One thing for sure is that life resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic is not the same; and is unlikely to be so for some time. Organisations are having to operate differently whilst still delivering their products and services. Trade Associations are no different. The WHA has as its byline “Quality Trust Standards” – and it is essential that these continue to be maintained, even during this difficult time.
The WHA provides information for its Members and Facilities Management concerning Health and Hygiene and the return to the workplace. An information series of Frequently Asked Questions is available via your WHA Supplier.
WHA Members must undergo strict annual, mandatory audits. These audits assess compliance to both legislative standards and WHA guidelines to ensure that the highest standards of hygiene and safety of drinking water are adhered to. The WHA have looked at the process of carrying out their annual Bottling Plant, Distributor/Operator and Supplier audits to accommodate the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, whilst maintaining the high quality that is synonymous with WHA Members. It is vital at the present time, when hygiene is paramount, to continue this process. It has been agreed by the WHA Executive Council that for 2020, the audits must continue, but for 2020 they will be held remotely. They will be operated in line with Government guidelines whilst being sensitive to the concerns of Members.
They will be in two sections:
a. Submission of documentation for digital review
b. Key areas presented via video call
Members have been sent a detailed list of evidence of work to be sent to the Auditors prior to video call for assessment covering all areas of the audit guidelines. The video call will then cover in depth visual aspects to ensure that the Member has adhered to the requirements in full.
Training is a mainstay of membership and an integral part of the Association. The WHA mandates that Members’ personnel, other than administrative and sales, must undergo appropriate hygiene and operational training. As the world begins to re-emerge, the focus will fall on hygiene more than ever. The WHA are therefore offering relevant training courses flexibly.
- In-house Hygiene Awareness courses: these will still be available in-house to those Members who have the appropriate facilities. Members have been sent information on the various protocols that will be followed to ensure the safety of delegates and trainer alike.
- External Regional Hygiene Awareness Course: for those without suitable facilities, regional hygiene training will still be available at a central suitable venue – again following detailed protocols.
- Virtual Regional Hygiene Awareness Course: some Members may not feel happy about sending their staff into a physical training environment, and therefore a virtual regional hygiene awareness course is offered via Teams or Zoom.
The WHA are confident that they are offering Members hygiene training options both to meet their concerns and to ensure that high hygiene standards are maintained.
Other WHA training courses plant operation, distribution management, crisis management and installation, which are full day interactive programmes, will continue to be held physically, but of course with careful management to ensure safety.
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