Home Office - Managed Learning Programme
The Home Office is the Government department responsible for internal affairs in England and Wales. With major offices in central London, Croydon, Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield, and other sites at ports and airports throughout the UK, its work covers human rights, crime reduction, immigration, passports and the emergency services.
KnowledgePool has a ten-year Managed Learning contract to provide upgrade training to the Home Office for end-user applications and telephone systems. This contract was awarded in 2001 by Sirius - a consortium comprising Fujitsu Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers and telecoms firm Global Crossing - which has its own ten-year £350m contract to provide the Home Office with information technology and related services. Una McGarvie (Centre for Learning & Development) and Sheela Jethwa (IND College) worked in partnership with KnowledgePool to deliver Tech Refresh to 18,000 users.
Sirius is providing the infrastructure for the XP upgrade, including Pentium 4 PCs with flat-screen monitors, and the new software.
KnowledgePool is delivering classroom-style briefing seminars at Home Office sites across the UK. Lasting around an hour-and-a-half, these face-to-face sessions outline the latest versions of Windows and Office and explain how they differ from their predecessors.
Participants are given an overview of the accompanying e-learning course, developed specifically by KnowledgePool, which explains key new features of XP and the Home Office's policies for using the software. The e-Learning features: explanations, demonstrations and interactive simulations. The new XP software contains an on-line link on every desktop PC to the e-Learning course, which is accessed via the Home Office's intranet.
As Sirius installs the new software at each site, KnowledgePool's trainers provide one-to-one desk-side coaching, as needed. The one-to-one coaching, or floor walking support, is important as users log on to their new desktop for the first time; KnowledgePool's trainers guide them through the new logon process, help them to locate and start up the applications they use and assist them in setting up the desktop to meet their individual requirements. Users are also provided with laminated A4 quick-reference summary guides and there is a telephone helpline for users.For anyone unable to attend one of the briefing seminars owing to holidays, illness or maternity leave, or for those who want a refresher, KnowledgePool has developed a 15-minute video, covering essential extracts. This is also of benefit at ports and airports where working patterns can make it difficult for staff to attend briefings. The video is available on CD-ROM and VHS cassette at each of the Home Office's 166 sites.
In the run-up to the software roll-out at each site, a member of KnowledgePool's project management team visits the Home Office's site representative to explain the Technology Refresh programme and gather information about the site to help tailor the briefing seminars and floor walking support.
To manage the administration of the classroom briefing seminars, KnowledgePool is using its automated web-based booking system, Livebooker. The system invites end users to a seminar and books their place in real time. It then provides confirmation of their booking, with an overview of the training and details of the location. The system also captures end user feedback about the training and the coaching.
"KnowledgePool's Livebooker system ensures the administration process for the briefing seminars is very efficient," said Chris Davison, Home Office IT Training Services Manager. "It will also enable us to monitor and assess the delivery of the training against our objectives."
The classroom briefings began in July 2004, after a successful pilot. They were completed by May 2005. The e-Learning remains available on all desktops in the Home Office until after the upgrade is complete.
"Upgrading to XP and providing this training will help to improve our productivity. Undoubtedly there are major cost savings from blending e-Learning and instructor-led training. The e-Learning course lasts around four hours and people can focus on what they need to learn by dipping in and out of it at their desktop, when it suits them. KnowledgePool's Livebooker system ensures the administration process for the briefing seminars is very efficient. It will also enable us to monitor and assess the delivery of the training against our objectives."
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