SDMS V Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows
SDMS V Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows: Scottish Social Work Edition
Nicola O’Connor, Support Assistant, Midlothian Social Work:
“Based in Dalkeith, close to Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh, the Social Work department in Midlothian provides services to people in need. The training department have been using the SDMS Staff Development application since 2002 and have progressively implemented specific elements of the software to monitor the delivery of training for Social Work Staff within the authority. We currently use the software to record details of all internal and external training courses to help provide an accurate picture of our staff training. The collection of this data provides the base information for the production of the annual government returns on the Core Minimum Data Set.
As SDMS have released new versions of the application we have kept pace with these; seeing the added benefits that the software can offer. As training departments try and ensure that courses are run with the maximum number of attendees, we have been working closely with our neighbouring authority of Scottish Borders and record details of their staff attending our training. The SDMS application is ideal for this and keeps the two sets of delegate information within the same application but can be easily separated when running statistical reports. SDMS have also kept pace with timely updates and revisions to versions to ensure we have been able to produce the necessary amendments for the government’s returns.
During the process of upgrading, we found that the SDMS Project Planning process was an effective method of ensuring that we were able to make effective use of the many new features which were available within the software.
We have also found over the years that the SDMS Support Team have always been able to provide us with a High Level of Support for the software providing our staff with the relevant solutions or assistance to any issues or queries we have on the software to allow us to continue with the use of the application.
Over the past couple of years we have seen that recent innovations with technology have allowed SDMS to continue to offer excellent technical solutions; with the introduction of On Line Training Sessions, On Line Project Review and Implementation Meetings and screen to screen viewing when a specific issue cannot easily be solved over the telephone have shown that SDMS are committed to working with their customers to provide successful implementation of their applications.”
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 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 Learning Management – College Edition and SDMS e-Training for Web and Intranet Access
Marlene Farley, System Administrator, College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London
“As the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London, we are a vocational Further Education College, dedicated to giving the best possible education and training to all of our students, no matter what they have achieved before. We were formed in August 2009 following the merger of The College of North East London (CONEL) and Enfield College, making us one of the largest Colleges for further education in the United Kingdom.
The College of North East London has used SDMS to help manage staff development and training in the College since 1993. Since then both the College and the software have seen many changes, but the College has found that SDMS has always been able to cope and we have continued to record and manage training with SDMS. Our Beacon status means that we are recognised as one of the Country’s very best Colleges, delivering outstanding and innovative teaching and training to both students and our staff. We expect this to continue with the new merged College and are currently in the process of looking at how the use of software can be extended to cope with this.
Since the introduction of the Institute for Learning requirement to track the amount of time our staff spend on Continuous Professional Development (CPD), we have found that the SDMS application allows for us to record the teacher registration and Criminal Record Checks we have made.
We rely heavily on SDMS to keep track of the cost of training and use the Budget Management module to keep track of the specific money spent across the cost categories we have identified as being key within the College. We also record the evaluations that staff complete as an integral part of our training.
During 2010, we hope to move forward with the implementation of the On Line Web application, which will allow us to devolve some of the more time consuming tasks such as entering evaluation forms by staff themselves and by giving staff access to their own training records. With this, we hope to allow the Colleges 900 staff to log on to the software to complete their own training evaluations giving perhaps better and speedier feedback on the quality of the training we provide.”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”.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 Staff Development and SDMS e-Training for Web and Intranet Access:
Leigh Barber, Administrative Assistant, West Sussex LEA:
“West Sussex is the tenth largest Local Authority in the Country and deals with nearly 300 Schools. We have been using the different versions of SDMS software since 1995, from the original DOS application, through the first upgrade to the Windows product and beyond. We make extensive use of SDMS, not only for planning and administering the training offered to Schools, but also for reporting to various key stakeholders in the Authority – including Schools themselves... We make extensive use of the integrated Crystal Reports and benefit from the technical support provided with this by SDMS Support. Like many Authorities, we have now made the move across to On Line Course Enrolments using the SDMS e-Training for the Web module.
Over the years, SDMS has been implemented within the Authority, allowing us to provide a high level of support to our Schools and their Governors, showing how the training provided within the Authorities Schools is providing high quality, feature rich and most importantly relevant training. This in no small part has been helped by having a system such as SDMS to manage the Authorities training management and to keep pace with the changes in the role of the Authority over the 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 for Windows: School Edition
Karen Nicholls, Head of Care, Oaklands Park School, Devon
“Oakland’s Park School is a very special Community School offering a range of education and care to children and young people with a range of special needs – these students aged from 2 - 19 come from all over the County of Devon.
As was recognised by OFSTED and ourselves in our last inspection, “The School rightly wishes to do more to recognise and promote their professionalism through improved training and formal feedback” (February 2007). As part of this improvement action plan, whereas we previously like many Schools used an Excel spreadsheet to record the training of our staff, to help make some of these changes we reviewed available software on the market and selected SDMS as the best affordable system to meet our needs. We have now installed the software and users have been trained - and even at this early stage we are beginning to see some of the benefits and look forward to further progress in the coming months.”
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 for Windows
Mr Adrian Egglestone, Head of Training and Development, University of the West of Scotland:
“We had been using spreadsheets within the HR and Training Team for some time to help manage and administrator the delivery of the training to staff within the University of the West of Scotland, when we became aware of the product range offered by SDMS.
After having a number of On Line Presentations and attending a further presentation at one of their Product Roadshows in Edinburgh, we decided that that we would need to explore in greater detail the software and options the Company had to offer. SDMS offered to come On Site and present the software to a wider audience and has confirmed our view that the product met our primary requirements and could make a valuable contribution to the Universities plans and aspirations for improved staff development and learning for all of its staff.
We decided that the SDMS Staff Development application would meet our needs and have gone through a lengthy process of looking at the best options for purchase. SDMS has a well proven project approach to get new purchasers such as ourselves up and running in the shortest possible time. The Company provided us with a draft plan setting out key actions and dates for installation and training which we discussed at an On Line Project Meeting. This simplified much of what we knew we had to do - we are now in the early stages of the Implementation Process and look forward to reaping the benefits.
We will initially use the application to keep track of the training staff within the University have undertaken and we can see not only the details of training done by individuals, but are able to track the training which staff should have undertaken based on their job role. In addition, we will be using the training evaluation module to help us get a better picture of the value the training we provide has for staff and their work. We are confident that the software will meet all of our current and future needs.”
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 Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows
Ms Maristela Coupe, Learning & Development Administration Officer, Coventry University:
“The development and training of all University Staff is an increasingly important contributor to the success of Coventry University. Prior to our decision to purchase SDMS, we had been using paper based systems to manage this and needed a product that could improve the effectiveness of our systems.
Following very helpful on line presentations of SDMS Ltd’s Software and a very positive visit to one of its reference sites, we felt that SDMS Staff Development had been designed by people who had been immersed for many years with the concerns of Staff Development and Training Managers. This initial judgement has been proven correct by our subsequent experience of using the software now for some 3 years. It has many features, such as the ability to email delegates at different stages of an event (invitations, application forms, approval, reminders, cancellations) and to create a variety of reports which helps us ensuring that the day to day administration of training for University Staff is efficient and saves time and cost.”
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 and Learning Management for Windows, QCF/NVQ Learning and Skills and Recruitment and Selection – Probation Edition
Ms Irene Doyle, Administrator Manager, North West Consortium:
“As an approved Assessment Centre we run a well established Centre that is grounded in Community Justice, places a high priority on its Quality Assurance arrangements and receives excellent feedback from its External Verifiers. Our confidence in the value of NVQ Awards is based on our experience of assessing a diverse range of staff.
From 1st April 2010, the training programme for the Probation Service changed. Previously the Qualification for people to work as Probation Officers was the Diploma in Probation Studies. Whilst still recognised, this qualification route is no longer available to new entrants.
In its place will be the Probation Qualifications Framework (PQF). This framework has been designed to allow staff to progress through ascending levels of Qualification so that they can be qualified either as a Probation Services Officer or a Probation Officer, the two main operational roles which deal directly with offenders. The Qualifications will be gained during employment with the Service.
The Administrator team within the Consortium has been using the SDMS Product Range since 1999. During this time we have worked closely with SDMS to develop the Recruitment and Selection and Learning and Skills modules to model our administration and reporting requirements. This included developing the software so we could collect details from our applicant monitoring form and provide statistics to the Government on the responses to this return.
We also utilise the Staff Development and Learning Management for Windows software to record details of the training programmes which we run during the year to support the intake of the new staff.
The system allows us to generate reports which help us save time and money ensuring that the administration of training is both cost effective and efficient. Along with continuous support to help with the use of the software, SDMS were very flexible providing bespoke changes to address our needs.
We also use the Learning and Skills application to record the progress staff have made on their Award and how they are progressing academically at Sheffield Hallam University. We have recently updated these details to now record details on the new Probation Qualification Framework.
This will allow us to continue to monitor progress the candidates are making to completion of the awards and using the extensive reporting options can provide the necessary information for the Consortium Managers and the Assessment Boards to identify the number of successful applicants each year ”.
The North West Training Consortium is a collaborative arrangement between the five Probation Areas of Cheshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, Greater Manchester and Merseyside and provides a range of learning and development activities for Staff in these Probation Areas and in the wider Justice Sector. We are part of a national quality network of Training Consortia and our work at this level contributes to and influences the direction of learning in the Justice Sector. National Occupational Standards underpin all our activities.