Once for Wales - A Shared Training Centre

A Case Study from NHS Wales


“As the only recognised Learning Management System for NHS Wales, the Oracle Learning Management (OLM) system is at the centre of all training activities across Wales.
With one system NHS Wales needed to be fit for purpose with minimal duplication and consistent information for all staff. How would we tackle this? Establish an all Wales Shared Training Centre - one catalogue, national competencies, transferrable training records and removing a huge amount of duplication. Just a small project…..!”

Julie Rogers, WfIS & ESR Manager. NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

Delivering a world class health care system in Wales requires a skilled and competent workforce that is demonstrably able to provide safe, efficient and high quality patient care.

Prior to the implementation of ESR OLM, NHS Wales lacked a standard learning management system, resulting in no consistency in course naming conventions, learning aims and objectives, target audience and increase in the development of local competencies. The result of which was varying standards of training across Wales and no assurance of quality from all Wales subject leads. This resulted in unnecessary repeat training and increasing frustration from staff.

The all Wales OLM Group had already been established with representation from each Local Health Board or Trust so the focus was on ensuring that this was the only learning management system in use across Wales.

The thirst for information about training and competencies continued to grow and the implementation of ESR Employee Self Service (ESS) highlighted where we had further room for improvement. ESS empowered employees to remain competent, compliant and engaged in their annual personal and development review. With ESR and OLM at the heart of this project, the next step was to engage with the all Wales subject matter expert (SME) groups and work with them to highlight the benefits of collaborating on standardising naming, coding, learning objectives, target audience and training materials.

The project was supported by Workforce Directors in each Trust and Health Board across Wales and comprised the following strategic business requirements:

    • Common set of core learning standards (where practical) shared across NHS Wales;
    • Improved quality and cost effectiveness of training delivery;
    • Elimination of unnecessary repeat training;
    • Streamlined and efficient processes for access to training and learning;
    • Compliance visibility and transparency for regulating monitoring and compliance with minimum standards.

    As this information was captured it was then populated by each of the ten NHS Wales organisations - ten times for each course. We had removed enormous amounts of duplication on a local level but we still had this final step to go.

    The OLM Group submitted a proposal to the NHS Wales Workforce Directors to maximise the functionality in ESR and implement an all Wales Shared Training Centre. One central catalogue of training for NHS Wales which would be managed by one organisation - NHS Wales Services Partnership, and accessible to all organisations – resulting in courses only being created once!

    “Ever increasing demands on NHS services, a changing demography, patients with increasingly complex care needs and integration of care provision will lead to the emergence of different models of healthcare requiring different or new roles, skills and knowledge. ESR can provide assurance to Welsh Government, Chief Executives and Workforce Directors that NHS Wales employees are compliant with the required levels of knowledge and competence they need to safely and efficiently undertake their role”

    Hazel Robinson, Director of Workforce & OD, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership

    The Project

    A new Workforce Development strategy, ‘Working Differently; Working Together’ was launched which defined the 5 year vision for NHS Wales and focused on the vital role that all staff play in delivering safe and effective care for the people of Wales. A national project that delivered the outcomes of this strategy was therefore required.

    The Project was designed to be flexible in order to align with the existing ESR Development Programme and ensure strategic benefits were maximised and implemented in organisations across Wales. There was also a requirement for effective and robust governance with strategic leadership that ensured conflicts in resources and priorities were effectively managed. The project design was therefore underpinned by Managing Successful Programmes (MSP) and PRINCE 2 principles with a robust project plan, governance structure and monitoring tools. The result of which was significant savings in administration time with data entry, improved reporting utilising the national competencies approved by the SMEs, transferability of the data throughout NHS Wales, again negating the need for unnessessary repeat training.

    The evaluation of benefits has been mapped out utilising pay scales of band 2, 3 and 4 who have previously been responsible for inputting and reporting on this data. Against this was the average time required for undertaking the data inputting. Realtime savings were visable instantly and have been forecast for the future using this new way of working.

    From the outset in order to establish an all Wales Shared Training Centre clear roles and responsibilities were identified by the all Wales OLM Management Group. Key stakeholders were mapped out by this group which informed the OLM Group of milestones, roles and responsibilities. Champions were also sought within each organisation to be a local voice on the ground to update staff and also put forward any suggestions from the users perspective.

    Evaluation was also undertaken by the SMEs on how much development time they each spent previously working in isolation as opposed to working collaboratively on the national approach. Evaluation processes included:

      • Process mapping pre and post deployment of new OLM functionality;
      • Staff surveys to evaluate user perception and ease of access and usability of the new ESR learning environment;
      • Periodic reviews of project objectives against NHS Wales strategic policies and strategies, particularly the workforce and organisational development strategy for NHS Wales, ‘Working Differently; Working Together’;
      • Alignment with the Francis report recommendations;
      • Stakeholder evaluation workshops.

      We also have the opportunity to work collaboratively with a local university to support a formal evaluation and review of benefits resulting from this project.

      Benefits and Achievements

      Significant and measurable achievements have been gained to date and will continue as this new approach is adopted across Wales.

      Initially the target was to work collaboratively with standardising statutory and mandatory Level 1 (induction) training for NHS Wales. Following the success of this collaboration Level 2 and Level 3 are also near completion. This has resulted in:

        • One Learning Management System for NHS Wales - OLM
        • One central catalogue for NHS Wales in OLM
        • National Competencies for NHS Wales
        • Streamlined process in place for any updates
        • Consistent information for all staff across NHS Wales
        • Reduction in unnessary repeat training
        • Transferrable training records
        • Standard pass rates
        • Standard training materials
        • Removal of local variants of national standards
        • Improved visability of compliance with ESR Self Service
        • Enhanced reporting utilsing ESR Business Intelligence
        • Improved data quality
        • Improved compliance with the relaunch of the catalogue

        “The impact of ESR Shared Training Centres has transcended our expectations and enabled the standardisation, consistency and portability of nationally agreed competences. It really means “once for Wales” by removing duplication and providing a solution for the hosting of national classroom and e-learning content. The automated recording of competence via shared training centres significantly reduces the administration processes from all ten NHS Wales organisations and when used with Business Intelligence (BI) compliance dashboards provides the visible assurance that NHS Wales employees are able to safely and efficiently deliver services”

        Lynn Turner, Assistant Director of Workforce & OD, Powys Teaching Health Board & Chair of the NHS Wales Strategic OLM Network

        Approximately 2,000 clinical posts and 2,200 medical and dental post were appointed across NHS Wales April 2013 to March 2014 (source ESR data warehouse). Conservative estimations indicate a saving of approximately £1 million per annum as follliows:

        • £373,200 (24,000 productive hours per annum) gained by eliminating unnecessary statutory and mandatory training for new clinical posts (based on estimation of 12 hours to complete mandatory and statutory minimum level training and mid point band 5);
        • £410,520 (26,400 productive hours per annum) gained by eliminating unnecessary statutory and mandatory training for new medical and dental posts;
        • Circa £10,000 (800 productive hours mid point band 3) gained per annum by use of OLM functionality to record competence.

        A suite of improvement methodologies and tools including a NHS Wales costing model is being created in partnership with Professor Nick Rich from Swansea University to measure the impact of change and improvement projects. No such robust model currently exists for accurately measuring the benefits of maximising workforce technology within a health care setting.These tools used along side the ESR Benefits Calculator will help refine the above estimations.

        Further expected benefits are anticipated as a result of creatively using the ESR Shared Training Centre functionality to achieve efficiencies, reduce duplication of data entry and improve recording and marketing of NHS Wales shared training opportunities. This negates the requirement for each learning programme to be input into each organisation’s OLM catalogue .. a data entry saving of 900 courses!

        Advice for other organisations

        Think how technology can work for you, not against you.

        We have adopted an all Wales strategy that has used ESR OLM to:

        • Create a core set of common training values and standards for Wales;
        • Standardise the training catalogue and improve the quality of training offered;
        • Creatively utilised a Shared Training Centre functionality to reduce data input and improve compliance reporting;
        • Reduce unnecessary repeat training;
        • Manage technology enabled assessments;
        • Increase productivity and release staff for more meaningful activity;
        • Effectively engage all organisations at a country wide level.

          For more information

          Please contact Julie Rogers, WfIS & ESR Manager, NHS Wales Shared Services Partnership via email at julie.rogers5@wales.nhs.uk