New GROW health & safety courses unveiled by the GCA

Company: GCA
  • Sarah Willis, General Manager at Thurrock Garden Centre on GROW
  • The new online compliance-based courses covering health and safety from GROW

The Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW) e-Learning platform has launched five new online compliance-based courses covering health and safety this month (March 2024).

This batch is the second of three releases across this subject, which will see sixteen e-Learning courses in total on various food safety and health and safety topics added to GROW.

GROW’s Instructional Designer at the GCA, Antony Snow explains: “We are delighted to be working once again with Opus Safety – one of the UK’s leading providers of safety training – to offer these courses. The five new courses on GROW are Fire Safety Awareness, Fire Marshal, DSE and Home Working, Accident Awareness, and Slips, Trips and Falls.

“The first five courses from Opus Safety that were launched on GROW last summer covered food safety, including food hygiene essentials and allergen awareness, and health and safety including legionella awareness, COSHH awareness and working at height.

“They have been very popular with our users, so I’m thrilled to have extended our course catalogue further with the release of these additional health and safety courses.

“The health and safety of employees and customers is extremely important to our members and these courses, which have been tailored specifically for the garden centre industry, will continue to provide comprehensive safety training that will create a safe working environment.”

GROW courses cover a wide range of vital topics to help employees gain confidence and knowledge about products and services, so they can effectively assist any customers and colleagues who need help.

Sarah Willis, General Manager at Thurrock Garden Centre says: “The new compliance-based courses that have already been added are great. They really fill an important gap in terms of training, and I am pleased to say our teams are fully embracing them. So, thank you!”

GROW is available to all GCA garden centre members and their teams, and also those at Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) garden centres too.

GCA Chief Executive, Peter Burks adds: “GROW is a cost-effective way of providing staff training and personal development that enhances customer experience. It’s accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, making it convenient for people to log-in when it suits them.

“Member garden centres have said GROW is an effective and essential training tool for them, as well as giving their staff additional confidence.”

GROW started as an initial idea, devised during a strategy meeting of the GCA’s executive committee, to bring education and training tailored to individuals employed in the garden centre industry.

It’s a self-funding and non-profit facility with any surpluses being reinvested into its ongoing development and improvement. Currently there are 87 courses and 12,000 plus users throughout the UK.

These courses include a wide range of topics that cover horticulture, customer service, food safety, regulated sales and health and safety.

All the courses have been written by experts in their field and are designed to apply to a garden centre environment, with the content for the horticultural courses drawing on the vast experience of members within the GCA.

Peter concludes: “If you’d like further details on GROW and the courses offered, please get in touch with either Antony or myself. There is also a section on our website with information and people can contact the team via a dedicated email too”

The GROW e-Learning facility is available to both GCA and HTA member garden centres. The new course is accessible immediately to existing subscribers.

For further information, please visit

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