The Safety Equipment Distributors Association (SEDA) has actively been involved in training and education since its inception. In 1994, SEDA and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) created the Qualified Safety Sales Professional (QSSP) program to further the education of sales professionals in the safety equipment industry.
Graduates of the QSSP program receive over 40 hours of in-person classroom training and must pass a final competency exam to receive a certificate of completion for the course. To date, over 700 people have received that designation. But QSSP is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the total training requirements needed for today's safety equipment distributor.
That's why SEDA is co-sponsoring with Safety Marketing Group (SMG) the new online training portal created by Safety Marketing Services (SMS) called the University of Safety Distribution, or UoSD. The mission of the university is to create reliable, affordable, easily accessible training for every employee actively involved in safety distribution.
A New Safety Tool
UoSD is the newest training tool available to SEDA members. It was designed to streamline the process of training a safety equipment distributor's employees without the high cost of sending those employees to off-site training classes. At the heart of the University of Safety Distribution is a learning management system (LMS) that has the ability to:
- Train, track and assess employees' progress.
- Assign a specific curriculum based on a job position.
- Run customized training reports.
- Schedule and assign training activities.
- Access SEDA's safety industry training courses like Fundamentals of Safety and Health (FOSH).
- Participate in manufacturer product training.
- Connect to software training and OSHA certified training courses.
Online training is not new — just new to many safety equipment distributors and SEDA members. Over 4 million individuals enroll in online programs annually, a figure which grows 30 percent each year. This creates a compelling argument for offering online training in any industry. Replacing a portion of standard teacher-led training with online training is fast becoming the most effective and cost efficient way of delivering the most training to the maximum number of people. More importantly, online training delivers measurable results that bring a real return on investment to SEDA members.
Historically, SEDA distributor members receive most of their training from their manufacturer supplier partners in “lunch and learn” environments. The new on-demand training programs offered through UoSD do not interrupt staffing, providing users access to consistent training with validated quizzes to test comprehension. Benefits of UoSD's online solution include:
Just-in-time learning — Learning on demand. Available anywhere, at any time.
Flexible — Interactive, self-paced courses that meet the individual learner's style and needs.
Cost effective — Training budgets now are focused on content, and not on travel costs, accommodations and time lost for meeting with customers. Content also creates a consistent message that represents your company.
Measurable — USoD allows organizations to see who is an “expert” and recognize the impact of his or her knowledge through course completion.
UoSD offers round-the-clock access to employee training for human resources, safety-specific topics, OSHA-authorized and manufacturer-specific training programs. Course content varies from 10-minute sessions to OSHA-authorized, 30-hour courses. SEDA's first goal is to convert the Fundamentals of Safety and Health (FOSH) course from an in-person, 10-hour course to an online training program that readily can be deployed deep within a distributor's organizational chart.
SEDA distributor and affiliate (manufacturer) members may participate in the University of Safety Distribution at no cost to them. This benefit is provided as part of their membership. SEDA members who use UoSD will have no upfront investments, no monthly maintenance or hosting fees and no user fees. All courses are paid for on a per-course basis, and all manufacturer product training is completely free to authorized distributors.
The University of Safety Distribution is a subsidiary of Safety Marketing Services, located in Brooksville, Fla. SMS is a publisher of distributor safety catalogs, Web sites and now, online safety training programs for safety equipment distributor employees. SMS can provide comprehensive online training programs customized to distributors or suppliers at a low cost. Courses can be delivered in either flash or video, or combinations of both. Visit http://www.uosd.org to learn more about this new tool for safety equipment distributors.