News story

Virtual College develops online training with the Health and Safety Executive (HSE)

Ilkley Learning NewsVirtual College

Virtual College has teamed up with subject matter experts from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to develop a new online health and safety training solution for slips, trips and falls in the workplace. It has not only been designed to help businesses meet their compliance needs, but the learner has been at the forefront of the creative process ensuring a training solution that is relevant, engaging, flexible and accessible to all.

Screen capture from the online course
Screen capture from the online course 

Virtual College is no stranger to the importance of health and safety training. The company understands how vital it is for companies to be compliant with health and safety laws in order to avoid large fines, imprisonment or loss of reputation.

Virtual College recognised that as slips, trips and falls are one of the biggest causes of serious accidents at work, a strong training solution was needed. By collaborating with HSE they ensured that the content was in-depth, correct and in line with businesses’ needs.

‘Falls due to slips or trips remain a significant contributor to the risk of injury and ill health at work with numerous major injuries to employees and significant costs to employers,’ explains Jill De Nardo, Head of Commercial Training at Health and Safety Executive. ‘We are pleased to be collaborating with Virtual College on this important topic and hope that by combining our strengths we will be able to significantly extend our reach and improve understanding on the causes of slips trips and falls in the workplace so that they can be prevented, often with simple, inexpensive interventions.’

Virtual College knew that to ensure businesses are truly compliant, they had to put the learner at the forefront of their design and creation process.

‘It can’t be ignored, learners can become ambivalent to compliance training, especially health and safety – they can see it as something they are forced to do and, therefore, no one really learns from it,’ explains Sarah Baker, Chief Learning Officer at Virtual College. ‘We want to change this. We know how important training is to a business’ compliance needs, but the learner is a vital part of that, which is often overlooked. So, training needs be engaging, relevant, flexible and accessible to all. This is how we approached our new health and safety training.’

Virtual College’s in-house content department, which includes numerous instructional designers and graphic designers, are developing the training. They understand learners have different job roles and come from different sectors, which means that learning cannot be a ‘one size fits all’. To tackle this, they considered different elements of the learning.


To make sure that the learner only receives information that is relevant to them, the content has been designed so it is as relevant and personal to them as possible. Three different courses have been developed, each one relating to different job roles and responsibilities, and within each one they can personalise the information to common sectors, such as catering and hospitality, education, and healthcare.


The content has been broken down into bite-sized chunks to allow learners the freedom to move through the content freely, re-visit content with ease and fit the training into their schedule.


In order to increase engagement and keep the flow of content interesting to the learner, sector-specific case studies are used throughout the course alongside a wide range of media types, such as talking head videos, live action videos, graphical animated videos, interactive infographics, and downloadable resources.

Accessible to all

They have also made sure that all the content is accessible to WCAG AA standards. This includes ensuring that the newly designed content works with screen readers, relevant images has alt text, and videos have captions and downloadable transcripts. They are also fully tested externally to ensure they meet the accessibility standards, as well as work on all browsers and devices.

To access the new online courses provided by Virtual College and the Health and Safety Executive, visit To find out more about Virtual College’s health and safety courses, visit


About HSE

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It prevents work-related death, injury and ill health. HSE is proud of the support it provides to businesses to help them comply with their legal duties. The website at provides guidance and advice on a range of key topics, and using cutting-edge research working with industry. As well as this, organisations have the opportunity to invest in a range of products and services such as training, publications and products, consultancy and bespoke research to help them achieve health and safety excellence.