have diversified to new income streams.

However, there are signs that a new enthusiasm and necessity for training is emerging, even in the midst of another ‘crisis’.

So, my contribution will be to fire up the creative training arena, in the new context of online, face to face and blended approaches, but also including business and consultancy sustainability and growth.

So if you are a trainer, whether in house, or freelance, there will be something for you.

How will it work? I have the germs of ideas, but no fixed plan. I can make myself available on line virtually 24/7, and I am happy to arrange face to face meetings too. I am also happy to host and deliver 1 to 1 mentoring and training, and cost will always be secondary to value and support for those who want it.

Being selfish, I also expect to get some great ideas from interacting with colleagues, as all of us do.

So, there’s the pitch. I am forging ahead in my own business with some of these ideas – why not come along for the ride!!!

Email me if you want to get back, move on and build better courses!

Eager for face to face learning

Next week I have two more face to face (in the same physical space!) learning events to deliver. As we return, with some trepidation, to some normality, the last two years have enabled a careful reflection on learning events in our sectors.

For me there is now a new outlook, rather like an upgrade, on how I approach training requests from clients old and new alike.

I am taking into account now, just how much can a physical training day achieve, and how much of the content might be delivered differently.

For example, many of us, over many years of interaction with training colleagues, came to the conclusion that there was an art rather than science in the delivery of the one day course, which is still the bedrock of much physical space training.

But now I am starting to take account of how learning might be achieved in these brief and short lived ‘settings’, through a connected flow of interactions: pre course through surveys, e-learning and video tasters, through the physical training and facilitation day, onto post course reflections and further interactions, mentoring or group coaching, and ending with validation, certification, and/or accreditation.

When our clients simply say how excited they are to be attending physical training again, we ask them why would that be. The commonest answer is not that its the best type of training per se, its just that they are aching to get ‘back’ to that direct connection and close learning community with human interaction.

They deserve our best efforts to avoid the compulsion to just ‘flip a switch’ and go back to how it was before, and instead deliver a ‘step change’ experience in the training room and beyond.

More to share next time around!

Dear friends and colleagues…keep training!!!

Face to face, back to back, strength to strength!!

This week I have delivered two CIEH foundation courses, back to back 200 miles apart, and so good to re-establish great training events that people enjoy!

Good old flipchart exercises, coursebooks, watching new video clips of handwashing training by my granddaughter, a customised, revised and improved powerpoint show with lots of new photos and graphics. Super HD TV screen (all cables brought with me!). Carried a spare projector with me just in case. And I have produced brighter pre-course information. I am always open to improving my course, so onwards and upwards! (even my timing got better – less rushing, balanced emphasis, and time for those little ‘humorous’ moments!!!)

Favourite exercise? Always the thermometer construction by the whole group! Didn’t they do well and look, they all signed it!!! And I loved the artist’s quick change to blue for the fridge, if not the freezer!!!

It was two fabulous inspirational days out. Back to the office for paperwork and planning the next ones!

PS And yes they all passed (very well)!

Career Branding Map for mentees

I have recently taken on two mentees, in two different schemes, and one conversation prompted me to research career branding to help a mentee gain some structure to their job searching process.

This simple ‘mind-map’ provides some ideas and challenges to be explored in conversation, or even as a stand alone activity.

As a starting point, each sector could be ‘scored’ and could produce the familiar ‘wheel’ diagram to highlight what is good and what needs more attention. Alternatively it could be expanded in mindmap style into a presentation, or full blown mentoring programme.

Its down to the mentor and mentee to use it as they wish. I hope you find it of use. If you want a discussion on this feel free to email me

Personal Career Branding Map –

Merry Christmas to all my subscribers

Its been a tortuous two years or so for many, if not all of us, both professionally and personally. Although Christmas might usually be just a simple time of joy and happiness, this one, again, won’t be quite ‘normal’, so please stay safe and act cautiously.

Next year I will be here, as ever, offering nuggets of advice, training and coaching tips, and sharing my own journey of getting back to a new ‘normal’ with hybrid training, whatever is thrown at us. One thing is for certain, there will be some surprises, but hopefully also some, new and exciting developments in the world of environmental health training.

By the way, I am taking a break from my CIEH elected trustee role for now, having served for 3 years under very challenging times… however I will still be connected in some way, with the prospect of returning to the role in the future. I have strived to represent the views and opinions of those who voted me in during this time, while having to take difficult decisions to secure the future of the CIEH.

Wishing you and your teams, families and anyone else, a safe and festive time. Till next year…


Explaining HACCP – an old favourite

Back in 2006, when the ‘HACCP’ requirement was being implemented in the UK/Europe, I led a series of FSA/CIEH workshops on the new requirements, including introducing the infamous SFBB, now firmly embedded in the small food business psyche.

As part of that training, we developed the HACCP continuum, a graphic showing the flexibility of compliance, dependent on the complexity/risk of the setting.

I was recently reminded by a very good colleague that this was still not only relevant, but highly effective in explaining that HAACP solutions vary and there is no ‘right’ answer.

I am now preparing a webcast on this for release in the new year. Do have a look at the graphic and provide any comments to help flesh it out.