In 2017 we were in dire need of guards. We switched from staff paying full price ($190) to offering it for free. In 2019 we transitioned to staff covering the Red Cross cert fee. This year we are going to staff paying $45 to cover the cert fee plus materials (essentially paying for the PPE they use in class).
I know we gained some staff who would have otherwise not be able to accept the job due to the upfront cost of certification. I did not see any negative effects from asking them to pay for their direct costs. When classes were free we had a number of no-shows and even had to cancel a class once because we only had two people show up. When I tried to follow up, several never replied and a few said they decided to take another job because they could start working sooner. I think we’re at a happy medium now where we’re both invested.
Our finance department does not like to do payroll deductions for things like this so we had to find another way.