Six new health & safety courses

Company: GCA
  • GCA Chief Executive, Peter Burks.
  • The new online courses covering health and safety from GROW.

Six new online courses covering health and safety have been unveiled this month on the Garden Centre Association’s (GCA) Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW) e-Learning platform (June 2024).

This is the third, and final, batch to be added to GROW on this topic in 12 months. It covers 16 e-Learning courses on food safety and health and safety subjects in total.

Antony Snow, the GCA’s GROW Instructional Designer, says: “We’re thrilled to have launched these six new courses from Opus Safety, which have been customised to make them more relevant to garden centres.

“They cover Manual Handling, Site Traffic Safety, Banksman/Watchman, Racking Safety, Managing Contractors on Site, and Underage Sales, and are valuable additions to our existing and comprehensive course catalogue, which includes almost 45 hours of training from 93 courses.

“The health and safety of their employees and customers remains a top priority for our members, so I’m sure that these courses, together with the 10 that we have released during the last 12 months, will prove to be invaluable and continue to help to create a safe working environment.”

The first five courses from Opus Safety – one of the UK’s leading providers of safety training – launched by 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.

Back in March, working with Opus Safety again, five more new courses were added. These were Fire Safety Awareness, Fire Marshal, DSE and Home Working, Accident Awareness, and Slips, Trips and Falls.

Peter Burks, GCA Chief Executive, explains: “Our garden centre members say GROW is a valuable and vital training tool for them. It gives their staff additional confidence too.

“It’s a cost-effective way of providing staff training and personal development that enhances customer experience. It’s accessible 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, making it convenient for people to log-in when it suits them.”

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

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

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. There are currently 93 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 adds: “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 and people can contact the team via a dedicated email”

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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