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Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 7
Mental health in the workplace now has an ISO standard / Jacob Lund/shutterstock
Mental health in the workplace now has an ISO standard/ Jacob Lund/shutterstock

Following recent coverage in HCM on the Workforce State of Mind Report – the first sector-wide exploration of workforce mental health (see HCM issue 3 2021 p76), my colleague Lindsey Simpson and I – authors of the report – welcome the publication of ISO45003:2021, the first global standard for managing psychological health at work.

Whilst ISO045003 is a voluntary standard, all employers should be aware of its existence and the guidance it offers. Its practical advice on managing psycho-social risk as part of an occupational health and safety management system can ensure adequate policies and procedures are in place to protect the mental wellbeing of the workforce, driving happiness, health and prosperity.

That said, ISO45003 will be an aspirational standard for many organisations and some may choose to work towards it by first committing to the Six Mental Health Core Standards adopted by The Good Work Pledge and outlined in the UK government-backed Thriving at Work Review.

Once these foundations are achieved, employers can then move on to focus on the attainment of the more ambitious standards set out in ISO45003.

While legislation that protects workforce mental health is not yet as robust and comprehensive as that which protects physical health, the publication of ISO45003, plus the increasing pressure to make the inclusion of Mental Health First Aiders in the workplace mandatory, is pushing the agenda in that direction.

Employers should not bury their heads in the sand, workforce mental wellbeing is a key responsibility that all employers need to understand and embrace.

•  To learn more, watch the short video at:

•  Sign The Good Work Pledge:

Katie Lewis, Workplace Mental Wealth

Alan Cooper

When lockdown was eased it became clear there were thousands of staff in the industry not legally able to work because their qualifications had lapsed.

The economics of the sector were tough enough without the challenge of a workforce that couldn’t legally work without their qualifications being refreshed.

Sport England and CIMSPA recognised this shortfall and launched the Retrain initiative to fast-track the revalidation of these qualifications – 11 weeks later the campaign’s app was up and running and by May 2021, 18,000 people had already been able to requalify.

Before Retrain kicked off, 30,000 professionals had been planning to leave the industry as a result of uncertainty about the future.

Working behind the scenes we used agile working methods to build a digital matching tool, to identify where qualifications were needed and where training or retraining was available.

The Retrain effort rapidly got the industry back into working order, thanks to this agile approach to building the matching tool from scratch in such a short time.

For all the amazing efforts of Sport England and CIMSPA and their partners, we’re still a long way from recovery – we’re continuing to see the impact of the pandemic, even though restrictions have been lifted and facilities open to all.

ukactive’s projections from March this year were for a potential loss of a third of all facilities and up to 100,000 jobs.

Thankfully, however, new initiatives are coming to the fore to redress this, including the Retrain programme.

Retrain has shown us the power of smart digital thinking combined with an agile approach. While we celebrate the success of the initiative, this isn’t the time to stop – we need to look forward. Add into the mix much needed government support and we will help bring our industry back to life. More:

Before Retrain kicked off, 30,000 professionals had been planning to leave the industry
The Retrain initiative has already requalified 18,000 people / Jacob Lund/shutterstock
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