Delivering value – how International Workplace helped DPD invest further in a health and safety culture


DPD is the UK’s leading express parcel delivery brand with an extensive network across the UK. Sally Harris, head of health and safety, DPD Group UK, explains how the company is investing in its workforce to create a more positive health and safety culture in which the individual is valued.

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Our health and safety journey

"We wanted to make a shift towards a more positive and extensive health and safety culture and we felt the best way to do that was to equip our managers and people with greater knowledge and responsibility about health and safety and why it’s critical to our operation and of course them.

"IOSH Managing Safely therefore acts as the point at which we start to build on our people’s H&S knowledge and educate them further in all aspects of health and safety. We've used a wraparound approach to try and encourage that culture shift, with IOSH Managing Safely as the baseline. We were introduced to International Workplace by our learning provider, Praxis 42. Kate Gardner and her team have been awesome in the way in which they've been able to understand our business, what we need to do, and support us in that journey.

"We started by getting our people into the classroom, which hasn't been as big a challenge as we had anticipated. We rolled out the training towards the end of COVID-19 restrictions, keeping in mind alternatives should they be needed. As we have a large number of depots across the country, we selected 11 locations to make sure that travel was kept to a minimum. Our ambitious programme was to train 1,008 people in the four months between February and the end of June 2022."

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"The course was eye opening and put together well and was taught by a knowledgeable person in the health and safety field. "

Sally Harris, Head of Health and Safety

Face-to-face delivery

"We decided to go with the face-to-face option because part of what we are doing is building on a positive cultural shift. It's a way for the business to demonstrate that health and safety is important and that people are being given the space and time to come away from their work to learn in a classroom environment.

"We've worked very hard to structure the course delegate makeup in a way that supports what we're trying to do, going up and down and across the management chain. We have made sure people from different departments who would never otherwise meet are all sitting in the same room. It's been a massive success for people to be able to communicate with one another about something that's important to everybody.

"There has been a lot of positive feedback about the course, and the investment that the business has made in our people, as well as the benefit to the wider business. We’ve also received a huge amount of praise for the trainers and the way in which they've engaged with our delegates on the course and it's been encouraging to hear what people have said."

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An ongoing partnership

"It was very important for us as a business to have training that is accredited. I spent 21 years as a regulator for the Health and Safety Executive and I have seen first-hand how IOSH Managing Safely makes a difference within a business. An accredited course shows that we're serious about this, and it's a benchmark standard. People are seeing that the business is investing in their health and safety and that it is important to the business and therefore important to them.

"We view our relationship with International Workplace as a partnership, incorporating a continuing programme of improvement. Kate Gardner and her team have been incredibly professional and very flexible. It's been a successful working partnership. The time and effort that has been put into understanding what we need has been fantastic, and it is this that has contributed to the success of such an ambitious programme."

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