Top charities join forces to make e-learning affordable

Six leading charities have formed an e-learning consortium to share the cost
of implementing the new technology.

The charities’ training budgets were too small to afford individual
e-learning programmes, but by joining forces, the six charities have managed to
get the technology at a tenth of the cost.

The charities – Leonard Cheshire, the Prince’s Trust, Scope, VSO, World
Wildlife Fund and the Scouts Association – will offer staff online tutorials in
IT skills, leadership, personal development, communication and customer
service.

Through the e-learning scheme – facilitated by e-learning companies Jenison
and Knowledge Pool – the organisations can monitor staff usage and generate
reports. Staff across all the organisations can communicate with each other.

Each charity has customised the e-learning portal to suit their individual
requirements, and will meet every quarter to share experiences and best
practice.

Kolleen Wallace, e-learning manager at the Prince’s Trust, said the
consortium suited the charity because its staff get the benefit of e-learning
without the organisation carrying the cost.

"It enables staff to take advantage of the benefits that e-learning
offers without the organisation having to invest in any e-learning
infrastructure," she said.

Vicki Clark, staff development adviser at VSO, said she felt confident that
e-learning would be implemented correctly with the help of the other charities.

"We have joined the charity consortium to encourage more learning in
the workplace. E-learning is another opportunity for training our staff and by
networking with other charities in the consortium, we be able to discuss issues
of implementation, administration and promotion," she said.

Craig Brown, IT training manager at Leonard Cheshire, said the move suited
his charity because its staff are spread across the country, making it
difficult to update skills using traditional means. "Now we can deliver
cost-effective IT and management skills training, while saving on time and
travel costs."

By Paul Nelson

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