Howdens Joinery

Howdens Joinery is the UK’s largest manufacturer and supplier of fitted kitchens, appliances and joinery products. Despite its scale, Howdens remains a local business with traditional values and is a trade only business that has been selling to trade professionals since 1995. There are currently around 680 Howdens Joinery depots supplying more than 400,000 inspirational kitchens each year to homes in the UK. Its range is the UK’s largest from stock, which means that trade professionals can collect exactly what they need, when they need it, to create a dream kitchen.
Howdens Joinery were looking to standardise material handling equipment (MHE) training for their 830 lift truck operators across four sites, to improve security, safety, compliance and enable effective auditing. Processes and solutions needed to be scalable to support planned site expansion that will generate additional training requirements in the near future.
"Having considered a number of accrediting bodies, it’s clear that RTITB provide a fantastic level of support and excellent standards. Working with RTITB has provided us with additional assurance that the MHE training we offer is consistent across our business and is of the higheststandard.
RTITB training materials are clear, concise and professional, and our MHE Instructors have commented that they’re easy to apply.
Standardisation is really important within the Supply Division, and RTITB has certainly helped us achieve this. We’re looking forward to a long working relationship with RTITB."
Mick Dyer | MHE Coordinator | Howdens


What Howdens has Achieved Through Accreditation:
  • Training processes, paperwork and standards are now delivered consistently by Instructors across all four Howdens sites to support operations in manufacturing, warehousing and transport
  • Required course materials are bought in from RTITB for all training, ensuring the same high standards are delivered and saving Instructors valuable time with lesson planning and course material development.
  • All eight in-house instructors are trained to RTITB standards to deliver accredited training. They have all the materials needed to deliver refresher training on a 3-year cycle, as well as conversion training and training for new employees
  • To support Howdens’ varied operations, Instructors can easily obtain new course materials for varied truck types, from pallet trucks, to reach trucks, to MEWPs. Most operators are qualified on 2-3 different equipment types
  • Howdens has benefitted from bespoke, accredited course materials developed by RTITB specifically for its operation. A pump truck training course is in development, with a custom training guide for truck loading and consolidation of loads on the horizon
  • Standardised training allows Howdens to centrally co-ordinate its MHE Instructors activities, thus enabling Howdens to drive efficiency by maximising ratios on training courses
  • As course paperwork is now totally consistent, administration is more manageable. Plus, the company has easier access to the information needed to prove compliance, if required
  • Due to the high-quality materials, operators and Instructors have a positive attitude to MHE training throughout the business

Despite effective processes and standards being in place, Instructors at Howdens must still complete a large amount of administration around training and assessment. Howdens are looking forward to transforming this with the MyRTITB Training Friend App which improves efficiency by making these processes 100% paperless for the very first time.

Howdens are looking forward to transforming this with the MyRTITB TrainingFriend App, which improves efficiency by making these processes 100% paperless for the very first time. Find out more about MyRTITB TrainingFriend here.