The Learning and Skills Council (LSC), which is responsible for funding and planning education and training for six million people over the age of 16, has received a Best Public Service Initiative Award.
The judges applauded the LSC’s success in helping 300 aspiring and newly appointed managers through a change programme, developed with A&DC, which provided individuals with radically different skills at a time of significant business transformation.
The judges cited the LSC’s varied learning approach, the policy of providing open access to learning resources to a wide audience, availability of a recognised management qualification and commitment to measurement and evaluation as the main reasons for winning.
Phil Quinn, Head of Learning and Development at the LSC, explains,
“Receiving this award is a tribute to the professionalism and commitment of our Learning and Development Team.
“Working with A&DC, we created and delivered a programme that combines the innovative features of varied learning with the disciplines of rigorous evaluation to give us an accurate picture of the return on investment, as well as indicating the impact and improvement on the business.
“At the LSC, managerial roles and responsibilities vary significantly. Right from the start, we recognised the need for a flexible approach to management development, which would complement individuals’ diverse skills, attitudes, goals, aspirations and learning styles.”
As a consequence of re-structuring, many people needed to work in different ways than before, developing or enhancing previously under-utilised skills along the way.
There was also a strong emphasis on empowering the target audience to excel rapidly in their new roles.
The first phase started in 2006 when A&DC was appointed to design and deliver the programme.
Initial telephone and face-to-face research established the needs and expectations of aspiring and newly appointed managers.
To address the goals specified by the LSC and the needs arising from the initial research, a blended learning approach was adopted, incorporating existing relevant resources alongside practical workshops, self-study packs and e-learning.
Flexibility for participants was vital so each could use the ‘Introduction to Management’ programme as a basis for creating their own personal learning pathways to suit their individual styles and goals.
Also critical was the need to ensure that participants from technical roles were motivated to acquire new managerial skills throughout the learning process.
Given the LSC’s role and focus, it is fitting that the accreditation option is available through the Chartered Management Institute (CMI) and Smale Consulting.
To date, over 90% of participants have enrolled for the Certificate in Management recognising that this qualification is a valuable personal reward for their achievements in the LSC.
David Williams, Business Development Director at A&DC, sums up,
“We congratulate the LSC on securing this prestigious award, which recognises their commitment to developing their management talent.
“Evaluation was a very important part of this process, and we are delighted that already 80% of participants have reported that the programme has delivered value for them, the teams they work for and the organisation as a whole.
“Using a blend of learning resources, participants have come to understand their strengths and development needs, and are now well-placed to manage individuals and teams more effectively towards the achievement of key organisational goals.”