With Malaysia currently in its recovery phase of the Movement Control Order (RMCO), meeting organisers have to constantly adhere to safe distancing measures in order to ensure safe meetings and prevent transmissions of COVID-19.

In ensuring proper safe management measures, the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF) has put together a set of guidelines for face-to-face training during the pandemic, which employers should note.  

This is detailed below:

#1 General requirements

Temperature scan & contact tracing

  • All participants attending a training must undergo temperature screening before being allowed to enter any training facilities.
  • All participants' details including name, place of employment and contact information as well as body temperature must be properly recorded for every session of training.
  • Any participant with a high body temperature of more than 37.5 degrees Celsius or showing other symptoms of COVID-19 should not be allowed access to the training facilities.

Wearing of face masks, usage of hand sanitisers

  • All participants in a training are highly encouraged to wear face masks throughout the duration of the training. If a participant does not have a mask, one must be provided to them by the training organiser.
  • Hand sanitiser must be made available at the entrance to the training facilities. Participants must also sanitise their hands every time they enter the facilities.

Consumables

  • In order to reduce the risk of contamination, any consumables that are used during the training should be prepared for each individual with no sharing allowed. This includes but is not limited to training material, markers, pens and paper.

Social distancing

  • Social distancing must be maintained at all times. All participants must maintain a distance of one meter from each other.

#2 Setup of training facilities

Training venue

  • Training is allowed at the training provider's premises, employer's premises, and hotels, convention centres, or rented training rooms.
  • The training organiser has to ensure all requirements stated in the guideline are met when selecting a venue for any training.

Maximum number of participants

The maximum number of trainees allowed in a face-to-face training session depends on the size of the training space and social distancing, detailed in the Allowable Cost Matrix found here

At the time this guideline was published, the maximum number of participants allowed at events was 250, per the Malaysian government's guidelines. However, as of 15 July 2020, the government has stated that there is no longer a limit on the number of participants allowed

Entry and exit into the venue

  • Entry and exit points to and fro a training space should be limited, with ideally one dedicated entry and one dedicated exit point.
  • For training spaces with only one access point, the training organiser must do close monitoring of this point to ensure all entry and exit is done in an orderly manner.

Seating arrangement

  • In line with social distancing measures, the training organiser has to ensure ample space between trainees at the venue. To achieve this, the seating arrangement must be adequately space four metres apart. 

Disinfection and cleaning

  • The training space must be disinfected on a daily basis throughout the duration of the training, including prior to and after the training.

#3 Activities

  • All activities involving physical contact or close grouping of trainees will not be allowed.
  • Non-physical group activities such as group discussions can be conducted. However, the training organiser and trainers must ensure that the trainees are adequately spaced for social distancing.
  • Practical and hands-on activities can be conducted. However, the training organiser and trainers must ensure that the trainees are adequately spaced for social distancing.

#4 Registration and meal arrangements

  • Registration of participants, including attendance record, must be done digitally. This is to be done using QR codes through the MySejahtera application in addition to other forms of digital registration for organisers’ records.
  • Meals including refreshments must be pre-packed and consumed at the participants’ individual seating in the training facility.
  • Buffet style meals are strictly prohibited.
  • Participants can take their meals in a separate space. However, those spaces must meet the same requirements as for a training space as defined above.
  • Only bottled drinks can be provided during the training session.

These guidelines must always be read together with the approved Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) from the National Security Council (NSC), which are related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The HRDF reminds it is the responsibility of the organisers, employers, training providers and participants to ensure compliance to this guideline and all related NSC SOPs throughout the implementation of any training event under the HRDF schemes.

Failure to comply with the related SOPs from NSC could also result in legal action, revocation of the approval to operate or other related sanctions. These SOPs are enforced by the government through collaborations between the Ministry of Health, Polis DiRaja Malaysia, and other enforcement agencies.

More details, including graphics on how seating arrangements should be made, can be found here

Lead image / HRDF