Insolvency Service uses Balance Learning training needs survey

The Insolvency Service – the government agency that administers and investigates the affairs of bankrupts, companies and partnerships – has used an online employee survey to gain a ‘valuable understanding’ of the IT training needs of its 3,000 staff.

Interactive learning company Balance Learning developed the survey using its ‘Balance Assess’ tool, which creates and automates online surveys and tests. The company also managed the administration, collated the data and analysed the results from the survey.

“After installing new computers, bespoke software and migrating to Windows XP and Office XP applications, we needed to find out who needed what training,” said John Willis, Transformation & Learning Manager at The Insolvency Service. “We’re a geographically-spread organisation, with 36 regional offices, so the idea of running a survey that staff could access online was very attractive.”

Balance Learning worked with The Insolvency Service to develop the survey questions, which covered issues such as awareness of IT policies and procedures, key features of MS Office applications and using the internet.

“The Balance Assess tool enables you to quickly and easily create an online questionnaire, using any combination of question types including multiple choice, dropdown lists and free text entry,” said John Willis. “You can then enter the email addresses for the audience who will receive the questionnaire and send them an email, inviting them to take part.”

The email sent by Balance Learning to all staff at The Insolvency Service contained a covering message from one of the Service’s Deputy Inspector Generals and a link to Balance Learning’s portal, where they could access and complete the survey.

“Balance Learning hosted the website where the survey was located, which meant there was no impact on our server or network,” said John Willis. “This process was much easier than sending out a paper-based survey because staff could complete the survey quickly online and there was no danger of losing the responses.”

The survey results were processed and collated by Balance Learning.

“We received a comprehensive report on the survey findings that covered everything we needed to know,” said John Willis.

The Insolvency Service is holding meetings with a cross-section of staff to discuss the survey findings and the resultant IT training requirements. It plans to provide ‘blended learning’ training, involving e-learning, classroom-based workshops and one-to-one instruction, based on the training needs uncovered.

“This is the first time we’ve run a survey that could be completed online across the entire organisation,” said John Willis. “It was a smooth, efficient and effective process which saved us around two weeks of manpower, in terms of developing the content, sending email invitations, collating the data and preparing the final report. It has given us a valuable foundation for ensuring that the IT training we provide is timely, suitable and necessary.”

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