Virgin Active and STA have announced a new exciting partnership, which will see the leading health club chain become the first to roll out STA’s new Pool Lifeguard qualification nationally as part of its commitment to raising professional standards and providing enhanced, and more flexible training opportunities for its workforce.
The partnership will see Virgin Active create its own national training framework, powered by STA, a national governing body and an official awarding organisation partner for CIMSPA. Further, as part of Virgin Active’s aims to consolidate training providers and work with a single awarding organisation for aquatics that is both nationally and internationally recognised, STA’s First Aid and Pool Plant qualifications will also form an integral part of the new partnership moving forward.
This is all in addition to STA’s Swimming Teaching qualifications, which are already successfully embedded into Virgin Active’s health club network.
Pip Werbinski, People Development Director at Virgin Active, says the new partnership with STA provides Virgin Active multiple benefits, both operationally and commercially, and for the benefit of staff and customers.
The new partnership with STA provides Virgin Active multiple benefits, both operationally and commercially, and for the benefit of staff and customers.
She said: “By creating our own national training framework under the governance of STA’s Approved Training Centre model, we can radically transform how we manage and deliver staff training across our national network. Importantly, this will enable us to control, plan and standardise the quality of training our internal tutors deliver, in line with our own staffing and commercial requirements – in addition to opening up opportunities for us to deliver external STA training courses and new local recruitment channels.”
With STA recently aligning its Pool Lifeguard revalidation process with First Aid at Work, Virgin Active will also be able to create a more robust 3-year competency plan and for the first time, each club will have the flexibility to organise on-going refresher lifeguard training at a time that suits their needs, and with minimum disruption to customers.
“This planned approach will create huge time and cost-saving efficiencies across the business, and with STA’s Level 2 qualifications being endorsed by CIMSPA, we know they are of the highest quality too, and meet our needs as an employer,” confirmed Pip.
“The logic behind this partnership is consistency and quality. By working closely with STA across all aquatic disciplines, there are not only all the administrative and practical benefits associated with having one point of contact but being an Approved Training Centre will also ensure we stay on top of our game in terms of governance and compliance related to swimming teaching, pool lifeguarding, first aid and pool plant. For our staff and customers, quality, and consistency of quality is our highest priority,” added Pip.
We are extremely proud to be working with Virgin Active, and we are delighted that they are leading the way by becoming the first national health club chain to embrace our new approach to pool lifeguard training across their 43 clubs in the UK.
Dave Candler, STA’s CEO, said: “We are extremely proud to be working with Virgin Active, and we are delighted that they are leading the way by becoming the first national health club chain to embrace our new approach to pool lifeguard training across their 43 clubs in the UK.”
Dave confirmed: “STA is uniquely positioned in being the only single awarding organisation in the UK that can deliver, and has the experience of offering leisure operators a range of accredited qualifications across these multi-disciplines. The benefits of this approach are far-reaching, and we look forward to sharing our knowledge with Virgin Active and providing all the help and support they need to run a successful Approved Training Centre with our awarding organisation Safety Training Awards.”
About Virgin Active
Virgin Active’s first club opened in the UK in 1999 and is part of the Virgin Group, founded by Sir Richard Branson. Since then it has grown to become the leading international global health club operator with over 1.4 million members and close to 240 clubs spanning four continents and eight countries (South Africa, UK, Italy, Australia, Namibia, Botswana, Thailand and Singapore). Virgin Active’s purpose is to make exercise irresistible, by providing its members with leading expertise, superb innovation and the best clubs.