How e-learning can deliver more for less in the public sector
The City of Edinburgh Council (CEC) is responsible for providing key public services in Scotland's capital to over 440,000 citizens and the many million visitors the city attracts each year. With around 18,000 employees, it is Edinburgh's second largest employer and the second largest local authority in Scotland.
Video below: The CECIL platform recently won silver for 'Securing a Workforce for the Future' at the 2011 COSLA Excellence Awards.
Skip to section:
- The challenge
- Overall objectives
- The solution
- Value for money / return on investment
- Client satisfaction
- User comments
The corporate Leadership and Development team identified e-learning as a key component of its learning strategy. Providing traditional classroom-based training for 18,000 staff would be prohibitively expensive. It was decided investment in e-learning would enable flexibility and efficiency savings across the organisation.
Brightwave - in conjunction with the council's Leadership and Development team - were tasked to design a user-friendly LMS and a range of new e-learning courses including:-
- HR Centre (myHR and myPeople) - instructing employees and managers about CEC's new e-HR system
- Child Protection - providing tutorials and exercises to increase knowledge and understanding of child protection issues
Allied to this, Brightwave learning designers trained and supported the CEC internal team to develop their own content - such as LeadershipMatters1 for junior managers - using our authoring tool.
- move from ‘transactional’ to ‘transformational’ service
- provide consistent and flexible access to development opportunities for all council employees
- mobilise an effective large-scale delivery vehicle to train and develop approximately 18,000 people
- promote key skills and behaviours required to achieve CEC strategic objectives
- support a corporate, ‘one council’ ethos and reduce costs
- enhance the skills of the internal L&D consultancy team/service
"It's freed up valuable time enabling the corporate learning team to move to a more consultancy led, bespoke service, adding increased value across the organisation.” Paul McGhee, Leadership and Development Manager, CEC
The courses feature actual council employees who lead the learner through best practice, procedures and real-life scenarios"
CECil (City of Edinburgh Council Interactive Learning) was developed giving 24 hour e-learning access for all council employees. Modules developed range from Absence Management to Energy Awareness and from Equalities Training to IT and Data Protection.
The courses feature actual council employees who lead the learner through best practice, procedures and real-life scenarios across each discipline. Brightwave provided the e-platform on which to host, launch and track user activity.
The amount of time spent delivering key management development programmes such as LeadershipMatters1 reduced significantly. Programme evaluation scores actually increased as a result of the blended approach.
CEC is Scotland's first council to introduce performance-related pay - a process enabled by the performance management aspects of CECil.
- best cost estimate to deliver via facilitated / classroom vehicle (HR Service Centre alone) = £480,000
- e-solution cost (HR Service Centre) = £66,000 - 740% cost reduction per user
- best cost estimate via classroom (Child Protection) £123,000
- e-solution cost (Child Protection) - £21,000 - 585% cost reduction per user
- Across the board savings for all courses = £1,800,000 (approximately 85% less than a classroom-based approach)
“Our e-learning platform, CECil, has substantially reduced the costs in providing training. To date savings have amounted to £1.8m. It has enabled high volume training delivery at lower cost and greater speed, facilitated a quicker response to educating policy and procedural change, and improved the quality and diversity of training and development options available."
"It has also freed up valuable time enabling the corporate learning team to move to a more consultancy led, bespoke service, adding increased value across the organisation.”
Paul McGhee, Leadership and Development Manager, CEC
"The most significant thing about CECil for me has been the total shift in culture towards blended learning. There is now almost universal acceptance of e-learning as a hugely important medium to get learning messages across."
Grant Buchanan, Leadership Development Consultant, CEC
‘Good medium to do this sort of development as I could do it at my own pace and also get an assessment of what I had learned.’
‘The course was easy to follow, extremely informative, with the appropriate legislation and examples. Thanks.’
The HR Centre programme also won a 2008 BT Innovation Award. LeadershipMatters1 won a 2008 BT Innovation Award, and was runner-up in the 2010 Government in Business Awards (Workforce Development). The CECil e-learning platform recently won silver at the 2011 COSLA Excellence Awards.