Peter Morris, Lead Trainer
Expenses! Balloons, sherbet Dib-dabs, a disco ball and a toy truck!
More about my ‘training aids’ later. As the lead trainer for the Axis Academy, during a typical working week, I get the opportunity to make friends, educate and influence between twelve and sixty people. I love what I do and am very lucky to work with a team of people who are equally passionate.
As a career security officer with over twenty years in the security industry, when I was lucky enough to join the Axis Academy team, I was initially concerned that I brought too much scepticism with me about whether it would work.
HR & Learning Director, Naomi Austen, and Duaine Taylor’s vision of successfully providing training across each of the Axis Group’s companies seemed to be a herculean challenge. Duaine Taylor was totally committed that the Academy only delivers the highest quality of training. Training that we are really proud of.
In reality, as a team, we have systematically dismantled all my and probably many other people’s initial reservations. Our courses are almost always fully booked; we provide training that gets fantastic reviews; we have been nominated and finalists for a number of industry awards; opened a dedicated training venue and we are making a genuine contribution to the Axis’ Group of companies.
I tend to have one of two types of typical working days. If I am delivering training, then it’s a 5am start, in order to make sure that the course starts on time. I strictly enforce punctual attendance, which was a initially a challenge but now that works just fine. There has even been an occasion when one of the members of the Axis board who was on a course let us know that having just attended to an operational issue, they were probably going to be late, talk about an ethical dilemma. Luckily, they made it with a couple of minutes to spare, because that would have been a challenging conversation.
On training days, I get an indispensable amount of support from Nicole Brown, Learning Coordinator (photo below), who takes care of everything that happens behind the scenes, from administering the Accessplanit system (our course administration portal) to managing our training diaries, producing and quality auditing our paperwork, right the way through to liaising with our growing list of external clients Nicole tends to take care of it.
Nicole also plays a key role on days when I am not delivering training. As a relatively small team who communicate really well, we try to bounce ideas around and so she contributes to coming up with new ways of delivering training. Sometimes the result is a look of disapproval and a definite shake of the head, sometimes it results in her making simulated wounds out of plastic bottles and Perspex or delivering training leaflets to potential new customers.
In my role with the Axis Academy I get to do things that I feel are important, like breaking down barriers and challenging the status quo. It’s a privilege working in a company where the most senior levels of management take the time to speak to their frontline staff who attend the courses.
It’s really cool that whilst delivering training across sectors that don’t always have the most sparkling of reputations, we are increasingly being asked to deliver the same training to clients in other industries like law firms and media companies. The thing that I am most proud of though, is that even when delivering to valuable clients we still include our frontline staff on those courses.
To sum up, we have been successful beyond the initial vision, but even with my vivid imagination I never thought that I would be a security officer approaching his middle age, who gets to put in expense claims for a toy truck, a disco ball, sweets and even an electric shock machine.
If you want to know what they are all for then book onto some of our courses, I look forward to meeting you!