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Home > News > July 2006 > 20 July 2006

Council augments induction training with online course

Gloucestershire County Council is supplementing its face-to-face induction process with an online induction training course.

Developed by blended learning provider Balance Learning, the online course includes topics such as how the council operates; its ethos, culture and structure, the importance of customer care, and important IT and health & safety information

The two-hour course incorporates animations and interactive quizzes and includes welcome messages from the Chief Executive and elected members.

The county council takes on around 600 new staff each year and says all will work through the online course, prior to attending a face-to-face corporate induction day, which the council runs fortnightly.

The induction days provide the opportunity to meet senior officers, including the Chief Executive, as well as other new starters.

Meurig Hughes, training advisor at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "Part-time and shift-working employees, and those in remote locations, often have to wait some time before they can attend an induction training day. We wanted to give people information sooner, so they feel valued and part of the organisation.

"Balance Learning built and customised this course using a generic template that they provide. This is a quicker and more cost effective option than developing a bespoke course. It means that we can provide a consistent message to everyone as soon as they start. The combination of online learning and face-to-face training is an ideal solution for induction."

"People can dip in and out of the course when they have time, so we get maximum flexibility with minimum impact on the working day. The built-in pre and post-course tests help individuals to guide and track their learning."

"The Balance team have done everything we’ve asked for and more. We now have a super course and we’ve got the flexibility to change any aspect of the content whenever we need to, so it will constantly reflect our needs and never go out of date."

Gloucestershire County Council was already using Balance Learning’s online performance management, leadership and facilitation courses to train new managers, before they attended workshops in each of the subject areas. As a result, the company was invited to tender for the new induction course.

"All of Balance Learning’s online courses are presented in manageable learning chunks," said Meurig Hughes. "Our managers like these courses because they can learn at their own pace.

"After the online training, they’re better prepared when they attend the instructor-led sessions. The workshops can be much more focused and effective because everyone comes with the same level of understanding of the subject."

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