Meeting the skills challenge of high-hazard industries.
A two-year Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) between Risktec Solutions Limited and Liverpool John Moores University has resulted in Risktec offering postgraduate qualifications, up to Masters level, in Risk and Safety Management, validated by LJMU.
The company perspective
Risktec is an international safety and risk management consultancy with its headquarters in Warrington. Risktec was receiving an increasing number of requests from clients to provide training in safety and risk management. The company felt there was a growing skills and knowledge gap in industry and decided to embark upon a KTP with LJMU to develop a professional training business to run alongside its consulting business.
Initially the concept was to develop a menu of training modules that clients could select from but, as the project progressed, Risktec realised that the market would be better served by offering structured programmes leading to accredited, postgraduate qualifications.
This led to the development of the Risk and Safety Management programme which offers qualifications to MSc level. The programme is delivered by Risktec’s consultants, who are all practising risk professionals and is accredited by LJMU.
Since completing the KTP project, Risktec has secured business and interest from major customers in the nuclear, oil, gas and rail sectors.
Steve Lewis, Director at Risktec and Industrial Supervisor on the project said: "The main benefit of the KTP project was in developing the training business in a more planned and deliberately paced way than we would otherwise have done. "The flexible programme and qualifications via LJMU allow us to offer something truly unique in the market."
As a result of the KTP, Risktec has a new revenue stream which has not only attracted new clients but has allowed Risktec to access the training budgets as well as consulting budgets of existing clients.
The associate perspective
Roisin Smyth, Associate on the project said: "Without question, the KTP has been hugely beneficial to my career development. The opportunity to get involved in developing a new business from its inception is unique and not readily available in the job market. I have been working with people at all levels of the company and the University. The training business has already started to blossom, which is a rewarding experience. The KTP has undoubtedly fast-tracked my professional development."
The academic perspective
Alan Wall, LJMU Lead Academic Supervisor on the project said: "It has been a unique opportunity to work with a forward thinking company and assist in the setting up of structured academic programmes. Obtaining University accreditation was very challenging, but well worth the effort. The new programme will be of great benefit to safety and risk practitioners as well as a great business. I have been particularly impressed with the Risktec consultants in adapting to their new roles as part time academics. I am also delighted that my association with Risktec is set to continue as manager of the MSc projects as well as the link tutor."
Risktec’s new training business has attracted customers worldwide and opened up a whole new market which wouldn’t otherwise have been accessible. This has enabled Risktec to establish an even stronger market position and foster outright growth.
Steve Lewis said: "We are very excited about the opportunities our new training business has opened up for us and we look forward to continuing our excellent working relationship with LJMU."
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Prior to starting the KTP, Risktec Solutions were conducting around £100,000 of training business a year. After the KTP, Risktec Solutions were conducting around £600,000 of training business a year, according to Steve Lewis.
- The KTP exceeded expectations and was ranked outstanding by the National KTP Awards, making it one of the top 7% of KTPs in the country
- The KTP went on to win Best KTP in the North West at the National KTP Awards
- Risktec Solutions now offer postgraduate qualifications in risk and safety management, which are validated by LJMU
- The associate accepted a position with the company at the end of the project and was the first programme leader for the Risktec Solutions MSc franchise
- Risktec Solutions and Liverpool John Moores University continue to develop their relationship following the end of the KTP, with a number of accredited training programmes in risk and safety management developed and delivered
"As a direct result of this KTP, Risktec Solutions is now the only commercial provider of a university-validated MSc in the fast growing field of risk and safety management for high-hazard industries, which is jointly delivered with LJMU lecturers."