Latest News

Siemens Powerlines Limited – Safety Critical Communications (SCC) Training

Monday, May 20th, 2019

The demand for high quality, practical and contextualised Safety Critical Communications (SCC) training across the rail industry has rarely been higher. Benchmark is currently delivering a four-month programme of SCC training to 150 x staff across Siemens Powerlines Limited. The courses are being delivered at SPL’s premises in Wellingborough and incorporate both day and night courses to match the delegatres shift patterns.
The training focuses upon both the generic requirement to communicate effectively and also upon the specific circumstances and environment within which SPL’s critical communicators are required to operate. Each training course is highly interactive with delegates continually practising and demonstrating their skills and assessing their performance against the competency standard adopted across the rail industry. Delegate feedback is exceptional with many reporting a significant sense of achievement when their communications are judged to sit at the very highest end of the SCC grading spectrum. As ever, our trainers use a coach approach throughout each course which is, we believe, a major factor underpinning the success of the training.

Network Rail – South East Route – Behavioural Safety (BeST) Programme

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019

Following the successful design, development and piloting of a series of behavioural safety (BeST) courses for front-line maintenance teams in Network Rail South East Route, Benchmark has now been awarded a contract to deliver circa 200 x two-day courses over, initially, a two-year period. The two-day courses are complimented by a series of one-day workshops for line managers and post-training impact sessions to ensure the learning is fully embedded and sustained on the delegate’s return to the workplace
Each two-day BeST course is attended by a formed maintenance team, sometimes with the addition of a local Operations & Customer Service colleague. The training is conducted in the workplace and is highly interactive and very practical in nature. To maximise engagement, all the learning is contextualised to the workplace with the final practical activity conducted on the infrastructure and led by the delegates. BeST courses are run both day and night to fit the roster pattern of the team attending. On completing the training, each team produces a team action plan to ensure the learning is carried forward into the workplace. The training objectives enable delegates to:
• Look at how short-term memory works & how it shapes behaviour & decision-making.

• Identify & practise techniques to improve awareness & reaction to hazards & risks to help keep everyone safe by reducing accidents, incidents & near-misses attributed to lapses in concentration.

• Understand & practise Risk-Based Commentary to heighten everyone’s State of Preparedness and ensure everyone remains Situationally Aware at all times.

• Understand and practice Safety Conversations and how to challenge unsafe behaviour effectively.

Network Rail – London North West Route

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

HSEQ Team Conference
26-27 March 2019
As part of the HSEQ Team Conference, involving 50 staff from across LNW Route (from Carlisle to Watford), Benchmark facilitated a team integration event, using operational rail incident scenarios, to help teams work together more effectively.
The event used 4 x rail incidents using the excellent rail training facilities at the Fire Service College in Moreton-in-Marsh. Each team of 12 worked together to carry out a risk assessment of the scene they encountered and then produced a tactical level (Silver) brief using the Emergency Service’s METHANE format.
Key learning from the activity included the importance of individuals and teams being continually Situationally Aware of the whole environment within which the specific incident had occurred; the utility of team dynamics to delegate effectively, control tasks and maximise the team’s output; and the use of effective communications to negotiate, challenge and win trust.

Royal Air Force Charitable Trust Enterprise (RAF CTE) Capability Transformation Programme

Monday, March 18th, 2019

Since January 2019 Benchmark has been engaged in a systemic review and transformation programme with the senior leadership team of the charitable organisation that delivers the world class ‘Royal International Air Tattoo’ at Fairford. The aim of the programme is to further develop collective leadership and team capability across all the functional areas within the organisation; further improve collaborative working with stakeholders; and continue to deliver an event that exceeds all others.

The transformation programme is dynamic, fluid and output driven. It combines consultancy, team coaching, 1:1 coaching, group facilitation and L&D interventions. All are designed to create maximum inclusivity and engagement and deliver the wide spectrum impact that the RAF CTE senior leadership team is working towards. The programme is being conducted in phases: early engagement and inquiry; co-design of the agenda with short-medium term priorities; implementation across all levels of the business; resilience building with targeted action plans; and review of outputs against business objectives.

Benchmark is enjoying this highly dynamic and output focussed programme where the centre of interest is placed firmly upon collective engagement, development and improvement across all business functions.

Section Capability Improvement Programme for Infrastructure Maintenance

Friday, December 14th, 2018

Network Rail – Wessex Route
We are now in month two of a four month programme to deliver a safety and performance improvement programme to a track section in Wessex Route. Working in close collaboration with the Section Manager, we have co-created a dynamic, practical, work-based programme of learning support interventions that individually and collectively enable the Section Manager to deliver a more effective service to the Section’s customers. The programme is bespoke to the Section and incorporates outcome-focussed coaching, discussions, workshops and training events for each defined area of capability within the organisation.
The programme’s extended period is enabling team members to develop a greater awareness of, and confidence in, each others inputs, outputs and challenges and provides the time and space to enable new ways of working to be identified, explored, tried and adjusted. Facilitated Action Learning Sets are being used to provide every participant with the opportunity to identify, raise and share improvement ideas in a safe and supportive environment with agreed ideas being incorporated into the Section’s highly visible continual improvement plan. The programme is being dynamically defined, created and led by the Section Manager with very close support from the Benchmark facilitator.

Network Rail Apprentice Programme

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

ILM Level 2 Programme Update

In early October Benchmark Training Ltd delivered two days of leadership development activities on behalf of Babcock International Group for Cohort Five of the Network Rail Apprenticeship scheme. A total of 157 apprentices participated in a series of highly practical leadership development activities over two days, during their induction week at Network Rail’s Westwood Training Centre.
The aim of the two days was to give the apprentices a flavour of what to expect during the ILM Level 2 Certificate in Team Leading element of their apprenticeship. Each activity focussed on fun and engagement and involved the apprentices applying many of the skills and behaviours underpinning effective leadership including assessing, planning, briefing, coaching, motivating and reviewing. The programme was a great way to introduce the new apprentices to the very positive impact that great leadership has on the business and further encouraged their interest and understanding in this key capability that typically underpins successful individual and team safety and performance.

Behavioural Safety Training – Situation Awareness Courses

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

Network Rail – South East Route

We are delighted to have been selected to research, design and deliver a pilot training programme for infrastructure maintenance staff working in Network Rail’s South East Route. The programme is focused on front-line track maintenance teams and its aim is to introduce practical interventions that will reduce the likelihood of injuries and near-misses occurring to individuals working within these teams. The programmed is designed to improve each person’s Working Memory Capacity (WMC) and their subsequent behaviour. It will introduce track workers to a range of practical interventions and techniques that, both individually and collectively, will improve WMC and each workers awareness of their immediate and local environment, the risks and safety issues associated with that environment and how to manage them effectively. The programme will be very experiential with delegates spending the majority of their time practising the use of the new techniques being introduced to them. This approach is designed to give each delegate both the skills and confidence to employ the learning quickly and successfully within their workplace in order to further improve safety across this important area of capability.

Collective Training for Front-Line Teams – Section Capability Development

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

Network Rail – Anglia Route

Benchmark has successfully created and facilitated a three-day collective learning event for a Network Rail front-line team in Anglia Route. The event focused upon developing the collective understanding, knowledge, skills and performance of key Infrastructure Maintenance staff working within a specific Engineer’s area of responsibility. Staff attending the event included the Engineer, Section Managers, Supervisors, Planners and Administrators.
Working in partnership with Anglia Route operational management and L&D staff, we created a highly experiential, fully contextualised learning event that enabled each of the participants to understand fully the tasks, challenges, interfaces and opportunities that characterised each of their roles and how the work of others impacted either directly or indirectly upon them. Through considered facilitation, the team were able to identify a wide range of practices and procedures that they can introduce in a measured way that will further improve integrated working and both individual and collective performance. The event also enabled the participants to plan, record and measure collective improvement as an integral part of the team’s continuous improvement programme.
The framework for this type of event is entirely scaleable to every business unit within Network Rail.

MV Kelly Ltd – Front-Line Leader Development Programme

Tuesday, March 6th, 2018

Benchmark has been selected to design and deliver a national leadership development programme for 180 x front-line supervisors working for MV Kelly Ltd. This long-established, family-owned company is respected across the construction industry for its forward-thinking approach to the provision of high quality services. This programme will provide the Company’s supervisor community with a range of ground-breaking leadership skills, tools and knowledge to enable them to further improve work-site effectiveness and quality and deliver an exceptional capability to their customers. The training will be highly practical and will engage the learners using a suite of experiential and contextualised scenarios that reflects the ‘hands-on’ approach of this learner group.

South East Route, “Trusted to Lead” Programme

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

January saw the start of Network Rail’s South East Route “Trusted to Lead” development programme for the Route’s front-line leader community. Benchmark has been selected to deliver the Applied Leadership module and also the Safe Performance Leader module following the outstanding feedback received from our existing Leadership Essentials and Safe Performance Leader programmes. Both modules are bespoke and were designed by us. Each utilises a dynamic, experiential approach throughout to ensure the learners remain fully engaged. The module’s develop critical safety leadership skills and behaviours and include key sessions on leadership behaviours, leadership styles, effective decision making, safety culture and role-modelling. A coach-approach is adopted throughout.