25th February 2015
  1. 7day blog jun15sWhat platform is the provider using?

    Checking a platform's security is an important part of your Information Governance If the platform your provider is using is complicated, staff will quickly give up before they even get to the training. Likewise, if  the platform is not running they will leave it until much later to try again. It is important to check the target the provider has for minimal downtime and when they plan downtime. It is best if downtime is only for essential updates and organised at weekends late at night, when the least number of people will be trying to access it, and for it to be communicated thoroughly before hand.

  2. How does the provider keep their courses up-to-date with legislation AND current ways of working within the subject area (including expert involvement)?

    It is important to find a robust provider. If you sign up in January, you want to make sure the course is still relevant and topical 12 months later. If legislation changes, will they be able to update the courses quickly and efficiently? There are times where current ways of thinking do develop, and your provider needs to be aware of this.

    It is important to ensure the provider works with experts in the field. Even if they are aware of changes it may take time to research and identify the changes required. This will all add time and mean that staff are trained in out of date procedures while you are waiting for the course to be changed.

  3. What is their process of development?

    Your provider needs to keep courses up-to-date and be able to develop new courses when requirements change within the sector. They should have a development process for any kind of changes to ensure that the quality of the courses remains consistent, and that updates are made quickly and efficiently. If development processes are not in place, you could discover your staff waiting months for updates.

  4. How do they communicate with you?

    Providers should be communicating with you to let you know what they are planning over the year, for example, what new courses they will be developing, what updates do they anticipate occurring to their existing courses, and what updates will they make to their platform. This is known as a development roadmap or development plan. Find out if they have a user group that you could join to get more information, and be able to discuss how other people are using the courses/platform. If they email you with updates, check that these are planned, and that you will not be in-undated by emails from them, but still receive relevant information. Staff will not necessarily need as detailed information on updates as the managers, but will need to know if a course is about to be discontinued or replaced, so find out what they do to support them too.

  5. What reporting mechanisms do they have? Is it real-time?

    As a manager you will need to access information on your staff, such as when they have completed a course, what the course was, when they completed it and how long it took. You will need to do this for compliance reporting, but you may also need it to check a query for your staff or use the data to support them in appraisal meetings. Ask if you can have a demo of how the reporting works to check it meets your needs. It is important that as a manager you can access the information in real-time, so that you can be sure you are using the latest information.

  6. What implementation and helpdesk support can you provide?

    If you have not used e-learning in your organisation before, or even if you currently are, but are moving to a new system, you may need support to ensure that staff are properly prepared for the change. Ask your provider what assistance they can provide. Implementation can range from nothing apart from granting access through to learning needs analysis, marketing, training sessions on how best to use the platform (particularly for managers who can be experts for their staff), to an in-depth project identifying your needs, cleansing the data and supporting all staff to be familiar with the system.

    Your staff will need assistance on occasion after implementation, when they have technical issues. Check whether your provider has a helpdesk, or some kind of method of communication for staff using the platform. If they can’t access the platform because they have forgotten their password, they will need quick and efficient support to get back up and running. In the day to day use of the platform such support is vital for staff to have confidence in the system. An email response two days later will not help drive adoption of the system. All organisations should publish their response times in a set of SLAs. Check that the standard SLA meets your organisation’s needs.

  7. How do they keep up with learning and technology trends?

    More and more staff are accessing e-learning via tablets and or home computers, even in some cases via mobile phones. This can cause major issues for older courses that have flash in them, and therefore do not run correctly on iPad's. With different screen sizes, it is also important that they are planning for responsive technology, which will ensure that the platform is resized to the size of the screen that the person is using. If this is not in place staff will miss half the information on the screen. Ask your provider if they have made changes, or are planning changes to accommodate for these.

    Have they worked with organisations that have the same needs as your organisation?

  8. Your provider should be able to support your needs. If they have not had experience of working with organisations like yours, e.g. size, complexity, type of organisation, they may not be able to support you to the level you require. If for example, you have not used e-learning before and work in an organisation spread across the country, you will need more assistance in bringing together the organisation in understanding the benefits of e-learning, and a series of meetings to ensure you get the best out of the training. Complex implementations also require more support from the e-learning provider at each of the sites as well as bespoke reporting skills. Ask your provider about their experience of implementation in large organisations and the ability to produce reports across different sites and staff groups.

  9. Can you speak to other customers?

    The best way to find out how good a provider really is is to speak to existing customers. Ask if there are organisations similar to yours that you could chat to, to see how the courses and platform are working for them. This will not only give you an idea of what they can offer, but also how different people use training, and could develop a beneficial relationship with another organisation.

  10. What else can they do to support you with your training?

    This is the over-and-above factor. Through looking at implementation, you may cover all factors of support you require, but do check if there is anything else they can suggest to support you. It may be that they have other products they have developed, or a consultancy arm that can offer further support and development.

Get to know our Eleraning - we are the largest healthcare Elearning provider in the UK, a not for profit registered chairty and have over 14 years experience as healthcare leaders. You can view our range of courses here. If you are a smaller provider, please feel free tp purchase your Elearning requirements via this link, otherwise, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.