Extraordinary times indeed. I have never
thought that I would ever ask anyone to stay away from training and educating
themselves. But COVID-19, which has been classed as a pandemic by the
World Health Organisation, has forced me to admit that personal prudent,
conservative, anti-social, risk averse behaviour is a better cure than
potentially getting the bug.
The global outbreak of the COVID-19 strain of virus, and our Presidents
emergency speech on Sunday 15 March 2020, warrants the attention of each
and every one of us, as we work together, to keep stakeholders, members,
delegates, staff, and premises safe and healthy. The IIA SA and the Leadership
Academy for the Guardians of Governance continue to make and revise decisions
related to our service offerings to all clients with a focus on health
and safety, based on latest available facts especially for those
in high risk categories. Ensuring health and safety now means taking actions
that aim to limit exposure of all our stakeholders to the virus, imposing
social distancing where appropriate, and generally elevating preventive
hygiene practices across our business activities.
The IIA SA and Leadership Academy Boards and the Management Teams have
implemented a number of actions intended to protect the health of our
stakeholders from the virus as far as we possibly can. We recognize that
these actions will be disruptive and create challenges for many of you,
as well as have financial implications for the IIA SA and the Leadership
Academy, but the health and safety of our stakeholders, is our top priority
during this extraordinary time.
IMMEDIATE ACTIONS: Face-to-face training and learnerships will
be suspended from Monday 23 March 2020 until 30 April 2020. We will continually
reassess the situation during this time period and inform stakeholders
of any changes accordingly. All cancelled engagements will be rescheduled
once the situation is safe for social engagement. Where in-house training
and learnerships modules have been scheduled, the situation is addressed
on an individual client basis.
EVENTS AND MEETINGS: We have suspended all national and regional
events effective 18 March until 30 April, 2020. Even though the President
has advised that events of maximum 100 can be run we are of the opinion
that, for the health and safety of everyone, events should be postponed
until 30 April 2020. We will continually reassess the situation during
this time period and inform members of any changes accordingly.
IIA SA AND LEADERSHIP ACADEMY OPERATIONS: All other normal operations
will continue at this time and offices will remain open. We do urge members
though, that if you are able to communicate via email or telephone please
do so, instead of coming to our premises. Please direct all queries to
the relevant department you would normally deal with.
PREPARING FOR ONLINE INSTRUCTION: We will be meeting with our presenters
to look at the possibility of providing online training courses as an
alternative means of instruction for our stakeholders. We will keep you
informed. This will become an ongoing activity in the development of IIA
SA and Academy training environments.
BEST PRACTICES: We continue to ask everyone in our community to
follow the Centre for Disease Control https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/prevention.html
recommendations for preventive actions (some recommendations listed below):
your cough. Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and then throw
the tissue away. If you don't have a tissue, cough into your elbow.
your hands often with soap and water. Use hand sanitizer if you don't
have access to soap and water.
touching your face, especially eyes, nose and mouth.
home if you are sick. Avoid contact with people who are sick.
shake hands. Avoid unnecessary contact by not shaking hands, hugging
or kissing as greetings. Find other, non-contact ways to say hello
or good bye.
space. Maintain a 6-foot radius between yourself and others in public
spaces. (Droplets that may carry influenza and COVID-19 can commonly
travel up to 6 feet.)
over 60 and those with pre-existing respiratory, cardiac conditions,
or who are immunocompromised should avoid all large gatherings during
Let each of us consider the well being
of our neighbour when we go about daily activities today, as it does affect
our own well-being.