Based at the IRU’s headquarters in Geneva Switzerland, the IRU Academy - the only global body dedicated to road transport training – offers a portfolio of training programmes to road transport professionals around the world through its global network of Accredited Training Institutes (ATIs). To ensure its programme materials are available to its members and instructors around the globe instantly, the IRU Academy uses a multi-lingual content management system – Absorb, supplied by the e-learning solutions provider, Omniplex.
Sara Ferris-Childers, who is in charge of IRU Training Projects, explained: “The IRU Academy is a professional road transport training organisation with a global reach. These days, we’re using the Absorb system more and more as our courses are being accessed and used by people around the world.
“This month we’ve uploaded a new e-learning course for the IRU’s TIR Associations - in English, Russian, and French - which should attract even more users and we also have a new project on the safe loading and securing of cargo which will be hosted on the LMS by early May. This should generate a great deal of interest,” she added.
In addition to these three languages, some IRU Academy resources are available in Arabic – although Sara added that these online resources contain many high quality images and diagrams, which aid understanding by people of any language and culture.
The IRU Academy aims to reach three main target markets with its learning resources:
• ‘Peer’ training associations around the world - National training institutes and academies which use the IRU Academy’s learning resources in their own training courses.
• IRU staff, who need to know about the latest road transport training thinking, initiatives, systems and processes.
“In 2008, we had developed some e-learning materials,” she continued. “We wanted to be able to distribute them and so it seemed logical to look for an LMS.
“After an extensive search for the right LMS for us, we decided on Absorb from the Canada-based Blatant Media Corporation - which is supplied throughout Europe by the e-learning solutions provider Omniplex. The LMS, which is hosted by Omniplex, was installed and piloted in the summer of 2009 and was fully in operation by the end of that year.
“We’ve always found that Omniplex responds to our requests promptly, while Blatant are similarly quick to resolve any technical issues we may have with the software,” said Sara.
Omniplex’s Stephen Miller explained: “One of the Absorb LMS’s key properties is the way in which it can be evolved to match a client’s unique needs and workflow - instead of the other way around. In particular, a number of our clients with a worldwide demand for their learning resources – including the IRU Academy - are finding that Absorb meets their ever developing learning distribution and monitoring needs.”
About the IRU Academy
Enhancing the development of professional competence in the road transport sector, the IRU Academy provides training programmes such as CPC Manager and CPC Driver which meet the industry's priorities of sustainable development, facilitation, safety, and security. The IRU Academy is also involved in a number of training initiatives – from the safe loading and securing of cargo and Road Safety to HIV/AIDS and ECO-Driving - which tackle important issues in the sector and propose solutions.
The IRU Academy was created to promote professional competence in the sector and ensure excellence in road transport professional training. Its unique structure aims to ensure the highest quality of its training programmes, international recognition of its qualifications, and a harmonised and wide-ranging network of training activities, with its global network of Accredited Training Institutes (ATIs) and IRU Academy Graduates.
It creates a framework for capacity-building to enhance the efficiency, professionalism, effectiveness and accountability of the road transport training industry
About the International Road Transport Union (IRU)
The International Road Transport Union (IRU) is the world road transport organisation which upholds the interests of bus, coach, taxi and truck operators to ensure economic growth and prosperity via the sustainable mobility of people and goods by road worldwide.
The IRU was founded in Geneva on 23rd March 1948, one year after the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), to expedite the reconstruction of war-torn Europe through facilitated international trade by road transport.
The IRU, as the global voice of the road transport industry, works towards achieving the twin goals of Sustainable Development and Facilitation of road transport worldwide, notably by using vocational training to promote professional competence in the sector and improve the quality of services it offers.
A global industry federation of national Member Associations and Associate Members in 74 countries on the five continents, the IRU has a truly global vision and acts at the international, regional, national and even local level with public authorities by implementing its motto, ‘Working together for a better future’.
Omniplex (omniplex.co.uk) is a leading provider of e-learning and related tools and services for:
• informal learning (ad hoc, peer-to-peer, social learning);
• formal learning (authoring solutions, learning delivery and tracking, and learning reinforcement); and
• training, support, content development and integration services.
Based in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, in the UK, and in Montreal, Canada, Omniplex supports clients across Europe and North America.