Education and Training Prep Course

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Legislative Requirements

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5 min 44 sec
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A good way of understanding legislative requirements is to start with Act’s, these are the Laws that tell us what we must do.

Following acts and regulations then tell us how we must do this and what we must have in place and next, you have codes of practice, policies and procedures, and approved codes of practice to help put these things into everyday practice.

There are various legal requirements, codes of practice and rules that you are going to have to follow as a tutor. These can be laid down by law or government, or it may be that they are codes of practice for the Awarding Organisation that you are working with or from the regulatory body you belong to, for example, the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) or the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Or maybe it’s the rules of the teaching establishment that you are working with.

Some of the legal requirements that you must comply with can be the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, Equalities Act 2010, Data Protection Act 1998 – amended in 2018 to include GDPR, Human Rights Act 1998, Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as well as various other acts and regulations such as COSHH, RIDDOR or DSE Regulations.

A lot of these rules are very in-depth and can be hundreds of pages, some of which can be very difficult to understand, so what they will often do is have summaries or approved codes of practice which are often shorter documents, which summarise exactly what you need to do within these regulations.
Let’s just look at one of these.

The Health and Safety at Work Act is a massive document and you need to think about how this would work in the real world of teaching. There will be different rules under the Health and Safety at Work Act that will directly apply to you and it’s something that you need to seriously consider, bearing in mind where you are going to be teaching and what sorts of things could affect you. The act is there to ensure that you and your learners all stay safe. These could be things like making sure that your laptop lead is not a trip hazard, that all the fire exits are clear, that the kettle is safe, that the water is safe and also that the building has the correct lighting and the correct first aid provision.

There are lots of things that could apply, so look at the area in which you will be teaching and identify all the risks that you could face. Write down all possible risks on one side of the paper and on the other side, look at the sorts of things that you can do to prevent these from happening. Let's look at a laptop lead, for example. It’s quite easy for people to have a lead running from a socket through to the table that a tutor is working from, but actually, this should be beneath a rubber strip so that no one can trip over it, or consider blocking off this area so no one can go near it. If you are blocking off areas, though, then you need to be aware of fire exits. So often it's a balancing act that ultimately means that you are adhering to the law, but you must consider how you can meet the Health and Safety requirements for the area that you are working in.

Breaking Health and Safety rules are serious and it could be that you get into trouble because you are breaking the rules of the establishment that you are working through, or it may be that there are wider legal implications if the rules are not followed. Make sure you understand the regulations that are in place for every area in which you teach.

The Equality Act 2010 brought together various areas of discrimination into one act, things like disability, sex, race and other grounds of discrimination. The idea of the act was to make things much simpler for people to understand what is and what isn’t acceptable behaviour. We would encourage you to refer to both your textbooks and the internet for further research.

You must look at what acts are there and the legislative requirements that are in place and ensure that you can follow them. It may be that you have rules in one place but when you go elsewhere, they have completely different rules. It’s your responsibility to know this.

Have a look through the books and see which ones apply to you, write them down and do some research. When you are doing your assignments, you can add these in using your own words to explain, summarise or describe them, and this ensures that you fully understand and apply this to your own teaching.

Regulations can be very difficult to understand, so approved codes of practice will often accompany them. The approved code of practice is a breakdown of how the regulation is applied in the real world. Let’s look at something like first aid, for example. The first aid regulations are very in-depth, but to make it easier for an employer and for employees to follow, they have created the approved code of practice. This makes it simpler, as it’s broken down into easy segments and, therefore, easier to follow.

You also need to follow contractual obligations, which could be laid down by your employer or an Awarding Organisation. These contractual obligations could be different, depending on the locations where you are working. Obligations can be laid down by statutes, directives and regulations. It may be that there are implied contractual obligations which are normally specified within your employment. Another example of contractual obligations is the need to look after the welfare of your learners.

It may also be that for insurance reasons, you need to follow additional rules, which may have been stipulated by the insurance company or your own company. Make sure you know what all these rules are. If you are working for another company or establishment, then they should let you know these in advance, but again it’s your responsibility to know them. If you are working for yourself, then you need to contact your own insurance company and make sure that there are no special rules that they have laid down that could directly affect the way and the manner in which you teach.