Engaging eLearning

Blind Veterans UK: training with Totara LMS and Engage in Learning

Posted by James Morelli-Green on 03-Nov-2017 11:27:02
James Morelli-Green

Blind Veterans UK believes that no one who has served our country should have to battle blindness alone. They support anyone who has served in the Armed Forces, or who has done National Service, and is now living with significant sight loss. The charity has offered physical and emotional support to vision-impaired ex-Service men and women since 1915. Because employees are spread around the country, getting them together for face-to-face training was difficult and training had been ad-hoc over the years, their challenge was to implement an eLearning training strategy that ensured consistency and effective, measurable progress...

The Challenge

Blind Veterans UK’s employees are spread throughout the UK in regional offices and two centres in Brighton and Llandudno, making it difficult to get everyone in one place for face-to-face training. As well as this, Blind Veterans UK previously had very ad-hoc training records and needed a Learning Management System (LMS) to enable them to record information about each employee’s progress in one place. They decided to implement an LMS and that LMS needed a reliable and best matched partner to deliver the much needed training content.

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The Solution

Blind Veterans UK’s Learning and Development team had previous knowledge of Totara Learn, and knew that they wanted to pursue this as a potential LMS for the organisation. They invited UK Totara Partners to submit proposals, and Engage in Learning were chosen as the best match.

They knew that they wanted to enable all employees to complete learning online, with courses open to everyone in the organisation. They also wanted the ability to put in-house courses on the LMS so that they could use Totara Learn’s booking system for seminars.

Blind Veterans UK also opted to launch the platform with e-learning content created by Engage in Learning to get the LMS up and running for onboarding new employees. This includes our range of Compliance and Health and Safety training, such as using Display Screen Equipment, Equality and Diversity, Food Hygiene, Fire Safety and Infection Control. This ensures that everyone starts off with the right information, and is complemented by a two-day face-to-face induction. Moving a lot of the learning online ensures that new starters can hit the ground running without having to wait for the next face-to-face session.

As well as this, Engage in Learning has helped the organisation set up certifications within Totara Learn, meaning the system sends automatic reminders when employees are due to retake their compliance training.

Since the platform first launched, Blind Veterans UK’s L&D team has worked closely with Engage in Learning to make some key developments to the platform, such as changing the homepage design to improve navigation and reduce the number of clicks needed to do anything for a more user-friendly learner experience.

Results

Blind Veterans UK is delighted with its Totara Learn platform by Engage in Learning. The LMS launched in 2015, and is currently used by around 550 employees across the UK, with a plan to get around 500 volunteers on the system in the near future. The L&D team has set deadlines within the LMS to ensure they reach their 85% compliance target. Introducing Totara Learn and Engage in Learning has given Blind Veterans UK invaluable access to compliance records, which can be used in future audits as evidence of employees’ learning activity.

Blind Veterans UK's favourite aspect of Engage in Learning and Totora's custom solution is the fact that there is a possibility for every single thing they want to do, meaning absolutely everything can be done through the LMS rather than on paper. Managers have more visibility of what their teams are doing, and they have found the whole platform self-explanatory and easy to use.

Their next steps with the LMS are to start using the appraisals system built into Totara Learn. Performance reviews currently take place on paper for new starters and annual appraisals, so moving this to the LMS will ensure consistency across the organisation and a better digital record of progress and performance.

Emily Edwards, Learning & Development Officer for Blind Veterans UK, said "As soon as we met Engage in Learning and were shown around Totara, we knew they would be the best partner for us – they have provided constant support to our needs as we continue to develop our platform, so it’s user-friendly and engaging for our learners".

"The Totara LMS has given us the opportunity to provide learning to members of staff that we couldn’t always reach before and provides a central hub for everything learning and development in our organisation. We’re looking forward to the next phase".

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Engage in Learning is proud to be working with Blind Veterans UK and looks forward to a continued relationship where we can help the charity ensure blind ex-Service men and women lead independent and fulfilling lives by supporting them with in-depth expertise, experience and full range of services.

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