KnowledgePool Award fo rExcellence in Training

award looked for training interventions which have significantly benefited the
business or organisation, particularly if the trainers involved had developed
new approaches. The judge wanted to see evidence of improved performance and
gains in employee skills and capabilities. Entrants had to demonstrate how
training had boosted motivation and helped focus staff on key organisational
objectives. The judge also looked for well designed and delivered training

Category judge

For the past two years Colin Steed has been the chief executive of the
Institute of IT Training, which he helped set up in 1995. He spent 10 years in
the ITdepartment at British Airways before founding the Training Information
Network in 1981. Following this, he launched ITTraining, the first magazine in
the field. Steed has also co-launched ITSkills magazine for the Hemming Group
and is author of Web-based Training

B & Q
e-training programme

About the company

B&Q is the country’s biggest DIY retailer employing over 30,000 staff in
around 300 stores. Founded in 1969 it is now the largest DIY chain in Europe.
The company operates superstores and warehouses and has 50 stores overseas.

The challenge

To ensure a consistency and quality of training within a workforce that is
growing by 15 per cent a year. It also needed a robust learning process that
would help manage staff turnover and improve customer service.

What the company did

– £2m investment to improve the provision of training and development

– Introduce an e-learning solution

– A blended approach comprising e-learning, workshops and in-store coaching

– 315 stores installed with more than 400 training PCs

Benefits and achievements

– Mandatory health and safety training for 17,051, saving £279,115

– New IT system training rolled out to 24,000 customer advisers

– 881 training for the B&Q credit card system in just 11 days – 1,636
trained since March

– Administration of the induction process brought in-house saving £200,000
per year

– Stores now have access to online training reports

Colin Steed says: "It has proven to be an outstandingly
successful business-led programme, encompassing 30,000 employees, which
utilises a blended mix of training delivery that has provided a step change to
the company’s ability to deliver real business solutions for a growing and
competitive organisation. There is clear evidence of in-store productivity and
the programme’s foundation provides a clear base for future efficiency of the

The team

No. in HR team 4 in project team, 200 in HR team

Staff responsible for 30,000

Mike Cutt HR director
Adrian Jones e-learning manager
Graham Bell B&Q university controller
Caryl Roberts B&Q university development manager

Training and development

About the company

GNER operates a high speed, long distance train service over a 920 mile
route between London and Scotland. It took over the operation of the Intercity
East Coast line from British Rail in1996 through the rail franchise process.
GNER inherited 2,600 employees and now has over 3,200 staff.

The challenge

To become a major driving force in identifying and delivering cultural
change within the rail industry

What the company did

– Launched Green Light scheme to encourage staff suggestions

– Introduced the Service-Profit Chain model

– Partnership with the University of York for enhanced qualifications

– Face to face conflict resolution training

– Evacuation training for all 900 on-train crew

– Closer links with unions

Benefits and achievements

– High employee satisfaction and no strike action despite new terms and
conditions for 90 per cent of the workforce

– 2,000 employees now have training days rostered every eight to 12 weeks

– Managers of stations can now design and deliver their own customer service
development programme

– One in five managers currently studying for a certificate or diploma

– Improved staff to passenger ratio

Colin Steed says: "An extremely successful attempt at involving
all stakeholders in positive, business-led culture change in a ‘traditional’
workplace that is steeped in labour cultures. Proven business and quality
models underpin the design and creation of the training interventions adding
structure and rigour to the creative art of training design."

The team

No. in team 6 in project team, 50 in HRteam

Staff responsible for 3,200

Aileen Downie training & development manager
Deborah Bunker employee development consultant
Dave Button recruitment manager
Angela Seal employee development consultant
Sam-Lines-White training consultant
Janice Fell HR assistant
Barbara Hardesty training & development assistant

Tesco Distribution
Learning team

About the company

Tesco is Britain’s leading supermarket chain employing over 195,000 people
at 729 stores in the UK. The company was founded by Sir Jack Cohen in 1924 who
used gratuity money from the army to start trading in London’s East End.

The challenge

To develop a single, clear process for making appointments and moves around
regions and store groups, creating a more objective system. The group wanted to
achieve a more consistent quality and supply of store managers.

What the company did

– Increased monitoring, development and on-the-job training

– Stores put into clusters to work together

– Frequent meetings to review vacancies and possible moves

– Enhanced talent spotting

– Five-step appointment process

Benefits and achievements

– More than 1,939 staff have been developed under the scheme

– 170 senior team members and 262 section managers moved to a new format

– 278 general assistants became section managers

Colin Steed says: "An exemplary business-led culture change programme
that was designed to be sustainable and provide stakeholders with a clear
framework for continuous skills and knowledge development. Tesco Distribution
is particularly commended on its exemplary trainer development and continuous
assessment processes. It is an outstanding example of how a change programme,
when fully supported by the company and integrated with the business, can
deliver first class results."

The team

No. in team 7 in project team, 20 in learning team

Staff responsible for around 240,000 worldwide

Kim Birnie learning director
John Metherell process manager for leadership skills
Ondrej Roubicek process manager for performance and development
Michelle Hepden-Dyer programme manager for Tesco Academy
John Callan programme manager for Tesco Way
Edith Fotheringham programme manager for shared learning
Nicola Steele process manager for organisation design
Caroline Gilbert project manager, operational skills


is a worldwide training provider with over 35 years experience of delivering
effective training solutions. We deliver across the spectrum, from small
standalone projects to large, complex, fully managed learning services. Our
award winning e-Learning centre develops and delivers a mix of standard and
customised training programmes, which in many cases can be combined with 24/7
supported tutoring via the internet or client intranets.

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