SDMS V Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows
SDMS V Staff Development and Learning Management and Learning Management for Windows and e-SD.Net Web Access: Version 6
Debbie Maule, Children’s Partnership Coordinator, Vale of Glamorgan Council:
The Vale of Glamorgan Children and Young People's Partnership aims to ensure that all children and young people in the Vale are well informed and supported to access a broad range of quality services that enable them to take full advantage of the life opportunities available in their local communities and beyond.
“As part of the Children and Young People’s Partnership’s plan for 2011-14, we have several key priorities for providing a high quality service to support staff in their work with children and young people and to ensure service delivery to the community in the Vale of Glamorgan. Training of staff is key to achieving the aims set out in this plan including establishing suitable training for all adults involved with all registered early year’s settings and ensuring that all childcare settings meet national compliance for the qualifications and experience required by staff.
We provide a comprehensive Training Programme, available for all childcare practitioners including Legal and Regulatory Training such as Food Safety, Paediatric First Aid, Health and safety in the Workplace, Child protection and Safeguarding. The Children’s Partnership also work with a wide variety of people including Child minders which makes accessing the system from a wide range of locations a key requirement for us – one that would need to be addressed by an On Line Course Booking system.
One of the major problems we were experiencing was the time taken for the admin team to receive course bookings by email or over the phone and book them onto the relevant course. The time taken to administer this process was costly and not effective so we decided to look at what systems were available to assist in this process.
We came across SDMS due their product’s already well proven use in the Social Services department of Vale of Glamorgan Council, who have been using SDMS V Staff Development for Windows extensively since 2009 to manage their training and development programme.
We saw how the Staff Development for Windows application was being used in the Social Services department and saw the opportunity for us to either link into the Social Services system, or reap the benefits for ourselves with a separate installation. The high quality pre-sales support we received from SDMS and several On Line Meetings, with SDMS staff and the Social Services department helped us to reach the decision for a separate installation.
Activity Planning and Scheduling Screen
SDMS V e-SD.Net Web Access Home Page
SDMS were very flexible in providing a range of cost effective solutions for combining both Windows and Web Applications to allow our Childcare providers and other external staff to view details about, and apply for courses On Line. We decided upon the V e-SD.Net Web Access Module which we found offered a comprehensive range of web access features but also met our current budget. An On Line Presentation of the product showed how providing access online to our Training System could help improve our efficiency and reduce the paperwork and administration required by the team.
Following our confirmation of purchase, SDMS have been very helpful in the implementation of their software providing us with an implementation plan, and On Line Meeting to discuss our priorities and dates for going Live with the project. Even though there have been a few technical difficulties along the way, SDMS have been swift to rectify these hitches. We are eagerly anticipating the delivery of the project and using SDMS software to enhance the training and development programme provided by the Children’s Partnership and the quality of the services we provide.
SDMS V Staff Development and Learning Management, SDMS V e-Training for Web and Intranet Access and SDMS V NVQ Learning and Skills:
Mrs Lynne White, Workforce Development Officer, Torfaen Social Care and Housing:
Torfaen Social Care and Housing is a part of Torfaen County Borough Council and is responsible for the provision of a wide range of Health and Social Care Services across the borough. Torfaen County Borough Council, along with the Torfaen Local Health Board has a joint Health, Social Care and Well-being Strategy as required by the Welsh Assembly.
This is designed to provide a coherent range of services to adults in the area involving close working relationships with a wide range of partners. This holistic view of all aspects of public services supports the delivery of quality Social Care.
“As a user of SDMS for the past 8 years, we have increasingly extended the use of the software - initially just using the Windows based product for Training Administration, then extending this to the e-Training web product and now recently extending the use of SDMS to help manage NVQ’s (now QCF’s). Throughout this process we have been supported by an extensive range of services from the SDMS Support team; Data Migrations, Remote and On Site Installations and of course responding to our day to day “how to I do that” questions.
We have used the software to help plan and administer training for our own staff as well as staff from service partners to improve their standards and skill sets. We are now using the latest version of SDMS V Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows: Welsh Social Services Edition along with the Evaluation and Appraisal modules. The core system enables us to plan Courses and enrol Candidates onto Courses along with the ability to report on aspects such as budgeting. We rely heavily on the financial management side of the software to evaluate the spending from our training budgets.
Using the Evaluation module we are able to evaluate the impact to the staff following the training.
In 2006, we implemented SDMS V e-Training to extend the use of the software to allow members of the Social Care Partnership for Torfaen to view and book courses in an On Line environment. This has become a very constructive way to advertise courses and provide our partner organisations, who send their staff onto training courses, a method of viewing details of the courses which we run and then submitting, via their Line Manager, an application to attend the training course. These requests are then registered within the Windows application allowing the administration team to then approve or reject the application with an automated email response then being sent. As many of the organisations who are interested in our training work out the normal working hours of the administration team, providing 24/7 access to the details of the training courses saves us a great deal of time and provides the team with the ability to book onto training when they have a spare moment.
Over the past 6 Months we have implemented the NVQ/QCF Learning and Skills companion product to enable us to start recording details from our Assessment Centre about the Candidates we have registered on the NVQs and the Qualification and Credit Framework. Prior to the purchase of the NVQ Learning and Skills software, SDMS gave a clear commitment to modify and upgrade the software as the requirements of QCF changes came into place. The company has formed an On Line User Group to share ideas on these changes and has already released an initial QCF upgrade.
Of course one of the great advantages of using the NVQ/QCF product alongside the other uses of SDMS is that it provides a single coherent set of data about all aspects of learning and development – Staff Skills, Training and Qualifications”.
SDMS Staff Development and SDMS e-Training for Web and Intranet Access:
Stephanie Davies, Systems Administrator, Newport Social Services:
“Newport Social Services provides training and ongoing support to the social care workforce within the Newport area in South Wales. Increasingly, as joint working arrangements proliferate, our provision of workforce development services is being extended to social care, health and allied professionals across South East Wales, necessitating robust and efficient management and administrative systems. Since implementing the first elements of our SDMS applications within the organisation in 2002, we are now providing an annual 6000 training places per annum and have input some 13 years worth of social services training records into our data base.
During the last financial year (2009-2010) we were able to offer places to staff on some 600 training courses, all of which we manage and administer with SDMS Staff Development. We have also been able to use the information which SDMS enables us to gather, to provide statistical data for our annual returns to both the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) and the Local Government Data Unit.
We have worked closely with the SDMS team to implement the SDMS Learning and Skills module which assists our Newport Assessment Centre’s NVQ administrative team to manage our Awarding Body’s procedural and statistical requirements, and to track the achievement of our NVQ candidates.
We are now well into the process of extending the use of SDMS further by introducing the SDMS e-Training for the Web and Intranet Access module. This will allow us to provide on line booking facilities for the employees of our commissioned agencies and the Council’s staff.
We are confident that the SDMS team will continue to offer the same high level of support during this new phase of product implementation as we have received over the past 7 years.”
SDMS V Staff Development for Windows: Welsh Social Services Edition
Kate Hood, Training Coordinator, Vale of Glamorgan Social Services:
“The Council’s Change Plan for Social Services is a long term plan, designed to achieve fundamental changes in the way in which the Social Services Department operates. As was identified in the Joint Review by Care and Social Services Inspectorate of Wales, the Council is well placed to sustain and improve services through its workforce planning, partnership working and the quality of induction, training and development.
The Vale of Glamorgan Social Service’s primary aim is to serve the members of the public and it’s commissioned providers by offering an extensive range of services through its Community Care and Health, Children and Family Services and Business Management & Innovation Divisions.
SDMS is being introduced to complement and extend the many areas of good practice in the department such as our annual training needs review and programme planning. It will provide us with a bedrock of easily accessible data to ensure that training needs are targeted and evaluated. We are now well into the process of implementing the software following project support, installation and initial training. Implementation plans are now in place taking us through the critical stages of needs analysis and programme planning in the autumn.
SDMS V Staff Development and Learning Management will provide us with mechanisms for recording key staff and workforce data and the ongoing administration of training. We look forward to the benefits the software will clearly bring to our work.”
SDMS V Staff Development for Windows – Version 5
Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board - Pradip Panchmatia, Training Manager:
“Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board (NSCB) exists to protect all children from abuse and to provide the highest standards of practice towards the safeguarding of children. A key part of our work is of course to deliver a wide variety of Training Courses on Safeguarding Children to all Staff and Agencies who have a role in this within Nottinghamshire.
As part of Nottinghamshire County Council we have used SDMS Software for many years and have come to rely on it as our main Software System in the delivery of our training programmes. Following recent organisational changes within the Council we were faced with a decision: do we stay with SDMS Software or move to a new system with all the issues involved in such a decision? Following discussions with SDMS Senior Staff and an On Line Presentation (which we found very useful by the way) of the latest version - we had been using Version 3, we have decided to continue to use SDMS and upgrade to SDMS V Staff Development for Windows - Version 5.
Throughout this process SDMS was keen to address our needs – both in terms of the need to upgrade, a price that could fit within our very tight budgets and in offering additional services”.
SDMS Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows: College Editio
Kate Colclough, CPD Coordinator, Myerscough College:
“Founded in the 19th Century, Myerscough College is located six miles north of Preston in Lancashire. Our main mission is to provide high quality education to all students in the local community. The College has been recognised by OFSTED as outstanding in all six categories that were under inspection. We have also gained the prestigious Training Quality Standard (TQS), which illustrates the high quality of training and development that we provide to businesses and their employees.
We have an active and extensive programme of Staff undertaking CPD to support all Staff in continuing to achieve such quality standards, the needs of students and their own professional development. As part of this commitment we have recently invested in SDMS Software. This replaces an In House System and will extend and improve our planning and day to day administration of staff development events and programmes. It is essential for us to have a way to record training of College Staff in order to recognise where training gaps are and to plan future training that can be provided as well as evaluating training as a whole. For this reason, SDMS Staff Development was chosen by us since it had the capabilities to meet these needs. We have now completed the initial phase of implementation – the software has been installed and we have completed a series of On Line User Training - which we found both effective and convenient. To help us move from our In House System; SDMS has migrated the data to the SDMS software – this includes course information and staff details from a database – obviously this has saved a significant amount of administration time. We have had continued support from SDMS Staff through the implementation process and are now in the process of “going live”.
SDMS Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows – Welsh Social Services Edition:
Fran Owen, Administrative Assistant, Ceredigion Social Services:
“Located on the West Coast of Wales, the training department of Ceredigion Social Services provide help and support to the local Social Care workforce in the delivery and provision of personal social services for adults, children and families. After deciding to purchase the SDMS Staff Development application in 2000, we have been actively using it to record details of all training courses, both internal and external as well as ensuring that a full and accurate picture is kept of staff development. Ensuring that social care staff are offered and are involved in ongoing training and professional development is essential to the quality of services we provide.
Once we became familiar with the software, from the data we had entered, we were able to help provide the necessary details on our staff’s qualifications and their training so we could complete the necessary Staffing Returns. To help facilitate this, we also integrated with our personnel department who provided us basic staff details which are regularly imported into SDMS.
We are now looking at working more closely with the Personnel Department in the production of the Annual Staffing Returns and also in the process of extending the use of SDMS functionality to ensure that all the details for the completion of the National Minimum Data Set and Welsh Government returns are held within SDMS.”
SDMS V Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows – Local Authorities Edition
Ms Jan Thompson, Administrator Officer, South Tyneside LEA:
South Tyneside LEA has been using SDMS Staff Development for Windows since they purchased the software in 1999 and has recently upgraded to the latest version of the software.
Hello Jan, thanks for sparing the time to talk about how you use SDMS at South Tyneside.
Tell me about your organisation?
“The School Workforce Development Team of South Tyneside Council is based in South Shields, Tyne & Wear and manages the training and support to teaching and support staff within the Authority across 65 Schools.
We first implemented SDMS in 1999 where we used Version 3 of the software. We started with the software being available from just the one machine but then as the demands of the department increased so did our requirement to have additional users making use of the features within the application, so we contacted SDMS and upgraded to the multi-user version. Most of the computer systems which we access within the council run via Citrix, SDMS were able to install their application into this environment.”
What would you say have been the major benefits to you in your job using SDMS Software?
“We spend a lot of time having to produce confirmation letters and emails to send to attendees to notify them that they have been booked on the training course, and with the latest upgrade of the SDMS Staff Development software this is very simple to achieve.
How did you find the implementation process during the recent upgrade?
“When we looked at upgrading to the latest version of the SDMS Staff Development application, our IT Support were concerned that there would not be any issues in upgrading the software. The SDMS Staff were very helpful in this process and were able to work closely with our support team to ensure that the upgrade ran smoothly and that we were not inconvenienced by being without the software for a long time.
The Support Team also helped ensure that we could produce the necessary course registers by updating all the mail merge templates we used and creating some new versions from examples that we were able to provide them with.”
What do you see in the next year in terms of changes to the way you currently provide training to the workforce within the Authority?
“Over the past couple of years we have provided our Schools with the option to view details of the training courses we provide to the Early Years and School Workforce via our website.
This website allows staff to see the course details but they still have to email or contact the admin team to enroll onto the training courses.
We are currently looking to introduce the On Line Version of the SDMS Staff Development application; SDMS e-Training for the Web. This will allow us to provide booking facilities not only to our own staff in Schools but also to other potential attendees to run more cost effective training”.
SDMS V Staff Development with SDMS V e-Training for Web Access
Lisa Lepley, Senior Administration Assistant, Cornwall Adult Social Care:
“In April 2009, Cornwall Council merged with the six Borough and District Councils in Cornwall - Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, North Cornwall, Restormel and Penwith to become Cornwall Council Unitary Authority to become the largest employer in Cornwall and provides a wide range of services to more than half a million residents.
As a user of SDMS for over 16 years, Cornwall Social Services Learning and Development Unit has been collecting and recording training and staffing details since the initial implementation of SDMS in 1994. During the time we had continued to use the various editions of SDMS and used the Staff Development Management System to assist with training administrative functions. The system has a wide range of functions which record the staffs learning and qualifications for their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and Registration. It helps the administration team provide statistical data for performance management purposes and is a powerful tool for the effectiveness of learning, training and development activities. We also record the department’s financial commitment to learning, training and development.
During 2008, in a number of review meetings within the Council we identified that a key target for the Department should be the process of producing the information for the National Minimum Data Set. Since then SDMS has worked closely with the department to help us find the best solution to progress towards this target. During discussions with SDMS to try and identify the best source of Post and Post Assignment information, it became obvious that since the change over of our Payroll System that the organisation didn’t seem to hold the relevant historic details of when staff started in their current jobs in Electronic format, so SDMS has been able to work with us and we have recently completed the final stages of a Data Cleansing Exercise to remove duplicate records and have enabled the correct information to be transferred from the HR System.
In the earlier months of 2010, the decision was made to extend the use of SDMS further by introducing the SDMS V e-Training for the Web and Intranet Access module. We had always wanted to provide an automated booking and course monitoring element to allow Staff to see what courses we run as a department and allow our local External Agency departments, as well as the Councils Staff, the ability to use the On Line Booking facilities.”
SDMS Staff Development and Learning Management and SDMS V e-Training for Web and Intranet Access:
Ms Nicky Shamsee, Organisational Development Adviser, Knowsley Council:
“The Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England. It comprises the towns of Kirkby, Prescot, Huyton, Whiston, Halewood and Cronton; Kirkby, Huyton, and Prescot being the major Commercial Centres. It takes its name from the village of Knowsley.
Although many of the different directorates within the Council were successfully recording and managing the delivery of training within their own area there was no clear picture across the whole of the Council about the amount of training and the value of this training. Many of the Directorates were keeping their own records on the Training they were delivering to the Council’s Staff. Some would hold the information within an Access Database, some would use Spreadsheets and others would keep everything on paper and not go anywhere near a computer.
We knew about the SDMS application and how it was being used within the Health and Wellbeing Directorate and saw the opportunity to link into what was already being successfully used as during a Corporate review the decision was made to bring together all the training departments of each of the directorates together to form a corporate learning and development hub. The decision was made to look for a Training and Learning Management system which would allow the information from all the departments to be recorded within the application.
After a number of On Line and On Site Meetings, the decision was made to increase the number of users to cover the training requirements with the HR Business Unit. The implementation of the Council system also looked at moving the SDMS installation onto the latest virtual server environment within the Council. During this process, the Repeating Import which transferred Staff, Job and Team information from the Personnel system used within the Council was extended to include all the staff within the Council.
A series of On Site Training days ensured the correct staff within the HR Team had a basic understanding of how the SDMS Staff Development and e-Training applications could be utilised within the Council.
We are now in the early stages of expanding the availability of the functionality of SDMS out to our line managers using the SDMS e-Training for the Web application. During the first phase we plan to allow them to record on line the outcomes of their Performance Review and Development plans into SDMS using the Training Needs and Training Appraisal modules. This will allow the HR Team to ensure that all staff have completed the PR and D forms and that we are able to provide them with valued training and to continue to improve themselves”.