What is a training matrix?
A training matrix has always been the bread and butter for Safety Managers and Training Coordinators and while Excel has sufficed in the pre cloud era, with more complex and specialised workforces, the industry leaders are looking for better solutions.
Basic training matrices simply map a requirement to a staff member, with a date of when their certificate expires and a filing cabinet to store your staff's certificate in case an audit is conducted requiring proof.
This might do if a Safety Manager is only coordinating 10 staff but when you have several branches and many specialists in your organisation, your training matrix can now span reams of paper and be virtually unreadable by anyone but yourself.
7 features you should have in your training matrix software
1. Automated reminders
You don't have time to check your training matrix every other day to ensure your employees' training is up-to-date and if you're away its a given that someone's compliance will lapse. We live in a world of automation and you should expect your training matrix to have it.
2. Custom Reports
When you're managing different sites or employees across multiple disciplines, it's important to know the areas that are lacking. It could be that a particular site is very remote so deploying training in the area is challenging or there aren't sufficient training providers for a particular course. Without the ability to report on these areas, problems might fly under the radar.
3. Organise by staff's requirements
When you have hundreds of staff, making sure that a new employee has the 20+ requirements to do their job is an error prone, repetitive process. Managing your organisation by location, job requirements or position ensures you don't rip your hair out.
4. Secure redundant storage
Storing your staff's certificates in a filing cabinet is fraught with danger. Fire, theft and even age is an enemy of paper based certificates. Digitising them is one thing but the cost of storage both locally and offsite is a pain, especially when you don't have dedicated IT resources for it. Fortunately this is something that the cloud does very well.
5. Historical Archive
Governments and industry bodies can require you to keep archives for more than 5 years. This is annoying to store and impossible to search through but keeping expired certificates is an absolute must to ensure when an audit happens, you're prepared.
6. Trends over time
Recording all this data is great, but what use is it if you can't compare it. It's important to ensure you're improving and on top of this, where you are lacking. Segmenting your historical data by how you segment your staff allows you to be proactive with your staff training.
As a safety manager, the buck stops with you for your staff safety. However it's the people on the ground that have a direct responsibility and ultimately see the direct benefit of a safer workplace. Without the knowledge of who is compliant and who isn't, they won't show much interest in improving it.