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Northumberland County Council

When Northumberland County Council wanted to drive cultural change within its organisation, it turned to QA to deliver advanced learning services within a bespoke training framework.

The Challenge

In a period of change and transformation, Northumberland County Council (NCC) wanted to create a new cultural paradigm by developing a series of bespoke courses that would drive modernised learning behaviours and engage learners in virtual teamwork and flexible working. The ultimate goal was to encourage NCC employees to take the initiative, and drive their own learning forward. This was particularly important as the council planned to develop a more agile workforce, with an emphasis being placed on collaboration and multi-disciplined approaches. As the required courses needed to be tailored to NCC's specific needs, they required a specialist learning partner to deliver the service and support the transition.

We wanted to decide on a provider that would be responsive in supporting traditional delivery, as well as providing new resources, with the assurance of ongoing support.

Paul Brooks

Learning and Development Programme Manager | Northumberland County Council

The Solution

Following discussions between QA's learning team and Paul Brooks, NCC's Learning and Development Programme Manager, QA developed a solution which met NCC's vision for the future. QA's solution was to provide NCC with a continuous learning platform that ensured delegates could take ownership of their own learning and development before, during and after course delivery. A programme of 14 bespoke courses was designed and delivered to two groups of delegates at a time. However, to meet NCC's specific needs, these courses were tailored to offer blended learning methods such as eLearning and virtual learning to supplement traditional classroom events.

Multi-modal content was embedded into the programme to promote self-driven learning, ensuring that delegates remained engaged and informed at every stage of the programme. The bespoke nature of NCC’s programme allowed QA to embed this content to varying degrees for each of the 14 courses.

Multi modal content included:

  • Talking Heads, a series of bite-size videos detailing important hints and tips to delegates
  • Key Learning Points being pushed to mobile devices to aid delegates in retaining information
  • eLearning modules developed to compliment face-to-face classroom delivery

Northumberland County Council is a unitary authority in North East England.

The Outcome

Since the programme began, QA has supported NCC to successfully deliver quality learning experiences, ensuring that face-to-face delivery sessions supported the development of the organisation's core behavioural competencies and success factors. The adoption of new multi modal approaches has further contributed to a cultural shift, with 12,500 courses completed online in the past 12 months.

Delegate feedback has proven to be very positive. In response to the new course titles, one delegate suggested that the programme "should be mandated for all managers." Other elements of the programme that are proving particularly popular with delegates include:

  • Talking Heads content being pushed to delegates' smart devices after each session
  • Tools and techniques being demonstrated that can be applied to learning within a work-based context

We are proud of the cultural shift in learning that has taken place in Northumberland.

Paul Brooks

Learning and Development Programme Manager | Northumberland County Council

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