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September 15, 2021

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1.6 million miles of travel saved through virtual training

Steve Terry, MD at Astutis, reflects on the changes in sustainable attitudes.

“When the coronavirus pandemic hit us all in March 2020, it’s fair to say that Astutis needed to apply some deep thinking about sustainability.

“First and foremost, it was around business sustainability. With already having a solid foothold in the online health, safety, and environmental marketplace, we were confident of survival. But Astutis needed more than survival. Our goal has always been to train those eager to take the exciting next steps in their career and be there for learners whenever they need us. Therefore, survival was not good enough; we needed to thrive.

“Learning and travel trends started to change which meant that a blended approach to training was necessary, an online solution with premium live content – a virtual classroom academy.

“The days of running courses over Zoom or MS Teams with little thought given to the new ‘home’ environment for both the tutor and the learner were over reasonably quickly. It has since become our focus to completely re-design the content to lend itself properly to a ‘virtual first’ format.”

Learner influenced delivery

“During the initial lockdown period, we conducted comprehensive research with our learners and partners on delivering the most impactful virtual courses. This has involved working with our industry-leading learning development team to incorporate new immersive exercises to educate learners – improvement beyond just course content.

“Standard issue laptop cameras and mics just don’t cut it for those on a training course that generally last over an hour. In response, we invested significantly in professional high-definition cameras and best in class recording equipment for all our virtual virtuosos.

“Our stats tell us that the pass rates for virtual learning are now 12% better than in the traditional classroom. Learner feedback is such that they prefer the flexibility of remote learning, as does the employer who sees efficiency benefits.

“Learners also access modular recordings and enjoy a real mix of teaching techniques that exploit their curiosity—research-based strategies, competitiveness, gamification, and vibrant community platforms all feature.”

The new world of virtual classroom delivery

“In our new world, it is estimated that Astutis’ virtual first strategy has reduced the number of miles travelled by tutors and students by circa 1,650,000 miles a year. Our full-time tutors alone travelled a combined 200,000 miles in 2019.

“Many of our learners now opt out of physical workbooks, which again makes a not insignificant difference. The NEBOSH certificate workbooks alone are 982 pages, with 2,400 learners a year doing the NEBOSH certificate – that’s a lot of trees.

“Our efforts towards promoting sustainable business go beyond virtual delivery. We provide several IEMA sustainability and environmental training courses from C-site to workforce.

“Sustainability is quite literally the future. Astutis continue to pioneer the health, safety, and environmental training industry with sustainable practice. All learners can relish in the fact that their training is helping to protect the planet. As a company, we are all proud of our current and future steps in becoming more sustainable.”

For more information on virtual training visit

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