Choosing the perfect platform

Every training management platform promises to make great improvements to your business, but how do you know they will actually deliver?  And how do you compare like with like? 

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As experts in training delivery, we have witnessed the benefits of apprenticeships for young people, and alongside our customers, we’ve experienced the latest issues you are facing. We know that the right training management platform can drive business success for training providers and improve the quality of learning, more so now than ever before.

While training providers have been adapting to ESFA funding changes, recent events have made ensuring compliance even more difficult. With the disruption of lockdown, the switch to remote working and changes in delivery, choosing the right platform is essential.

Your platform should:

  • Improve delivery
  • Allow for increased capacity
  • Reduce your concerns, so that you can sleep at night.

Every training management platform promises to make great improvements to your business, but how do you know they will actually deliver?  And how do you compare like with like?

If you know the right questions to ask, you’ll soon be able to narrow down your options. Here are 9 things to ask before you commit to a new training management platform:

  1. Does it accurately measure a learner’s starting point and allow for edits to workflows?

Gaining an accurate measure of a learner at enrolment is incredibly important which is why Bud integrates with BKSB to asses a learner’s initial Maths, English and functional skills and records the result on the platform.  This allows you to take into account prior learning and reflect it in the learner’s programme, ensuring accurate charging, whilst giving full visibility to the employer.

We also integrate with Cognassist, one of the only ways to identify additional learning requirements effectively at scale. If a learner is identified as having additional needs, Bud will flag this to their trainer throughout their programme so that it can’t be overlooked and any additional funding claims can be made.

In the aftermath of lockdown, and with the ongoing disruptive potential of COVID-19, it’s incredibly important that your management system allows you to adapt the sequence of teaching, work-based training and off-the-job training – while supporting compliance – when unavoidable disruption takes place.

  1. Does it prepare your business to perform well?

Does the system give you the means to recognise patterns and address concerns before they become problems? Especially when you’re overseeing a high number of learners, you need data that you can rely on so that you can respond in a timely manner.

Bud’s data warehouse is designed to help you understand how your company operates, to see how your apprentices are progressing and identify where improvements can be made by using key insights – ensuring everyone is more successful and has a great experience.

As a single system, Bud captures thousands of data points, ensuring consistency and quality as the information is gathered from a single source of truth on a daily basis. Our customers have full access to their data so they can understand the effectiveness of their programmes, analyse learner behaviour and identify early on any learners at risk. The opportunities that this valuable data provides are many.

Live metrics and KPIs need to be easily accessible Within Bud, users have access to their live dashboard, highlighting key metrics and actions to carry out, driving behaviour directly in the system for efficiency.

  1. Does it ensure a consistent quality of learning?

Delivering quality learning should be at the heart of an effective training management platform. While it is easy to use the word, a systematic assurance of quality is not so easily evidenced.

At Bud, we offer the capacity to create predefined programmes of learning and trainer specific guidance while remaining sensitive to the bespoke requirements of employers. Providers are able to define a core curriculum and roll it out at scale to ensure consistency for each situation, guaranteeing quality is delivered to every learner.

  1. Does it encourage learner engagement?

The importance of user experience cannot be underestimated, particularly for Generation Z. If you have a platform that your learners are reluctant to engage with, that isn’t responsive or feels disconnected from their on-the-job training, then learning opportunities will be missed.

It’s essential for your system to be accessible on a range of devices. Young apprentices are often more inclined to use a mobile or tablet device, so a desktop only experience could be off-putting. But the more accessible and engaging the platform is, the more motivated learners will feel, leading to more successful apprenticeships.

We’ve designed Bud to be simple and easy to use, accessible to all  so no matter your needs we’ve got you covered.  Our customers have told us that their trainers are spending more time training and less time instructing learners on how to use the platform, compared to other well-known platforms they have used.

  1. Does it enable you to spot learners who fall behind and other progression trends?

Tracking is essential for evidence purposes, but it is also an important primer for intervention. Providers cannot address what they are not aware of. If you can identify and respond to learners who are falling behind – and spot the nuances of the impact of each learning activity – then better solutions can be found faster.

You want real-time data and you want it to be simple to analyse. If you have to view everything on a case-by-case basis, opportunities for improvement could easily be missed. Whether you want to analyse the progress in a specific team, programme or employer, you need the bigger picture at your fingertips.

  1. Does it facilitate real conversation between learners and trainers?

An important part of the learner user-experience is being able to talk to a human. The technology behind Bud is powerful, but even the best user-interface and digital experience cannot replace the need for communication.

A good platform will take care of all the essential alerts, reminders and notifications for learners. But it should also enable easy messaging between learner and trainer so that engagement levels can be kept high, and learners feel properly supported.

  1. How much admin does it require?

At the core of a training management platform should be its capacity to make things easier for you. If it adds to or has a negligible effect on your administration then you should reconsider your investment. When a system is designed well it will dramatically reduce both your paperwork and your administrative workload, while supporting you to remain compliant.

For instance, Bud’s paperless enrolment process allows learners to complete their own forms, provide digital signatures and electronic proof of ID, thereby reducing errors, rekeying and supporting compliance. Every necessary electronic agreement is automatically generated, along with personal learning plans. There’s less pain for everyone involved and more time for training providers to focus on training.

  1. Does it support compliance?

Ultimately providers need to ensure they meet the requirements of Ofsted and the ESFA. To have a training management platform that takes the pressure off the provider – while supporting compliance – is a non-negotiable.

Minimising compliance errors will reduce the risk to your business and ensure every apprentice’s needs are met from enrollment to End Point Assessment. Compliance should be at the forefront of your management system’s offering.

  1. Does it 100% ensure you can claim funding?

Of course, following the guidance and being compliant is not enough – you must be able to evidence it. For real peace of mind, you need to know that the numbers, reports and data will be there to back you up.

You don’t want there to be any risk or room for doubt. If you can track off-the-job training, Recognised Prior Learning and Additional Learning support, you are doing well. But if you can track them all automatically, without even thinking about it, then you have what you need.

To see how Bud delivers for our customers read our case studies

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