The international health and care company BUPA, which has bases on three continents and 8m customers, operates 300 Care Homes spread throughout the UK. Each of these homes has managers and administrators – and each of them must be trained on the Care Homes Financial System, known as CHEERs, before they are allowed to use the system ‘live’.
Traditionally, training for these two groups of BUPA employees took the form of a five-day, instructor-led, residential course. However, explained Tracy Fell-Smith, IT and Finance Trainer at BUPA Care Services, this strategy had a number of drawbacks from both a training delivery and cost perspective, including:
• New administrators had to wait until one of these courses was being run and, consequently, were usually not able to carry out their full job duties as soon as they took up their new post.
• There was a wide range of knowledge about CHEERs, IT skills, work-based experience and confidence levels among the trainees on each course.
• Trainees were lost to their jobs for at least five days (sometimes more when they were travelling to the course from the more remote parts of the UK). This not only had staffing but also cost (travel and subsistence) implications.
• The trainees were not happy at being away from their families and friends for five days or more.
• The costs of delivering the five day course were high.
• There were long waiting lists to attend these courses.
So, BUPA decided to include e-learning materials to produce a blended approach to the training and chose TIS to develop the e-learning materials.
Subsequently, the overall costs of providing CHEERs training have fallen by 40 per cent per delegate since the e-learning materials were introduced in May 2006. Moreover, the number of courses that has been delivered in this period has increased by a factor of 300 per cent.
There is now a more timely delivery of training, since the e-learning materials are available at each desktop – and can also act as an aid memoir once the training has been completed. Moreover, BUPA can offer its Care Homes staff a range of tailored delivery options on the CHEERs system to suit their individual needs and competencies.
The blended learning approach involves all trainees completing the e-learning materials and then achieving at least 80 per cent in an online assessment generated at the end of the e-learning programme. Successful trainees then attend a three day training course.
“This is proving popular,” Tracy said. “Administrators and managers can now learn in their own time – and only need to be away for a three day course.
“From the trainers’ point of view, this is a more efficient arrangement because, previously, we could only schedule one five day course per month. Now, we can run more than one three day course in a month – and so reduce waiting lists appreciably.
“Moreover, new administrators can get access to the CHEERs system once they have satisfactorily completed the e-learning materials – rather than having to wait a month or more to go on a five day course.
“And, when the trainees attend the three day course, the trainers know that they all have a similar, basic knowledge of the CHEERs system – so the range of trainees’ knowledge and experience is smaller and, thus, the trainers’ job is made easier. In addition, knowing that they all have the same basic level of knowledge, helps the trainees to be more confident when they attend the training course – especially in terms of their IT skills, since they will have already completed some e-learning,” said Tracy.
The first CHEERs e-learning module was delivered in April 2006 and the first blended learning programme was delivered a month later. By the end of 2006, some 30 people have completed the e-learning programme and a further 67 people have completed the complete blended learning programme.
BUPA is the UK market leader in health and care with a strong international presence. It has 8 million customers in 180 countries and 44,000 employees. Its main interests are health insurance, hospitals, care homes for older people and young disabled, health assessments, workplace health and childcare services. Sanitas in Spain, HBA in Australia, IHI in Denmark and Amedex in the US are all part of the BUPA Group. BUPA is a provident association which reinvests all its surpluses back into the business. The BUPA Foundation is an independent charity which funds medical research.
About Tata Interactive Systems (TIS)
Tata Interactive Systems (TIS), a global leader in e-learning, is a part of the $22bn Tata Group. Truly international, TIS has a presence across the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East, Japan, India, and mainland Europe. TIS offers corporations, universities, schools, publishers, and government institutions a diversified and innovative bouquet of learning and training solutions including Simulation-based Learning Objects (SimBLs™), Story-based Learning Objects (StoBLs™), courseware and curriculum design, special-needs education, assessments, electronic performance support systems (EPSS), mobile learning, along with other corporate training and consultancy services. Our multi-disciplinary expertise and 16 years’ experience across domains helps us design e-learning programmes that are unique to clients’ requirements and specifically crafted to boost knowledge retention and application.
Apart from holding ISO 9001 certification, TIS is the only e-learning organisation in the world to be assessed at Level 5 in both the SEI-CMM and P-CMM frameworks. TIS’s quest for excellence is reflected in numerous prestigious industry awards, including a Silver Brandon Hall Excellence in Learning Award 2005 and 2004, APEX Award of Excellence in 2005 and 2006, BETT Awards in 2004 and 2006, and two Business World–NID Design Excellence awards.
About the Tata Group
The Tata Group, established in 1904 by the great visionary Jamsetji Tata, is one of India’s largest and most trusted business houses. The group pioneered the industrial revolution in India by founding the first steel plant, power plant and chain of luxury hotels, to name but a few.
The Group employs more than 220,000 people in 93 companies across diversified industry sectors including steel, automobiles, cement, telecom and IT. Generating revenues to the tune of $22 billion per year – some three per cent of India’s total GDP – it is recognised as a leader in several industry segments such as such as steel, power, software exports and chemicals. It is also the parent company to Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Asia’s largest software producer.
Further information from:
Alan Samuel, Tata Interactive Systems, +44 (0) 2072358281