The Background

Allied Healthcare are the UK’s leading provider of domiciliary care, supplying over 17 million hours of life-enhancing care every year in homes throughout the community. Their experience includes caring for children with behavioural needs, support for people with disabilities, reablement care for those recovering from illness or injury, and expert clinical care by community nurses.

The Challenge

The Cavendish Review, conducted in July 2013, was an independent review into Healthcare Assistants and Support Workers in the NHS and Social Care Settings. It found that preparation of healthcare assistants and social care support workers for their roles providing care was inconsistent. The report recommended development of a Certificate of Fundamental Care – the “Care Certificate”.

Allied Healthcare operate across the UK and like similar organisations in this sector experience a high turnover of staff. They acknowledged they needed an engaging and efficient way to deliver the Care Certificate to their staff for compliance and be able to provide accurate compliance reports to the Care Quality Commission (CQC).

Introducing the Care Certificate training represented a cultural change within the organisation as staff were not used to having regulatory demands imposed on them. Allied Healthcare wanted to find a way to add value to their staff not just impose demands or tick boxes. Giving staff access to additional learning so they can upskill themselves was recognised as a good way of achieving this.

The Solution

Allied Healthcare decided e-learning would be the most effective way to provide engaging training for staff to achieve compliance. They worked as subject matter experts, in an e-learning design project to produce seven core modules that encompassed the new Care Certificate requirements. The modules were appealing, concise and personal to their organisation.

The Care Certificate e-Learning Modules developed are:

  • Understand Your Role
  • Equality and Diversity for Health and Social Care
  • Work in a Person Centred Way
  • Communication Health and Social Care
  • Privacy and Dignity
  • Mental Health Awareness
  • Managing Stress for Health and Social Care

Allied Healthcare also needed a way for staff to easily access the e-learning content and then report on completion. They elected to implement Totara Learn as a Virtual Learning Platform. The key reasons for selecting Totara Learning Management System (LMS) were:

  • Accessibility – Easy to navigate and can be accessed from any device and location.
  • Customisation – Many theming, navigation and configuration options.
  • Flexibility – The scope of the project can be expanded to develop the full available functionality, at a later date without unnecessary software costs.
  • Rapid Implementation – Required to meet tight project timescales.

As the use of e-learning and the Totara LMS represented both a cultural and process change for the organisation, the Learning and Development team decided a hands-on roll out was required. They initiated a comprehensive internal communications campaign to engage with staff across the UK.

Representatives from the Learning and Development team visited every site to meet with teams and provide personal, hands-on information and support. They used this opportunity to upload users directly onto the system and mapped them to the organisations hierarchy. Once added to the system, users are automatically sent an email with their username and password and staff are automatically targeted with the training requirements appropriate to their role.

Although Totara Learn can easily be updated with new starters and leavers through integration with an organisations HR System or Active Directory, Allied Healthcare decided they wanted to do this process manually to ensure the information they have on the system is ‘clean data’. This has been a valuable data cleansing exercise as they can now look to use this information to update their central systems.

Totara Learn was customised with a simple look and feel which has given staff confidence to use it. They were also provided with videos and documentation if they required additional support to get started. Staff are encouraged to personalise the tool with their own avatar so that they feel ownership of the system.

“We’ve always wanted to adopt the 70:20:10 approach for the development of our people, but in the past were held back by a perceived lack of technology and knowledge across our people and departments. Totara Learn has broken that mould and has enabled us to provide “just in time” compliance training to our people out in the field, reducing the need for them to come into the office for the more traditional classroom training. We finally have a true “blended approach” to our core training needs and the rest of our business is beginning to follow suit. 1 year in and we have not even scraped the surface of the potential Totara Learn can provide us.” Chris Hartley,  LMS & E-Learning Manager

 

The Results

Allied Healthcare adopted a simple approach to implementation with very clear goal, as a result the implementation took less than three months and has been very successful.

  • In the last year, over 2600 staff have logged into Totara Learn and completed at least 5 core e-learning courses.
  • Staff have easy access to learning activities and can see exactly what training they are required to complete and by when.
  • Managers are able to track staff learning and ensure compliance across their team.
  • Learning and Development can efficiently and accurately report compliance figures to the Care Quality Commission on the Care Certificate.

Allied Healthcare positioned Totara Learn as a staff development tool not just a way to achieve compliance. They provided staff with easy access to an e-learning catalogue of over 100 bite-sized courses. This catalogue consists of many areas of learning, from healthcare, customer service, management and technology courses. This has been viewed very positively by staff who are proactively completing additional training courses in their own time. This has been seen as a positive cultural change within the organization.

“Totara Learn has unexpectedly become a leader of change across our organisation, it’s innovation and creativity is influencing other areas of our business such as Marketing and Social media. What we thought would simply be a platform for housing Digital learning has grown into a key component which drives not only the majority of our learning initiatives, but things we never thought of such as smart reporting for compliance, social engagement platforms for people, and an ability for our entire network to share experiences and ideas.” Chris Hartley, LMS & E-Learning Manager

Next Steps

As an organisation Allied Healthcare are self-sufficient using Totara Learn, however Think Learning conduct regular catch ups as required to further up-skill their system administrators and to look at new ways for them to use the system and promote learning within the organisation. In the future, they will also look to automate new starters and leavers processes by integrating Totara Learn with their HR system.

“Think Learning have been fantastic from the start in helping us launch a robust solution that our learners can access easily and confidently. Think offered a really personal approach to the implementation and were on hand at all times to support in the development and growth of the system. They answer queries quickly and provide the support you’d expect from an external supplier. However, what really surprised us was how willing they were to customise the system to meet our needs and try new things. The close relationship we developed with the Think Learning team has resulted in our Totara Learn implementation meeting our exact requirements. The system feels very personal to our business, even though in essence it has the same DNA as many other organizations use.” Chris Hartley,  LMS & E-Learning Manager