Balanced approach to induction courses

Cambridgeshire County Council is developing an online induction course in partnership with Balance Learning to increase the efficiency of its induction processes.

“A good induction helps new recruits learn the ropes and contribute quickly, but when you have part-time and shift-working employees, it can be difficult to get people together for induction sessions,” said Cheryl Hickman, Cambridgeshire County Council’s blended learning project manager.

“Using the online course, new employees can undertake their induction at their own speed, so they can be up and running without having to wait for the next class.”

As well as information about the council’s mission, structure and values, the course will feature mandatory details and working implications of the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts. It will also include generic IT and health and safety information, and aims to be of benefit to existing as well as new employees.

“We’ve been running weekly half-day workshops on information, computers and technology to provide mandatory training,” said Hickman. “We can now phase out these workshops and ultimately all of our 6,000 employees can go through this module on the online course instead.”

The council will run a short workshop on the ethos and culture of the organisation, which will also enable new recruits to meet each other.

“Blending online learning with a face-to-face session is, we believe, the best approach for induction,” said Hickman.

The course, hosted by Balance Learning, features two to three hours’ of practical learning with interactive exercises. There are also pre- and post-course tests to guide and track an individual’s learning, which also provide proof that the mandatory training has been undertaken and understood.

The course could also be made available to other local authorities and public sector organisations, as Balance Learning offers to customise the content.

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