News & Media

Australian Industry Group leads launch of program to help Aussie businesses get back to work safely

24/06/2020 5:52:32 PM

A new online training program developed by health professionals and industry experts has been launched to provide Australian businesses with a tangible pathway that will help them to get safely back to work.

The Occupational COVID-19 Workplace Training Scheme is being delivered in partnership from DeakinCo. part of Deakin University, and the Australian Industry Group (Ai Group).


Based on WHO guidelines, it has been designed specifically to help Australian workplaces ensure their staff are trained in safe working practices to limit the spread of infectious diseases such as the coronavirus.

The 40-minute course is available from today and aims to give organisations a credible way to demonstrate their commitment to the safety and wellbeing of their staff, customers and the wider community. 

By completing this training, businesses of all sizes can help rebuild trust and support safety with those important to their success by providing a recognised, third-party certification of this commitment.

Ai Group is championing the course among its members, urging those in the most impacted industries to consider rolling it out as soon as possible. This includes public facing businesses and big employing industries such as hospitality, retail, manufacturing and construction.

Chief Executive Innes Willox said: “While we are now looking forward to a gradual lifting of coronavirus restrictions many businesses will continue to experience deep impacts on their operations in the weeks and months to come.

“That is why building a plan to help them get back to work or back to full function is a priority. This course offers a credible channel for businesses to create a safer environment for their workers and customers and to adopt the best health practices that will be critical to rebooting our economy.

“By completing the training, companies can demonstrate to staff, their families, customers and suppliers that they are doing everything they can to reduce the risk of transmission.

“If as many businesses as possible take up this training it will help us to navigate our way more quickly and safely to normal operations. It will improve the knowledge and understanding among our workforce of best practice approaches to developing corona-safe workplaces and communities,” Mr Willox said.

The project team behind the program includes Deakin Medical School Associate Professor, and former WHO professional, Dr Sandeep Reddy; and Dr Neil Cowen who has 40 + years’ experience in health service management, public health and immunology.

Associate Professor Reddy believes the program can give people the confidence and education required to safely return to work. “As a doctor who has previously worked at the WHO assessing infectious disease surveillance capacity, I can assure you that this program provides accurate and accessible information that will be valuable to employers and their workforces,” Associate Professor Reddy said.

“Because COVID-19 continues to be researched and understood, the advice from governments and the WHO will obviously continue to be updated. As advice evolves, alerts will be shared to those who have completed the training to ensure participants are working with the most up-to-date information.”

Those who complete the training will be provided with a DeakinCo. certificate and the option to purchase a wearable badge containing a QR code that can be scanned at any time. This will allow consumers to check that employees they come into contact with have completed the most up-to-date modules.

DeakinCo., part of Deakin University, is a leading online corporate training and workplace transformation organisation. Deakin Co. CEO Glenn Campbell says the course offers businesses a practical and efficient method of supporting both internal and external stakeholders.

“By undertaking this scheme employers are able to communicate clearly how important the safety of their people is. Not only will the program educate and help protect those connected to your business, but it can help foster trust amongst those who deal with you externally,” Mr Campbell said.

“This course is an extension of DeakinCo.’s ongoing commitment to providing the learning needed for the workplaces of today and tomorrow.”

The Occupational COVID-19 Workplace Training Scheme is available now with further industry specific modules available in the coming weeks. To find out more information please visit:


About DeakinCo.

The future of work is exciting and challenging. Technology and culture are rapidly transforming not just the way we work, but also the jobs we do now and will do throughout our careers.

Part of Deakin University, DeakinCo. has a 30-year history of working with industry and government organisations to develop workplace capability solutions that help businesses pivot from current to future state. DeakinCo.’s workplace products are designed to drive workplace performance, future employability and business growth, and include workplace learning, professional practice credentials and workplace qualifications that are aligned with Australian qualification frameworks and industry standards.

DeakinCo. solutions present new possibilities, not only for organisations and individuals, but for the whole world of business.
For more information, visit


About Ai Group

The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group®) is a peak employer organisation representing traditional, innovative and emerging industry sectors. We are a truly national organisation which has been supporting businesses across Australia for more than 140 years.

Ai Group is genuinely representative of Australian industry. Together with partner organisations we represent the interests of more than 60,000 businesses employing more than 1 million staff. Our members are small and large businesses in sectors including manufacturing, construction, engineering, transport & logistics, labour hire, mining services, the defence industry, civil airlines and ICT.

Our vision is for a Thriving industry and a prosperous community. We offer our membership strong advocacy and an effective voice at all levels of government underpinned by our respected position of policy leadership and political non-partisanship.

With more than 250 staff and networks of relationships that extend beyond borders (domestic and international) we have the resources and the expertise to meet the changing needs of our membership. We provide the practical information, advice and assistance you need to run your business. Our deep experience of industrial relations and workplace law positions Ai Group as Australia’s leading industrial advocate.

We listen and we support our members in facing their challenges by remaining at the cutting edge of policy debate and legislative change. We provide solution-driven advice to address business opportunities and risks.