Award-winning Arbroath training firm announces first of its kind partnership with The Royal Marines Charity.
IED Training Solutions is run by former Royal Marine Ian Clark, providing accredited training and consultancy services.
Courses include health and safety, wellbeing, mental health, first aid and trauma stress management.
In the partnership with The Royal Marines Charity (RMA), IED will provide training to serving personnel, service leavers, veterans and corporate sponsors.
IED and Royal Marines Charity cooperation
As well as providing accredited training, IED will return 50% of its profits from the partnership back to the charity.
RMA has over 18,000 members worldwide, providing a range of services to veterans and their families.
Chief executive of RMA Jonathan Ball is excited about the partnership for many reasons.
He says: “Firstly, we are able to support and promote a business run by one of our own which provides first class products.
“Secondly, it is an opportunity to assist those Royal Marines who have lost their of careers through medical discharge into employment with IED’s highly regarded accredited qualifications.
“Thirdly, through IED’s generous offer to share profits we will be able to raise significant funds to ensure our continued support to Royal Marines and their families in need.
“This is the first partnership of its kind that RMA has entered into with a corporate supporter, and we are fully committed to its success.”
Inspire, educate, develop
Founder of IED, Ian Clark, served in the Royal Marines for 22 years.
He set up the company with a fellow Royal Marine in 2015, choosing a name important to them both.
During his time in the Royal Marines, Ian did three trips to Afghanistan.
On the final trip, the troop was badly affected by IEDs, improvised explosive devices, causing them pain and suffering.
Ian says: “One of my very close friends was injured out in Afghanistan and lost his leg.
“He was discharged out of the Royal Marines in 2015, and is living with the impact of an IED.
“He set the company up with me and we called it IED, but changed it to inspire, educate and develop.
“We took this real negative thing that was a huge part of our lives and turned it into something good.”
Tailored training programmes
IED Training Solutions has 12 staff, including contractors, who all come from uniformed backgrounds.
The core group is Royal Marines, the team also has former policemen, NHS workers and other emergency service workers.
He says: “They’re all highly capable people, they’ve got the qualifications in place, but it’s a trust thing with me.
“If a task comes in, I know it’s going to be done to the best possible standard.
“As the company was getting bigger, I had to be able to put that trust in individuals.
“I just didn’t have time to carry out every task on my own.”
Ian also believes IED has built up trust and respect among clients through delivering high quality training every session.
Tailored programmes have become very popular, and Ian works with his clients to develop training suited to their needs.
As well as traditional first aid and health and safety training, IED is delivering more and more mental health and wellbeing courses.
Increased focus on mental health
Even before Covid-19, Ian saw employers increasing their focus on mental health and wellbeing.
Because of travel restrictions and a ban on external contractors on work sites, delivering the courses has been a challenge.
After building a solid online presence, Ian can focus on growing the business further and delivering the best training possible.
He says: “We’ve had to adapt quite quickly and it’s been a difficult period.
“Many companies haven’t been sending their people due to travel restrictions, and some have put a stop on external contractors coming on site.
“The feedback on the online courses has been incredibly good, going forward we’ll probably have a hybrid training model.”
In addition to the RMA partnership, IED is close to entering a partnership with a Dutch mental health care provider.
It is also going to train 120 people from a Welsh local authority in mental health first aid.
Going forward, Ian’s aim is to provide the best training he can.
He says: “More than ever it’s vitally important that the training is fit for purpose, given what people have been through for a year and a half.
“The training landscape is changing and we have to make sure we can remain at the forefront of what we do.”