The Garden Centre Association (GCA) has introduced a new module on identifying hazardous plants through its Garden Retail Online Workshops (GROW) learning platform (August 2021).
The GCA’s ‘Poisonous Plants’ GROW module highlights indoor and outdoor plants that are dangerous to humans and pets.
Antony Snow, Instructional Designer for GROW at the GCA, said: “We’re delighted to be offering this new Poisonous Plants module for members. During the past 16 months, we have seen an increase of those interested in gardening, both inside and outside the home, which is fantastic for everyone’s physical health and mental wellbeing.
“However, a surprising number of indoor and outdoor plants, that are popular with our members’ customers, pose a hazard to humans and pets alike so this module has been produced to help employees identify these plants, provide their customers with the best advice for staying safe around them, as well as what to do if a colleague or customer becomes affected by them.”
The GCA’s GROW modules cover a range of valuable topics to help employees gain knowledge and confidence in products and services to provide customers with the best advice.
The new module is available immediately to existing subscribers and the GROW e-learning facility is available to GCA member garden centers, as well as to Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) garden center members too.
Iain Wylie, GCA Chief Executive, said: “We are always looking ahead to improve GROW, which is one of our most vital services we provide for our GCA members. This recent addition has been carefully put together by Antony to complement our existing offering.
“Many of our members have commented on how effective our service has been to bring education and training to employees, which improves their knowledge to assist others in the workplace, whether colleagues or customers. “It’s available 24/7, so garden center staff can update their expertise when it’s suitable for them. It’s a cost-effective way of delivering training and personal developments too, which, in turn, benefits customers’ experiences when visiting a garden centre and this is good for everyone.”
GROW started as an initial idea, thought up 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 is a self-funding and non-profit making facility with any surpluses being reinvested into the ongoing development and improvement of GCA GROW. Currently there are 99 modules and more than 13,000 users across the country.
The 99 modules include a wide range of topics that cover horticulture, customer service, food safety, regulated sales and health and safety. The accredited food safety and health and safety topics are categorized as either level one or two.
All the modules have been written by experts in their field and are designed to apply to a garden centre environment, with the content for the horticultural modules drawing on the vast experience of members within the GCA.
Iain added: “Users can be assured that they are always receiving the correct, practical and unbiased advice, as well as solutions to problems and help with gardening projects.
“We have a stream of new modules in the pipeline which include ‘Allergens’ and ‘Manual Handling’, which will both complement and expand the existing training within the Food Safety and Health and Safety categories and will be designed, as always, with a garden center environment in mind, while covering all the necessary legalities and best practice.”