EssentialSkillz helps to prevent priceless mishaps at Sotheby’s

From ancient artwork to the rarest wines in the world, the auctions rooms of Sotheby’s see thousands of priceless artefacts pass through its doors every year. To help ensure that the auctioneer’s gavel is the only thing that falls, staff that are routinely enrolled on a comprehensive manual handling course that provides in-depth training regarding the invaluable works that they come in to contact with. 

As Sotheby’s hold auctions around the world, it can often be difficult to find training that not only reflects the unique items but the unique locations and circumstances that make up the day to day life of an auction house. An online training course then, is the best solution as it offers greater flexibility to demonstrate the correct handling techniques for lifting, carrying and setting down items. As well as minimising potential damage to the sale items, the training course can reduce the risk of injury and any potential liability process that might result. A short test at the end of the course assesses the level of understanding gained.

Adam Courlander, the Health and Safety Officer at Sotheby’s said “I chose EssentialSkillz as their manual handling course was nice and easy to follow”.

This Manual Handling Essentials course from EssentialSkillz, a leading provider of online health and safety software, can easily be blended with a practical demonstration incorrect handling techniques for employees whose work involves a greater degree of manual handling.


Looking to train your employees in key health and safety practices? Visit our course library to see our online training catalogue and speak to one of our sales experts.  

Engie highlights how EssentialSkillz completely changed its compliance process for the better.

The previous DSE assessment our company implemented was a paper-based questionnaire thus making it difficult to track completion and ensure compliance. Issues that arose were often difficult to identify and resolve as the responsibility was on the individual to complete the assessment and hand this in.

As a solution, we introduced EssentialSkillz online DSE training. The DSE training module outlines the risk and importance of DSE and offers an online assessment for individuals to complete. This has allowed us to enhance our current induction process as it is a requirement for all new starters to complete the training and assessment. This allows for any issues to be properly highlighted and addressed in a timely manner.

The benefits of having the training online allow employees to complete the assessment whilst at their workspace using their work equipment. Issues that are flagged can be resolved with ease and often there isn’t the need for them to be escalated. It also offers the added benefit of offering the user suggestions on how to rectify certain issues there and then so that high-risk issues are minimised. This also reduces the need for a qualified DSE assessor to visit the individual to assess them which saves the business money and also time.

In addition to this, having the training centralised allows us to track completion and the system prioritises flagged issues in three categories (High/Medium and low) allowing us to deal with problems easily.  Again this has been a time saver and has ensured we remain compliant with our DSE requirements.

Finally, as an added bonus, we were able to add the Health and Safety and Fire Awareness modules to the online system as part of our induction training which was much more effective than the PowerPoint presentation that we previously had in place again enhancing the new starter experience.

All queries are dealt with accurately and on time; all the team at EssentialSkillz are very helpful and provide an excellent service.

The system has exceeded our expectations in many ways. For example, the ability to add more courses was not on our radar when we first subscribed but it presented us with the opportunity to enhance our induction and some of our classroom courses to promote a more blended approach to training.

The WorkWize system has really transformed the way we conduct our DSE and Health & Safety training, and I would not hesitate to recommend EssentialSkillz in the future.

Looking to train your employees in key health and safety practices? Visit our course library to see our online training catalogue and speak to one of our sales experts.  

The Problem

A large event management company in the Midlands was prompted to address the dangers of back disorders in the workplace, by an EssentialSkillz email newsletter publicising the HSE’s “Better Backs” campaign. Realising their provision and management of manual handling training and risk assessments could be improved, they got in touch to find out how an online solution could be implemented to improve the situation.

The Solution

Manual Handling is an online course designed to help organisations deliver training to employees as soon as they begin work and before they might need to practise a manual handling task.

In this training course employees learn:

  • The different types of manual handling injuries and how they occur
  • The importance of assessing every manual handling task to reduce the risk of injury
  • The correct handling technique for lifting, carrying and setting down a load
  • It is perfect as a stand-alone solution for office-based employees exposed to minimal handling risks.

This course can also easily be blended with a practical demonstration of incorrect handling techniques for employees whose work might involve a greater degree of manual handling tasks.

A risk assessment can be attached to the course, allowing an organisation to gauge the number and severity of manual handling risks in the workplace and implement control measures to resolve these concerns.

In Practice

The aim of the project was to train and assess 1000 staff over a four week period. To ensure a high take-up rate, the batch email facility within the WorkWize Learning Management System was utilised to deliver introductory and reminder emails.

Initially, this was set up by EssentialSkillz, but training was provided, enabling an administrator at the client’s end to manage this process thereafter. An incentive to finish the package was provided in the form of a prize draw. All those employees who completed the training and risk assessment on time were entered into a raffle to win one of three iPods.

The Results

As a result over two-thirds of the target group completed the training and risk assessment within the first four weeks. The CEO was so impressed that commitment was made to train and assess all staff using this delivery method.

Looking to train your employees in key health and safety practices? Visit our course library to see our online training catalogue and speak to one of our sales experts.  

I joined the business only a few months ago and one of my key duties was to assess our current training and how requirements were met etc. Health and Safety formed a big part of this and, having used the WorkWize Learning Management System in the past, I knew it would tick the boxes for the majority of our mandatory training.

A big plus for me is that I can also now log on the system any external courses an associate attends, which factors out the need for me to create a training spreadsheet.  I can also create my own training solutions around our policies and procedures for new starters. The above are all things that, when I joined, didn’t currently exist.

I have known Richard Birch for some years now, since first using the system at Kidsunlimited –  this will now be the third time that I have implemented this learning management system within an organisation. I think that alone speaks for itself, the assistance I receive is always given in a timely manner and the staff always seem friendly and ready to assist!

Looking for an effective Learning Management System? Visit our WorkWize LMS page to see the key features of our comprehensive solution and speak to one of our sales experts.  

The Problem

A major Engineering Company approached us with an issue in their current eLearning setup. The client had used a range of eLearning courses and had managed the rollout process internally for a number of years. A new requirement demanded that their eLearning solution be as automated as possible.

Within the business, there was a small, centrally based, Health & Safety team supporting a large number of employees dispersed over many different locations. They wanted to provide standardised training on a number of key Health & Safety issues and ensure that all staff received the training they required to work safely. Additionally, there was also a desire to deliver industry-specific information using eLearning so that the client could track completion and maintain compliance records.

Ideally, they wanted – 

  • To populate a central compliance training staff database
  • pre-programme training for all users for the next 24 months
  • create custom eLearning on key industry-specific topics
  • record and report on department and user training completion
  • managerial control over employee training

The Solution

EssentialSkillz offers a managed service to complement its online training and assessment solutions. In consultation with the client we were able to:

  • upload an easy to maintain database of users on our WorkWize management system
  • pre-programme training for the coming 24 months with staff receiving a tailored eLearning curriculum specific to their role and responsibilities within the business
  • schedule email introductions and reminders to automate the roll-out process and encourage course completion
  • monitor and collate training and assessment data within WorkWize for management reporting and compliance purposes
  • help create custom built training course based on industry-specific scripts using our Content Development Tool

In Practice

EssentialSkillz has been able to facilitate a system that is 99% automated.

All staff training has been pre-programmed for each user for the next 24 months in advance. Users receive a personalised automated email each month with instruction on how to complete any training courses assigned to them for the coming period.

The database is monitored monthly to see statistics on training completion. Management reports can be generated based on the individual user, line manager, department and the whole business.

Line Managers have specific access to enable them to monitor and review their own staffs’ progress.

For the clients, specialised industry-specific training requirements; EssentialSkillz were able to help them develop a low cost and highly accessible custom course. Using our Content Development Tool (CDT) their course was built, delivered and rolled out to staff in just a few weeks.

Looking to train your employees in key health and safety practices? Visit our course library to see our online training catalogue and speak to one of our sales experts. 

The Problem

Epwin were looking to deliver a group-specific manual handling training course as part of their induction programme entitled “One Foot and Move It”. Ideally, the company wanted to:

  • Reach employees across 30 geographically dispersed locations with a consistent training message regarding good manual handling practices and techniques
  • Implement a training programme that would be relevant and applicable for their particular business, budget and within a tight time frame
  • Identify the most appropriate format for delivering this solution so that if would effective in different working environments
  • Test understanding of their content
  • Generate and maintain training records and reports

The Solution

EssentialSkillz easy-to-use Rapid Course Authoring Tool – WorkWize Author – allows anyone capable of using Microsoft Word or PowerPoint to rapidly design, deliver and manage their own online learning programmes. Entirely new courses can be written or existing PowerPoint presentations and video training materials adapted for delivery online. Content can be tracked using WorkWize LMS, our Online Learning & Assessment System.

What can I get from the Rapid Course Authoring Tool?

  • The ability to easily create and update organisation specific online training courses with no programming requirement
  • Communicate effectively across your workforce while tracking, recording and testing each individual’s knowledge of the subject
  • Publish organisational policies and procedures and verify acknowledgement
  • Refresh and revitalise existing training content
  • Fast deployment


(adding or editing a course is as easy as one click)

In Practice

The primary concerns for Epwin were effectiveness, budget and time frame.

We were able to merge all of the media types supplied to us into WorkWize Author. Epwin had developed a 30-minute video that they wanted to roll out to staff, but needed some sort of mechanism to track take-up rates and test levels of understanding. EssentialSkillz were able to create a short module to introduce the footage, explain more about the training process and link through to the video. A test was added to verify that users had watched and listened attentively.

Epwin recorded the video footage and then turned to EssentialSkillz to incorporate it as part of an online training course. WorkWize Author is extremely easy to use, however resourcing issues and time pressures may compromise what can be achieved in house.

Epwin outsourced the development work to us and using our own authoring tool, EssentialSkillz was able to create the package in one day and roll it out within one week of invoicing.


(changing slide imagery with a drag and drop interface)

The Results

The implementation of the bespoke manual handling package within Epwin saw all the company’s objectives achieved.

  • New employees are receiving access to the training course, ensuring delivery of a relevant, consistent and uniform safety message
  • Post-course test created using the WorkWize Author quiz tool
  • Project completed well within budget and delivered within a week of invoice date

WorkWize LMS now provides Epwin with comprehensive real-time reports on training records and test results for their employees. This is exactly as they required in order for them to demonstrate the company’s adherence to best practice and legislative requirements.

‘As a geographically spread operation with 30 businesses throughout the UK we have been able to utilise the WorkWize Author to implement a standard training program to our own format that can be used throughout the Group. The Rapid Course Authoring Tool was straightforward to use and the roll out of the training program was then so effortless to do. The feedback by employees has been excellent as they have been given a training program that makes sense to them and is applicable to our business. Now we have started we do not want to stop; thanks to Essentialskillz and the team for providing an excellent platform and first-class support.’

Looking to train your employees in key health and safety practices? Visit our course library to see our online training catalogue and speak to one of our sales experts.  


We needed a system that would work well with a heavily office-based workforce, to ensure we could provide Health & Safety training, but was flexible so that workflow wasn’t disrupted and staff didn’t need to take time away from the workplace.

There were a number of factors that made the EssentialSkillz an ideal system for us;

  • Course content as standard covered the base needs of the business and provides excellent information for employees.
  • Being able to edit courses, when we deemed appropriate meant we could make the standard course into a be-spoke course and the ability to insert specific statements, documents & questions has been invaluable, both in providing employees with company-specific information but also proving employee awareness as a business.
  • The WorkWize Learning Management System is very user-friendly and the external support has been exceptional. To ring about the smallest of questions or request web-hosting to talk through any substantial requirements has always been met in a positive manner, with follow up calls to make sure everything is going well. Special thanks to Rachel & Stephen for their help.
  • Finally the cost. As a business, we could never have completed so much training, completed Risk Assessments and maintained records for anywhere near the annual cost of this product.

The level of support & technical assistance has been exceptional. All queries have been resolved very quickly. They are then followed up to ensure we are comfortable with what has been shown, explained or implemented.

This system exceeds our needs with its ability to become be-spoke to our working environment. The next stage is to take this further and obtain the ability to write some of our own courses outside of Health & Safety to raise staff awareness on other business requirements.

Looking to train your employees in key health and safety practices? Visit our course library to see our online training catalogue and speak to one of our sales experts.  

How would it feel to know that your employees are not only safer but that the time invested in tracking compliance training could be mitigated? In the world of the Internet of Things (IoT) and technology leading the way in which jobs are performed and enhanced, it could be dangerous not to bridge a smart system (LMS) with your business.

In the News: U.S. Compliance Concerns

In August 2017, OSHA claimed a security breach within their newly launched Injury Tracking Application (ITA) that Homeland Security was unable to locate. Still, the idea of private employee information being at risk leaves apprehension amongst employers who may report less about an employee’s injury or medical condition. According to an article by Haynes and Boone LLP in “Lexology”,

“Proposed budget cuts further complicate the issue. The Trump administration has proposed $2.5 billion in cuts to the Department of Labor’s budget for the fiscal year 2018. The proposed cuts will shrink the Department’s budget by 21 percent. It is unclear if the proposed cuts will impact implementation or upkeep of the Injury Tracking Application.”

If the cuts do impact ITA, it could come down to employers to ensure that there is not only a reduced number of injuries and risk so that the reporting will also decrease, but to streamline as much information as possible to ITA without too much follow up or upkeep needed at the individual level.

Where We Come In – A LMS is part of the Solution!

As we move toward 2019, tracking and managing employee training will be less of a hassle and more valued and ingrained into your company’s culture because of the automation we can provide.

With WorkWize some of the capabilities include:

  • Tracking the compliance and non-compliance with employee training
  • Sending automatic email notifications
  • Increasing the efficiency of the training process allowing you to gain more value in the training budget
  • Setting up easily and quickly
  • Increasing organizational awareness and thereby encouraging a culture of compliance
  • Keeping a single training record for each employee and,
  • Integrating the system with an HR or payroll system so that new employees are automatically put on a training path.

As employee scores within WorkWize can be compared to face-to-face training, it will serve as a second step in ensuring that employees understand the necessary health and safety measures required for their respective jobs. Of course, accidents happen and there is no way to control outcomes or expect that no injury or harm will ever occur, but by proactively making compliance training a top priority you will create a more conscious company and workers.

Course Sampling from our LMS

Falling At Work

According to the latest OSHA report, one in five worker deaths were in construction with 364 out of those 937 deaths due to falling. Our Slips, Trips and Falls course will take you through:

  • How slips, trips, and falls occur in the workplace
  • Common hazards that can cause slips, trips, and falls
  • Effective control measures to reduce the risk of slips, trips and falls occurring

Inhalation of Asbestos

Asbestos is the number one cause of occupational cancer in the United States. Several types of industry workers may come across this hazardous material because of its varied usage for several decades before it was partially banned in 1991. Once airborne, the carcinogenic material can become trapped within the lining of the lungs, causing mesothelioma, a rare lung disease that takes many years to present symptoms. To protect yourself and your employees from mishandling the material and inhaling the fibers, enroll in our Asbestos Awareness course. The course objectives are as follows:

  • To detail what Asbestos is and the different types of Asbestos.
  • To highlight Asbestos-related diseases and risk factors
  • To explain the legal requirements concerning Asbestos and how Asbestos is managed in the workplace.
  • To show the common types of Asbestos materials and where they may be found.
  • To detail the procedures for dealing with Asbestos related emergencies.

Exposure to Legionella

Last month, two cooling towers at Disneyland needed to be shut down following an outbreak of Legionnaire’s disease, where nine people who visited the park in September developed the disease. Because the bacteria is invisible and spread through the air, it is vital that those who are in charge of maintaining the components where legionella can breed are made aware of the potential risks and how to know when to alert concern. With our Legionella course, those taking it will be able to:

  • Highlight what legionella is and its impact on human health
  • Detail the conditions which encourage legionella bacteria growth
  • Explain the reasons for some of the actions a user may have been asked to carry out as part of an organization’s water management system
  • Know when to seek advice

Every year, the ways in which we use technology to make improvements in business and otherwise continue to grow at an alarming speed. To be without it puts businesses at a disadvantage because not only are you giving yourself more work but, in the case of health and safety, you are removing the ability to create a healthier workplace where one could exist quite simply. We encourage all employers to take this into serious consideration and to start off 2019 on the right foot with WorkWize.

The problem:

This particular customer success story happened a few months ago. Our customer needed to provide GDPR online training to all of their employees before the dreaded May deadline. Motivated by the fear of non-compliance and possible fines, our customer needed the training delivered ASAP. However, it was a requirement to have single sign-on (SSO) in place before rolling out their training.

SSO provides users with a seamless login to their training. Our system checks the user’s machine for a sign on (for example their email account) and uses these credentials to log them in to their training. This saves them time as they don’t have to manually enter their username and password, meaning a user only needs to log in once to access multiple applications.

The problem is that SSO can take time to set-up and with the approaching deadline, our customer didn’t have much time left.

The solution:

But not to worry, as Lukasz, in our Customer Success team, was on hand to help.

Lukasz understood that if we were going to beat the deadline, he needed to arrange a dedicated time slot for the customer’s IT team and the development team of VinciWorks to cooperate on the SSO set-up.

The result:

With dedicated support and our experience in setting up SSO with many other clients, the entire process took only a few hours. The customer was able to roll out GDPR online training across their entire workforce before the May deadline.

Łukasz Tymczak

So you’ve made the decision that eLearning is what your organisation needs. eLearning is a great way for organisations to gain new knowledge, and do so in a cost-effective way. eLearning can be tailored to meet your organisation’s specific needs, learners can progress at their own pace anytime and anywhere, and eLearning helps the environment by minimising car travel to classrooms and paper handouts.

I’m sure you already know what eLearning courses you need and you’ve probably already shortlisted providers for those courses. You might already have a specific provider in mind. Before you commit, here are the top 5 important considerations when choosing your next eLearning provider.

1) How will I deliver this eLearning?

  • There are many ways to deliver eLearning to your users, and selecting the best option depends on your organisation’s training requirements. The most popular method is to use a Learning Management System (LMS). An LMS is a system that can automatically deliver eLearning to your users and can generate reports on test scores, course status and completions.
  • An LMS can be expensive to purchase and time-consuming to set-up. That’s why an LMS is normally only cost effective for organisations with 100+ employees. For SMEs, a more straightforward approach is usually recommended e.g. purchase course access codes and manually email them to users.
    However, every organisation has different training requirements. There are many factors to consider before you decide on the best delivery method for your eLearning. Your organisation may wish to purchase course access codes instead of an LMS. Ask providers what they would recommend. Keep in mind that you don’t always need to use the same provider for both courses and delivery method. Shop around and see what other providers can offer you when it comes to delivering and managing your eLearning.

2) Is the course content frequently updated?

  • If you’re paying on a subscription basis, this consideration is a must, especially if the contract you’re signing is a year or longer. Some eLearning providers, spend more time growing their eLearning library than updating and maintaining their current library. Best practices and legislation change over time, and your eLearning must keep up.
  • You should ask the eLearning provider: How often they update their eLearning? When can you expect the next update? Can they show you the changes made on the last update?

3) Does this eLearning fully meet my training requirements?

  • Training and development is often one of the highest costs in an organisation, so it is important that your eLearning investment meets your organisation’s needs.  There are a few things you can do to ensure the eLearning provider chosen will help meet your training requirements. Check with the provider if the course accredited, to confirm the content is relevant. Ask if they can edit the course for you to include specific information relevant to your training requirements. Some providers will allow you to edit the eLearning, giving you complete control over your eLearning’s message.

4) What is the true cost of eLearning?

  • Even though a course or LMS is cheap to buy, it is important to consider how much it will cost to run. Think back to consideration no.1, about how you should deliver the eLearning? A delivery method that is ineffective or doesn’t work for an organisation could end up draining hours off the working day. Spending a little extra on the product to save your valuable time is always worth it. Be sure you thoroughly question the eLearning provider on how their eLearning can fulfil your training requirements. For example ask them how much time is required on your part to deliver it, and what level of training you will receive.

5) What level of customer support can I expect?

  • Everyone will need support eventually, whether a compatibility issue occurs during the integration phase or a browser issue causes an error. Although it is important to choose reliable products, it’s equally as important to select a provider that can quickly and effectively resolve any issues or concerns.
  • Every eLearning provider will say they’re no.1 for customer support. This phrase means very little in today’s market. Always question the provider about what support they provide. Ask them: How can you contact them? What hours can you call? Is all support free of charge? How quickly do they reply? Will you receive a dedicated account manager?
  • A good indication that an eLearning provider cares about your success is that the person who sold you the product doesn’t disappear once the contract is signed. Instead they remain easily contactable to answer your questions.