Broken Hill Correctional Centre Trials Remote Delivery Training
The COVID-19 pandemic has created some challenges to the delivery of education services in correctional centres across NSW. Broken Hill Correctional Centre, in particular, faced barriers to delivery when a BSI Learning trainer that travelled from the Central Coast to deliver a Foundations Skills program elected to cease travel in the attempt to eliminate the risk of bringing the virus into the remote community. This generous action, combined with REX Airlines’ decision to reduce rural services and other providers suspension of face-to-face classes, put a sudden halt to the delivery of education services at Broken Hill CC.
When the opportunity to participate in an Infection Control Awareness session became available, Broken Hill CC needed to look at some creative solutions. The Infection Control Awareness session was developed by BSI Learning in response to a need for a greater understanding of viruses and other infection hazards as well as the increased requirement in workplaces for infection control and prevention. The training is available to staff engaged in maintaining high levels of hygiene in correctional centres as well as inmate sweepers. The course was just what was needed for the ongoing response to COVID-19 – but delivering training in person to such an isolated centre was out of the question in these pandemic times.
Along with workplaces around the country and indeed the world, Broken Hill Correctional Centre in conjunction with CSI Education and BSI Learning began the process of learning to navigate the collaboration platform, Microsoft Teams. Although comprehensive guides to MS Teams are available, there were still some hurdles to overcome. These challenges included the utilisation of hardware, software, and generally making it all work. Education Services Coordinator, Kim Vodic at Broken Hill CC states that the process would have been more difficult without the troubleshooting skills of CSI Education’s Michelle Golds, Tracy Schiemer, Melanie Lye, BSI Learning’s Katherine Singh and Broken Hill Correctional Centre’s Acting Functional Manager Kevin Stacey. The process truly was collaborative.
The many dry runs that were facilitated to iron out glitches such as sideways views of people’s heads broke down the barriers of distance as colleagues working from home revealed their children, dogs, beautiful backyard views – and their pyjamas!
There have since been two Infection Control Awareness sessions delivered to staff at Broken Hill Correctional Centre with a session planned for inmates in the near future. Participants stated that the information presented reinforced the processes that are in place at the centre. The connection made with the trainer, Phil Darling who was 1100 km away was reassuring and valuable. The knowledge and skills that have been shared and gained by all involved with the implementation of remote delivery training are an indication of the endless possibilities for future training for both staff and inmates.