HR & Employment Services
South West Councils
Message re Covid-19
While there is currently no foreseen impact to the operation of South West Councils’ services, we wanted to provide some detail regarding our preparedness around potential effects of an outbreak such as Covid-19, should the situation change.
Specific to COVID-19, we are assessing preparedness to ensure continued service delivery during this event. The three areas of focus during any situation that challenges normal operations are as follows:
- Impact to people – are we prepared should there be impact on our staff or other individuals responsible for delivering service to our customers?
- Impact to systems – does the event have a potential impact on our systems used to deliver and support our services?
- Impact to location – are the locations from which we deliver, and support services effected and what is our response?
Impact to People – South West Councils have the capability of ensuring continued operations with services which are provided remotely. Employees responsible for managing the service all have access to resources needed to work from home or the office.
If team members fall ill, South West Councils will do its utmost to continue to provide expertise from within the team to provide the advice and support to its member and customer organisations as needed.
Impact to systems – First and foremost there are no known impacts to the systems that deliver and support our services. South West Councils use Microsoft 365 and one of the benefits of a cloud service is the ability to work remotely. We see no effect to our ability to manage the systems and we can confirm that we have adequate capacity for staff to work remotely. There are other key work activities, which are also cloud based services such as the Coaching Management System, End-Point Assessment and SW Jobs.
South West Councils work with an external IT company for technical support, who can access our servers remotely to deal with any issues across the systems.
Impact to location
Dennett House, HQ - should SW Councils need to close, staff have the ability and support to work from home.
Other Locations - many of our learning and development events and some of our consultancy support are delivered face to face at Dennett House and other locations throughout the South West. The intention is events will continue to run but we will be mindful of advice and guidance issued by the Government and Public Health England regarding travel and holding gatherings of people. Where events and meetings can be delivered virtually, every effort will be made to do so. In the case of the need to postpone an event, SW Councils will inform all participants as soon as possible and ensue they are aware of the cancellation (cancellation terms and conditions are explained below) Where possible, events will be re-scheduled at a more appropriate time.
SW Councils and Assessors do not in the main meet with Apprentices so risk is extremely low that there would not be disruption from face to face contact. As most assessment is done virtually, even if the apprentice or the Assessor were to be self isolated, assessments should still be able to proceed as IT equipment is normally available in homes. If Apprentices were sick, the assessment would be rescheduled and if Assessors were sick, we would do our best to allocate an alternative assessor but failing this, the assessment would be re-arranged.
Sometimes circumstances mean that we are obliged to cancel or postpone an event. We will advise authorising officers and applicants of such a decision as soon after the closing date as possible. If you cancel within 90 days to 31 days of the event and do not nominate a substitute, then 50% of the fee is payable. If you cancel within 31 days or less before the event, the full fee is payable. NB: We cannot accept substitutes on qualification courses. Please note that we reserve the right to make changes at short notice to the content, timing, speakers and/or venue. Free Events: participants booked onto free events will be charged £55 plus VAT for non-attendance and for cancellation within 5 or less working days.