Mencap’s new recruits go online to learn the ropes

Mencap is replacing its one-day staff induction with an e-learning
initiative that will welcome new recruits and save the charity £200,000 in its
first two years.

The CD-Rom will replace the organisation’s current one-day induction event
called Welcome to Mencap.

Julie Casey, training and development manager for the charity, said Mencap
developed the initiative to save time and money and to guarantee consistency.
The CD-Rom has been devised by e-learning specialist ACT.

Casey said staff had to spend a day out of the workplace to attend the
original welcome day, and it took up to six months to fit them in due to

"It was becoming increasingly more time-consuming and expensive for the
charity to organise full induction days with speakers and delegates. We thought
that a CD-Rom that covered the induction would be more practical for our new
recruits who can work through the course at their own pace.

"ACT has injected a sensitive tone into our induction material, while
the design is fresh and innovative, giving it real appeal to the user."

Provided the three-month pilot goes well, the initiative, which is the first
electronic learning scheme for Mencap’s training and development department, will
be rolled out indefinitely.

ACT filmed a Welcome to Mencap day and used the material as the basis for
the CD-Rom, which takes between three and four hours to work through.

It is made up of three modules. The first consists of tutorial learning
screens and short video clips. The second features videos of four key speakers,
and the third provides information on further training.

All the learning is audio accompanied by simple text and graphical

Employees who work directly with people with learning disabilities are
required to complete the training and correctly fill in the six assessment
questions at the end of part one.

New staff will work through the CD-Rom during work time within two weeks of
joining Mencap.

By Katie Hawkins

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