“Using the learning management system provided by the Charity Learning Consortium makes it easy to track completions against our employee records. This helps our internal auditors ensure we are compliant in areas such as child safeguarding.” Marta de Abreu, Teach First
Charitable organisations that see the benefits of using eLearning don’t just use it for mandatory training. But at a time when many third sector organisations are working in a regulatory environment, eLearning has been crucial to enable them to demonstrate compliance.
The consistency of messaging, and the fact that eLearning is accessible to all, means it can be relied upon to meet the needs of organisations, regulators and auditors alike. In- module testing can be used – as a minimum – to prove some degree of understanding. More sophisticated assessments can also go some way to proving that standards have been reached. In this way, staff and volunteers can gain critical awareness of necessary regulations through eLearning.
Reporting, via a learning management system, enables compliance to be monitored and provides statistics to help show that required standards have been reached. eLearning can also automatically be assigned to new starters, and re-assigned to existing employees for refresher training. This provides another layer of reassurance for both organisations and regulators.
Where possible, allow managers to run their own reports, which cuts down on admin. This supports the sustainability of L&D, particularly if you are working in a small learning team.
Case study: Marta de Abreu, Learning and Development Adviser, Teach First
As a provider of teacher training and school leadership programmes, we are subject to a lot of regulations. Not surprisingly, this includes child safeguarding. We offer a basic eLearning course, which everyone needs to complete – and everyone has to confirm that they’ve read and understood our child safeguarding policy. Importantly, we cover what people specifically need to do if they have any child safeguarding concerns. Some staff also receive additional face-to-face training in this area.
We also require everyone to complete a variety of other compliance courses, such as cyber security, data protection, whistleblowing and equality, diversity and inclusion, including content about unconscious bias. To supplement off-the-shelf content from the Charity Learning Consortium, we include documentation that’s specific to Teach First, along with links to other resources on our intranet. All new staff have to complete all the relevant modules within their first 14 days.
We track and report on all of this. Using the learning management system provided by the Consortium makes it easy to track completions against our employee records. Towards the end of our annual compliance training ‘window’ – which runs from mid- December to the end of January – we issue reports twice a week to line managers and executive directors. This provides a module-by-module breakdown of completions. This helps our internal auditors ensure we are compliant in areas such as child safeguarding. OFSTED, the government inspector, also finds this information useful when assessing how well we deliver initial teacher training.
Marta’s eLearning top tip: Set deadlines and expectations
Accurate reporting of compliance is essential, so make sure you clearly communicate expectations to everyone concerned. Be clear about the time and frequency that reports will be sent out. Vitally, explain what you need everyone to do, and by when, to ensure 100% compliance in their area.