Whether you are an employee looking for a new job or an employer that wants his company to follow specific regulations, work experience quality standard is essential. It ensures that both you and your workers give your best to the company.
That’s why I have, based on what I have learned while getting my bachelor’s degree in Business, as well as several other courses, created a guide that will explain everything you need to do about this method of quality control. The guide contains:
- An in-depth explanation of the term “work experience quality standard.”
- Comprehensive advice on how to reach that standard
- Some overall thoughts about the importance of this standard in general
- Answers to several frequently asked questions about work quality standards in general.
What is “Work experience quality standard.”
There are two ways to define this. First, there is an actual certificate, WEQS, awarded by the prestigious Fair Train, an independent organization that provides companies with accreditation that concerns all the aspects of working in a particular company.
Second, work experience quality standard can be described more vaguely as a group of factors that determine the contentment of workers in a certain company.
In this guide, we will limit ourselves to discussing and explaining the first, as the second is too broad to be adequately covered in a short guide such as this one.
Fair Train work experience quality standard
Fair Train, a US based organization audits workers and provides companies with a very prestigious WEQS certificate. This certificate comes in three different colors, bronze, silver, or gold, depending on the quality of the work experience in said company.
The assessment process this organization developed is considered to be one of the most thorough in the world and has been created based on experiences of many other famous institutions such as Ofsted, Association of Colleges, Learning Providers, and National Apprenticeships Service and Association of Employment.
Because of the prestige coming with getting the Gold Standard certificated by this organization, many companies have submitted themselves to an appraisal, making this process even more refined through repeated practice.
What does WEQS entail?
In order to be the most comprehensive and most reliable work experience quality assurance out there, WEQS covers a number of work-related topics that are essential to both the company and its employees regardless of what industry they are a part of.
The factors covered by WEQS include things such as risk assessments, safeguards, skills development, quality of the work environment and management, as well as other important parts of the work experience, such as availability of equal opportunities to all the employees, as well as their inclusion in decision making.
In order to reach WEQS, Fair train also grants access to training providers that will help both the employees and the company become more efficient at their working process management, leading to a higher standard certificate.
Some jobs and careers are inherently more risky than others. That does not mean, however, that such risks cannot be minimized. In order to ensure the appropriate protocols are being followed, WEQS includes a thorough risk assessment of the workplace.
Risks that are being monitored include the health and safety of each individual worker as well as that of the entire collective, quality of the equipment the employees use on the job, and security protocols designed by the company or the authorities.
For example, faulty equipment can lead to injuries at the work station. To help avoid this, WEQS checks if all the tools of work have been certified as safe by the appropriate authorities.
Next, working shifts also present a part of health and safety features. Long working hours can lead to a decrease in productivity and even make employees liable to losing concentration, which can cause work-related injuries in some professions.
Additionally, each company should have protocols set in place to ensure that the working process is safe for all those that are a part of it. WEQS risk assessment analyses if said protocols are being implemented in practice.
Safeguards are a very important, some would even say essential, part of each and every working environment. They are a set of rules and protocols set in place by the company management to prevent any harassment or bullying from taking place in the office.
because of this, it is only natural that the WEQS will take a special interest in the quality and implementation of safeguards in the working process.
If you are looking to get a good score on the WEQS certificate, or want to know what a company has to do to get one, here are some pointers:
Training all your staff regardless of position
Providing adequate training for all the employees in a company will help boost the feeling of equal opportunities for advancement, reducing the chance that a higher-up feels entitled enough to harass their subordinates.
Another thing you can do in order to make safeguarding more effective is to ensure that the procedures set in place are adequate to the needs of the employees, as well as updating them as needed.
Finally, the most important thing about safeguards is constant observation of the situation in the company. Not only will this mean that any issues are discovered as soon as they occur, but the majority of would-be bullies will be too scared of being discovered to actually attempt anything, saving the company a great deal of headaches.
Better trained and more skilled workers lead to fewer accidents and increased productivity. Thus to ensure that the company as a whole is always at the top of its game and reaches the high-quality standards set out by the management, you should ensure that there are skills development programs available to each employee regardless of the position.
These courses can be done in-house or in collaboration with other companies, and the goal is to help your employees increase their work-related competencies and adopt methodologies that are entering your industry.
Because of this, WEQS takes into consideration the number and frequency of suitable skills development programs and training providers that hold these courses.
This a very broad term that is used to define everything that has to do with a certain workplace, from the actual physical space in which an office or a workstation is located to less material factors such as interpersonal relations between employees.
Being a crown term for all these things, it is also difficult to give a simple answer on what exactly WEQS considers to be a good working environment.
Still, there are some things that can be explained fairly easily.
First of all, in order for a work environment to be considered satisfactory the employees themselves have to be satisfied with it, meaning that their needs (within reasonable limits, of course), are met.
Safety is paramount, as well as problem-solving and communication skills by the management. A good work environment should also ideally contain a separate and well-equipped space for the employees to take their breaks and relax after a particularly demanding shift.
Finally, a good benchmark for a good work environment is the employee retention rate. People that are satisfied with their working conditions tend to stay at their positions longer, meaning that you can be reasonably sure that a company that has had a number of people climb several positions within it, working for over a decade, is a good place to work in.
In order to keep the everyday running of your company as smooth as possible, the managers and other people in charge of overseeing the working process need to be as competent as possible.
To ensure that this is the case, WEQS looks into the higher education of the managers, as well as any training opportunities available to them. Promoting a well-performing employee to a higher position is a good practice, but you should always make sure that they have had the training to handle their new responsibilities.
Because of this, WEQS recommends that you put in practice a set of training courses that any new manager in your company has to pass, with a certificate at the end, and repeat such courses as needed.
This will not only boost the abilities of the higher-ups in the company but also help with their confidence, making the entire working process that much smoother.
Furthermore, much of the safeguarding issues can be prevented by giving the newly appointed managers a list of do’s and don’ts when interacting with their subordinates.
If a company wants to be successful, it is essential that any talent, regardless of where it is found, is recognized and nurtured as soon as possible. To ensure this, you should make sure that all your employees have equal opportunities for advancement, regardless of their starting position.
To put it in simpler words, WEQS recommends that you set up your business as a meritocracy, where the highest-performing employees get to rise the corporate ladder.
Likewise, the goal of providing equal opportunities is directly opposed to shady practices of nepotism and bribery, which you should aim to eliminate completely.
There are several factors that have nothing to do with the work process itself, which, unfortunately, often influence the decisions of the higher-ups when it comes to providing their employees with opportunities for additional training or advancement within the company.
These factors range from the more personal ones, such as a good working relationship between the superior and their subordinates, to the more ideological such as gender, skin color, and even religion.
We at Fair Train encourage the companies striving to get the Gold WEQS standard to promote their employees based on their suitability for the position, not because of the personal and ideological standpoints of those in charge of the HR.
While it may seem obvious that only the managers should be involved in the decision-making within the company, it is not really the case, at least not in situations where the decision in question will be affecting the everyday performance of each individual employee.
To help include all the company’s employees in the decision-making process, they should be provided with a way to express their opinions, either via open meetings with the higher-ups or by setting up some kind of a poll system where the average worker can give their suggestions about how the working process should operate.
This is incredibly important in larger companies and corporations, where the disparity between different echelons of employees, from the regular desk workers to the CEO can be enormous.
Any company striving to reach Gold WEQS standard should have at least some form of including the majority of the workers (or their unions) in the decision-making for the company as a whole.
Finally, proposals made by the unions should always be taken seriously and carefully considered, as workers often know the best how to improve the everyday working process.
General importance of the WEQS standard
The WEQS standard was developed by the Fair Train organization as a means of tracking working conditions in various companies across a number of different industries, with the goal of providing independent placements for each company outside of the government-issued certificates.
This is especially important because officials often don’t have enough personnel to check every single company, so the accreditation provided by them are often outdated and don’t give an accurate picture of the real working conditions in a certain company.
Furthermore, WEQS is a standard that companies gain by applying for it, meaning that each and every company with a WEQS certificate is aware of work experience issues within it and the ways in which it can improve.
Because of this, we can say that applying for a WEQS appraisal is a step in the right direction by any company that chooses to do so, regardless of the appraisal’s end result.
Still, we encourage job applicants looking for a full-time job to check the job descriptions as well as the company website for the WEQS certificate, as it is an excellent way to get an insight on the company’s standards when it comes to treating their employees.
This is especially important for young people that lack prior work experience, as having equal opportunities for advancement as a newly hired worker can be a great boon, not to mention that working in a safe and stable environment can have a great deal of influence on your attitude towards work in general.
Likewise, if you are one of the stakeholders or managers of a company, we encourage you to apply for Fair Train’s WEQS standard, as its great prestige is sure to attract a number of talented and highly-trained workers to your company, and we all know how valuable those are.
Finally, the fact that the WEQS standard is so widely recognized can help you cooperate with other companies, as they will be more likely to work with you if they believe your employees are content and well-cared for throughout the working process.
What should your standards be for high-quality work?
It is not just the work itself, as in what the employees work on that needs to be high quality. We at fair train believe that the experiences the workers have on the job influence their productivity greatly, so creating as close to the optimal working environment as possible is the key.
This is typically done by establishing and maintaining health and safety procedures, providing your employees with proper PPE, as well making sure that the decision-making process includes as many people as possible.
If a company meets the majority of these criteria and the workers feel good at their job, then it is likely that it will receive a Gold WEQS certificate.
This guide contains everything you need to know about the certificate itself and what it looks for, and is sure to be useful whether you are a stakeholder, a manager, or a prospective worker looking for a new job.
What are workplace standards?
Workplace standards are a set of rules and regulations that describe and control the safety and security of the employees in their working environment, provide safeguarding methods and opportunities for advancement, as well as regulate the equipment workers use.
Furthermore, workplace standards deal with the availability of training to employees and managers alike, work contracts, paid and unpaid leave, health benefits, and all other aspects of a company’s treatment of its employees.
Because this list is so comprehensive, Fair Train has developed a method that allows for a comprehensive assessment of working conditions in every individual company, one that will allow the current and future employees know exactly what they should expect during the working process.
The WEQS certificate is considered to be very prestigious, with only a select few companies reaching the gold standard. That being said, it is also a result of one of the most thorough work experience analysis processes ever developed.
What should your standards be for work experience?
This is a very complicated and often very personal question. Suffice it to say, the ideal workplace should be as safe as possible in that particular industry, have all the equipment needed for the working process, with multiple fail-safes in case of any accidents.
Furthermore, all the participants in the working process should be properly trained, both for their regular work and for any problematic situations that may arise.
Likewise, the company should always be welcoming of good new ideas wherever they originate from, and allow its employees to climb the corporate ladder based on merit, and not external or unrelated factors.
This is called providing equal opportunities and is considered an essential part of any work experience.
We at Fair Train have created a method to accurately assess the quality of work experience in any individual company, leading to the creation of our widely known and well-respected WEQS certificate.