Refresher Courses; Is Your Business Keeping Up To Date?

refresher course

It is pretty common not to remember things you learned a long time ago. For instance, it is doubtful that you have retained all of your school information. If this knowledge is not regularly used or refreshed, it naturally fades over time to make room for new information, referred to as ‘cognitive offloading’. This is the same for workplace training. Good training courses must be provided to teach staff safety, compliance, and different skills for their chosen industry.


Not only this, but training courses and regulations change over time too. Over the past two years, health & safety rules regarding the Coronavirus pandemic are regularly changing. It is now more important than ever to refresh the relevant training courses, so your staff remain updated with current regulations.

Research shows that memory is changing with the development of the internet and smartphones. Now, instead of trying to recall facts using our brains, people jump to Google for convenience. As well as this, the amount of new information we receive each day from our phones takes up space in our memory, causing the brain to remove the things it doesn’t regularly use or need.

What Is Refresher Training?

Refresher training is a method to help reinstate knowledge of important topics. Any employer needs to ensure they provide the relevant training to their staff and then keep up with sufficient refresher courses to ensure no knowledge is lost. Good and effective refresher training will cover all of the basics learned in the original staff training course. This will help jog people’s memory and fill in gaps they may have overlooked or missed.

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This type of training is not essential in all areas. However, it will be mandatory for courses such as first aid, compliance, and general health & safety. As an employer, you must know the areas where you must keep your staff clued up. If you wish to, you can benefit from keeping your employee training up to date on various topics to help you get the most out of your workforce. The staff you have that are highly knowledgeable in multiple aspects of your business or industry, the more valuable they will be.

Benefits of Refreshing Your Training:

Fewer Mistakes

Although refresher training isn’t a legal requirement, it is highly beneficial to a business to ensure their staff are given all of the relevant training. If an incident occurred caused by a lack of employee understanding or knowledge, the employers would be liable. Dealing with this outcome can be expensive and lengthy, so it’s much better to do everything you can to avoid it.

Keeps the Important Knowledge at the Forefront

Staff training should cover the everyday basics, but it should also include other essential details or knowledge about the workplace and job role. If an employee isn’t utilising this information regularly, it will quickly fade. Refresher courses ensure all critical information is being prompted.

Employee Confidence & Competence

Ensuring your employees are both confident and competent in their position will benefit their work efficiency and help increase their productivity and their value to the business. Having a broad knowledge in a wide range of areas is essential to creating a dynamic work environment. It can also help with compliance and general health & safety.

Helps Identify Any Gaps in Knowledge

If a course has only been completed once, it is unlikely that all of the information has been absorbed.  This means it’s likely to be forgotten as time passes. Known as the Forgetting Curve, people retain knowledge for a short period before forgetting up to 90% of what they’ve learned after a month. This is why refresher courses are important for keeping the important stuff at the forefront of people’s minds.

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How To Spot When Your Team Needs A Refresh

There are various ways you can spot if your employees require a refresher training course. The most obvious is them making many mistakes in areas you know have been taught already. It is always better to resolve this when minor mistakes are made to prevent bigger ones from potentially occurring.

It is also recommended that you retrain your team to make them aware of the changes whenever your systems have been updated or switched to new software/ methods. Any serious policies or skills such as first aid training should be refreshed at least every 2 years to ensure all points are understood, and there are no gaps in employee knowledge.

How To Schedule Your Retraining

You can schedule refresher training into the workday to ensure your employees complete it. Some staff may wonder why they have to retrain in areas they have previously trained in, so it is beneficial to explain why they have to do it again. You can switch up your methods for a bit of variety by choosing face-to-face training or online courses.

Online courses are now more popular than ever as they can be a simple way to gain access to great training tools that otherwise wouldn’t be available. They are quick and straightforward to complete too. Employees can also go at their pace re-attempt their answers if they are incorrect.

Study Academy offers a broad range of online training courses suitable for initial training and refresher courses. We cover many industries, including food, healthcare, and more, so you are sure to find the tools you need to succeed.

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