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Ladder Association recommends suspension of face-to-face training during COVID-19 outbreak

It has never been the Ladder Association's policy to interfere in the business activities of our members. We know you are well aware of Government guidance in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic, and will be assessing the risk to your staff, customers and supply chain.

However, following the Prime Minister’s statement on Monday 23rd March, the Ladder Association now strongly recommends that our UK members suspend all non-essential activities, in particular classroom and instructor delivered training, to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

The only foreseeable exception to this advice is where the activities you are undertaking are essential to the effort to combat the spread of the virus or for the wellbeing of society during this crisis, for example in support of the NHS or emergency services or helping to maintain transport networks. Always provided, of course, that you are able to do so within Government guidelines, such as social distancing, to prevent the spread of the virus, and without undue risk to you or your staff.

These are tough times for businesses and the future is uncertain. However, we each have a responsibility to do what we can to combat the virus. For our part, we can confirm the following:

* The Ladder Association team are all now working from home (but you can still reach us on the usual phone number and email addresses)

* Deliveries of Ladder Cards and Certificates are suspended

* Deliveries of shop orders are suspended

* Our instructor training programme is on hold

* Annual audits will be conducted remotely, or rescheduled if that is not possible

Our operation will return to normal as soon as it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, thank you for bearing with us. I can assure you that the top priority for everyone here is supporting you through these unprecedented times. Here’s an update on what we’re doing:

* The online Ladder Learning portal launched this week, allowing delegates to watch theory sessions at home up to 90 days before they sit the written assessment and complete the practical session at a training centre (and we’ll extend the deadline if it becomes necessary)

* We have collated a list of useful resources and guidance for employers and businesses, including how to access financial support from the government.

* If you need to, please talk to us about payment plans for any outstanding invoices – we’re here to help.

* Join our small, private LinkedIn group dedicated to discussing the challenges that arise while running or working in training centres during the coronavirus outbreak.

There are two ways you can offer us valuable feedback:

* We’re collecting testimonies on the impact COVID-19 is having on your business, so we can tailor the support we offer to you and represent your interests to government. The questionnaire is ongoing, so please complete it as often as you like.

* Give us your suggestions for how we, over the coming weeks, can inspire, educate, upskill and support you and your team, so that when this is all over, your business is in the best possible position to thrive.

I’ll finish with some news for those whose Ladder Cards are due to expire shortly. We will extend the validity of cards for an initial period of 90 days when the cardholder books a place on a future training course and completes the theory session online.

We look forward to the day that Ladder Association members can once again get on with the important business of improving safety for those who work at height. Until then, there’s something even more basic we can do to protect them, and everyone else around us, and that is simply to stay at home.

Take care and stay safe.

Peter Bennett OBE
Executive Director
The Ladder Association

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