Determined to raise standards
A requirement for high standards makes us who we are, says Justin Boehm, member engagement manager for Australia at the Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA).
The way in which the Covid-19 pandemic has affected companies will vary widely depending on the sectors in which they operate. The fact that we all face different risks is a lesson in itself and it is clear to us at LEEA that, as a global Association, we must address our members’ needs – whether they are specialists or holders of a broad portfolio. It is also clear that to be part of an incredible global brand, members must meet the gold standard it represents.
Conducting audits and visits on member companies is a big part of this because it ensures they are fulfilling the requirements of the Association to remain compliant with current legislation and best practice in their scope of work and, ultimately, raise standards in the Lifting Industry. These requirements are directly related to the design, manufacture, testing, supply, hire, inspection, maintenance, periodic examination, the use of lifting equipment, and compliance. They are part of the conditions for LEEA membership.
We are also changing the way we approach our membership. Having ceased accepting any new members into the development grade in 2020, we have been working hard to support existing development members on to full member status. New applicants have entered the Association as provisional members and have not been able to use the badge until they meet the requirements of full membership.
This move will eliminate risk of reputation dilution, which can occur when a company joins as a development member with the sole intention of collecting the badge, without being truly committed to self-improvement or meeting the requirements for gaining full membership.
Development status was well intentioned, and we will continue to support members as they progress, however, it is our absolute belief that a member only gets to use a LEEA badge when they adhere to all the Association’s rules.
The dial has been turned towards our full LEEA members and in doing so this will protect our gold standard, boost LEEA as a global trading mark and reflect our determination to raise standards worldwide. We want members wherever they may be around the world to share our ethos and contribute to this incredible global brand. If, for example, an end user based in Australia is aware of LEEA, they are likely to want to use LEEA members wherever they are globally.
Training of course is a significant contributing factor for ensuring the highest standards in our industry and is a major part of LEEA. Prior to the pandemic, much of the training was carried out face-to-face, with our e-learning portal offering an alternative. During the lockdown period, however, we pushed ahead with our Zoom-based learning and our online assessments, so we were essentially finding new ways to do what we’ve always been doing. Having worked with the Zoom platform over the last year, we have gained the experience to take using the technology to a different level and make it a key part of our permanent training offering.
As I mentioned in my last article, LEEA Australia will have greater devolved powers. This will contribute to developing a fit-for-purpose training regime, with an aim to be more flexible and cost effective for members, reducing overheads such as airfares and hotel costs – as well as reducing our industry’s carbon footprint.
The LEEA team is working to update the whole suite of the Association’s training in a major update to the LEEA Academy, transforming it into a world-class online learning experience including videos, interactivity and possibly virtual reality. Watch this space.