An interview with Rob Harwood, Head of Health and Safety at Kirklees College in Huddersfield.

In March we installed the Audiebant Lockdown & Communication system into Kirklees College, they have already seen significant improvements in their emergency plans, responsiveness and day to day communications.

We met with their Head of Health and Safety, Rob Harwood, to find out how they were getting along with the system.

Rob on why having a fit for purpose communication system in place is paramount.

“I felt it was really important as we progressed forwards of putting a system in place that allowed us to meet not only a legislative requirements for our emergency plans and responsiveness, but to also put something in place that created that ambience and that atmosphere. So people felt warmly welcomed each and every day they came into college”.

Protection of Premises Compliance

“As we head towards the enactment of Martyn’s Law, there is uncertainty as to what those key requirements will be. However, we are confident that we now have a system in place that will support us in becoming compliant when the requirements become more known. And in turn, that puts us ahead of the curve. When Martyn’s law is finally passed into UK legislation”.

The importance of strong communications

“I sit as a strategic lead and a chair for my local protect and prepare working groups, and from those groups and working alongside the National Counter Terrorism Security Office and various other organisations, I’ve seen the benefits of having really good, strong communication in place within buildings or within businesses, because it allows us to communicate to our college community, you know, if we ever need to as we progress forwards”.

The support has been great. They’ve responded timely every time

“Any new system takes time for the systems to bed in, it takes time to get used to how the system works. But the support has been great. They’ve responded timely every time”.

“We want to put announcements out for things like lunch or when workshops were taking place”.

“To send that information to the development team and to find that they can put the information directly onto the system. It’s been really useful, and really helpful”.


Audiebant’s AI, Text-To-Voice Technology

“It’s also important to note that within the system, if you need to put bespoke announcements out, the system uses AI technology.

The announcements are very clear, very calm and again, we’ve not had any issues with regards to staff ever being locked in in the buildings because everyone can now hear the system”.


Is the system easy to use?

“The system is really accessible. I think it’s accessible not just from your desktop. You can use a mobile phone, you can use a tablet. The system allows really good communication using different technology, you might not be near a computer at the time, you may be just with your phone or a tablet”.



“If you’re out and about around the campus and you see something that’s not quite right, or you want to put something out it can even support you with your fire evacuations. You might want to send a message externally to say that everything’s clear. We can now return, which then speeds up that evacuation and really reduces downtime”. 

How introducing music has enhanced the daily environment

“We started with Non-licensed Music, and then we started to slowly introduce licensed music into our playlists that’s recognised by our learners, recognised by our staff, and then we started to work collaboratively with our music department, who have started to produce music with our learners that are then going into our playlists”.

“We see students now dancing and having a laugh in the refectory areas, and it really just brings a cheer to the building as people mingle, walk around and communicate together”.

“I think through the forums that I sit in and chair and I lead in, through those conversations I have with other colleges, there were naturally conversations around what other colleges were doing around communication within their campuses, and Audiebant naturally came up in a number of conversations”.

Yes, I would recommend the system, it's really easy to use.

“It’s a system that ticked all the boxes for us, and one that I think other colleges should certainly look into as they progress forwards”.