Do You Legally Need Legionella Training?
Here’s the headline fact: you do not legally need Legionella training to perform your Legionella control duties. However, the truth in the real world of managing legionella risk, and being accountable to others – be they your staff, the general public, or external auditors, is somewhat more complex.
You do not legally need Legionella training because you are not legally required to comply with the Approved Code of Practice ACoP L8 and HSG 274, in the same way that you are not legally required to comply with the Highway Code.
Failure to comply with the rules and guidance of the Code (which specifies appropriate and up-to-date Legionella training as a requirement) will not, in itself, cause an organisation or a person to be prosecuted, however, the ACoP L8 may be used in evidence in any court proceedings under the Health and Safety at Work Act.
Ultimately, if you choose not to comply with the ACoP L8 and HSG 274 (and that includes having up-to-date and appropriate legionella training) you must be able to prove to the Health and Safety Executive (or the Care Quality Commission in the case of healthcare premises) beyond any doubt why your way is better!
So, although you don’t legally need Legionella training, in reality, you must be able to prove your understanding of your legal responsibilities and competence. This is because you must have the right knowledge, and as a result be DEMONSTRABLY COMPETENT to do the job you hold.
As a result, it is nearly impossible to be able to show this without having recognised, certificated training. The Approved Code of Practice ACoP L8 guidance also notes the need for regular Legionella refresher training.
The greatest difficulty can be in choosing which Legionella training course you actually need.
From our experience, in most circumstances, the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) frowns upon low-cost online training where you simply read a block of text, or watch a short video and then answer questions. You simply cannot get enough knowledge on the subject without a trainer to give you the right level of detail for your role and answer your questions.
That is why we have developed all of our course with the City & Guilds to provide them via remote delivery for those that require it, while still being able to certificate them in the same way.
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