Covid refresher training accessed by two thirds of Enforcement Agents.
Earlier this year CIVEA launched an updated training portal, containing refresher modules that were designed to consolidate knowledge on safe enforcement during COVID-19. Unlike the mandatory training that all Certified Enforcement Agents (EAs) were required to take before resuming visits in 2020, this was an optional resource to keep EAs up to date with health and safety advice during the dynamic health crisis.
CIVEA is delighted to report that so far, 1,535 EAs have already engaged with and completed this refresher training programme. That’s 74% of all Certified EAs across England and Wales that are listed on the Ministry of Justice certificated bailiff register. This level of uptake on refresher modules ensures the responsible application of the latest government guidance. Dukes Bailiffs Limited recently announced that all their agents had completed the CIVEA training module.
CIVEA members are committed to provide a firm but fair service on behalf of local authorities and in the interest of taxpayers. As restrictions ease, safety and best practice will remain high on the agenda.
Our refresher training reiterates the advice on PPE, social distancing and best practice as experienced last summer, but now features updated information on topics such as handling cash and what agents should do when masks cause communication difficulties. These subjects were addressed after being identified in our detailed report last year, based on the experiences of 21 enforcement firms and their field agents.
Other new modules added to the refresher training course include a renewed focus on the identification and support of vulnerable people. This forms part of the standard enforcement process and supports the work of dedicated internal welfare teams. Particular emphasis has been placed on assisting people with poor mental health, illness or addiction problems as any one of these factors can contribute to negative financial health. This is especially timely as the Debt Respite Scheme (also known as Breathing Space) legislation comes into effect next month.
CIVEA previously updated its COVID-19 Support Plan to reflect ongoing changes to government advice and safety regulations. As the national roadmap for recovery continues to be implemented, we will maintain a flexible approach and offer guidance and support to members, customers and the public by communicating clearly where restrictions impact on enforcement practice.
As the UK at large continues to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, evidence suggests that the precautions CIVEA members have implemented since resuming enforcement have been successful. Enforcement visits continue to be supported by Government and complaint data shared monthly with the Ministry of Justice shows that complaints remain low and any that are made are investigated quickly and dealt with swiftly. In addition to CIVEA training, government guidance, ‘Working safely during COVID-19: enforcement agents (bailiffs)’ is available on Gov.uk and gives the current public health advice. This guidance and the rules set out in the National Standards for Taking Control of Goods, ensures all EAs act in accordance with relevant legislation.
To view CIVEA’s latest guidance for enforcement agents, please visit our dedicated web page.
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