From education to employment

New Conflict Management NVQ, to reduce conflict in the workplace

Compensation claims against employers for failing to sufficientlyprotect their staff in the workplace are on the increase warns Maybo,conflict management specialists. To help employers arrest this trendMaybo and City & Guilds are launching a new qualification that will armstaff with the skills they need to defuse potentially difficult anddangerous situations.

According to Bill Fox, chairman of Maybo, who has been advisingorganisations that have recently fallen foul of litigation, manypotential claims could be minimised through improved conflict preventionstrategies.

The City & Guilds NVQ Certificate in Conflict Management, the first ofits kind, aims to provide customer-facing staff with the confidence andpractical skills they need to protect themselves and their organisation.Available from February 2005, the qualification has been approved by theQualifications Curriculum Authority, the regulatory body for awards, andwill be showcased at the CIPD exhibition in Harrogate ( October 27-292004 ).

“Conflict management has become a vital skill in many sectorsincluding healthcare, retail, local authority, security and teaching,”says Bill Fox. “Employers are now realising the value of conflictmanagement, not only in human terms, but also in financial terms, whensix figure court claims are increasing. Companies large and small arerolling out programmes that train their staff in this essential lifeskill, as well as a potentially life-saving work skill.”

Conflict in all areas of life is on the increase. Of the many reasonsfor this are increased time pressures, unmet higher expectations andless tolerance. This leads to people being more impatient and less awareof the effect of their behaviour on others.

“It is essential that standards are set across the business andpublic sectors. Industry and society as a whole will see the benefitsdevelop over time. As staff improve their communication skills and inturn their confidence; and more people develop the skills necessary foravoiding and diffusing verbal and physical abuse, working environmentsand customer care will improve,” says Fox.

Rob Rosevere, general manager for Security Services at City & Guildssays: “It is important that people feel safe at work and that they areempowered with the right skills to be able to do their jobs. We aresetting standards and enabling skilled employees to increase their valuein the workplace.

“Training in conflict management can give employees confidence whichin turn will allow them to do their job more effectively, benefiting theemployer, themselves, their colleagues and the customer, ” addedRosevere.

City & Guilds and Maybo will be at CIPD on 27-29 October, Harrogate ,where employers and HR and training directors can come and do a freebasic violence risk assessment of their organisation and find out moreabout conflict management.

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