When should you start looking for a training platform?
Perhaps your organisation is going through some sort of structural change, your learner numbers are predicted to increase, or you’re investigating ways in which you can reduce administrative cost whilst improving compliance? There are many reasons why a training provider will consider upgrading their delivery platform. But as apprenticeship and skills training is a highly regulated sector, with many complexities relating to compliance that need to be carefully considered, it’s never too early to start looking.
Start with an inward focus. Allow time for due diligence, to provide an in-depth understanding of your organisational processes, and the resources you already have within your team. Once this is complete you will be in a good position to research the market and understand what each platform can offer whilst evaluating them against what you really need from a new platform.
In short, anytime is a good time. And the sooner, the better.
What should you look for in a platform?
A training platform should always be reliable and improve your operational efficiencies whilst enabling your business to be compliant. It should help your company’s senior leaders and managers to sleep at night knowing everything is taken care of. That’s why it makes sense to consider a platform from a trustworthy provider, that’s been designed from the knowledge of training industry experts – a platform that solves the specific needs of apprenticeship and skills training providers.
An important aspect to consider here is the structure of your organisation and the systems and processes already in place. This will help you determine the degree of change your organisation is ready to adopt. For instance, are you looking for a single end-to-end solution that will drive new processes and rigid compliance procedures? Or are you looking for something to simply replace one of a number of systems or processes you may be following, that won’t transform your delivery?
We’ve found that Bud’s customers tend to come from organisations who have outgrown their existing processes, who were using multiple disconnected systems, with incompatible data stored in many locations. They are training providers who are seeking to transform their delivery, to raise quality across the board, and reduce administrative time and associated cost.
More than ever, online capability has been a crucial factor when it comes to driving learner engagement. In the face of the pandemic, learners have had to keep themselves motivated whilst often working in isolation, and access online training. So having a platform that is simple and intuitive – all the while guiding the learner with engaging content – is really important. A platform should engage learners from the very first step in their learning journey and enable them to access their learning wherever and whenever.
From a trainer perspective, it’s vital they are able to connect with their learners seamlessly and track learner progress efficiently to ensure learners are receiving a consistent standardised approach across the entire learning journey.
There’s a lot to think about when it comes to funding. The apprenticeship has a set value and time, so you need to consider funding plans. You also need to consider changes to eligibility and recognition of prior learning which will require you to update how you capture applicant information within the platform. So having the flexibility to change funding requirements, is crucial.
What also comes into play is employer contribution – employers contribute 5% towards the training costs, so that must be tracked and managed by the training provider. Having one system for all of your evidence and reporting means that you can be confident that you’ve got robust evidence to match your funding claim, thus reducing the risk of clawback by the ESFA.
To support funding requirements, trainers will benefit from a platform that reduces administration, drives compliance, and captures evidence from enrolment to EPA.
From a management perspective, you’re going to be focused on the overarching data and reporting, as opposed to the finer detail that a trainer would be interested in. Because you’re managing teams and ensuring your learners are progressing in a timely and efficient way, you’ll want to be able to access real-time data to inform your day-to-day management. It’s really important that you can access data on learner progress, for example:
- Where learners are on programme
- Which learners have fallen behind or become disengaged
- Which learners are unlikely to fulfil off-the-job requirements
Having that rich data at your fingertips is crucial to your organisation being able to progress and grow.
Sifting through numerous different databases and systems to find the data you need, and then hoping that data is accurate can be a task of the past. Bud centralises all of the information in one place, so you can easily find it whenever you need it, and you can be sure that the data is accurate. Another key element is your reporting suite – imagine being able to easily access the reports you need, such as off-the-job tracking, so you can see easily who is engaged and who has dropped off. Being able to pinpoint this in real-time will stop learners slipping through the cracks, and allow you to be proactive instead of reactive.
How can training providers scale their organisation?
It’s all about efficiency. Having a robust system in place to help you drive efficiencies and streamline processes will free up time. So that you can focus on scaling your organisation and building relationships with employers.
There are also a lot of different pots of funding available now, as well as new initiatives such as the Kickstart Scheme and Skills Bootcamps. So, if you’re a training provider looking to branch out into these different areas, then you’ll need a system that can handle that. It’s important to keep a full view of your roadmap in mind when you’re looking for a training management platform.
What makes Bud unique as a training management platform?
A true end-to-end system
Bud is a true end-to-end system built to combat the complexities of the training industry. Many older solutions don’t have this end-to-end functionality, meaning they have attempted to adapt, as opposed to being built with this at the core.
Built-in workflows driving compliance
What sets Bud apart from other platforms, is that it is designed around workflows that drive compliance. Bud saves administrative time and resource freeing your workforce to focus on higher value tasks. Bud reduces administrative error and improves data accuracy.
Designed by training experts
Bud combines the knowledge of industry experts with the brightest minds in software development, meaning we understand the specific needs and challenges of training delivery.
Exceptional user experience
Our customers always mention the quality of Bud’s user experience and interface, and how intuitive and easy it is to use. We’ve found that this ease of use and navigation drives increased learner engagement. As soon as users log in, they love Bud, and want to explore what the platform has to offer.
We listen to our customers
Another key advantage of the culture at Bud, is that we really listen to our customers. We foster great relationships with them, we engender a collaborative approach to future development and seek feedback on design ideas before we go to market. We find that our customers are eager to be part of Bud’s journey which helps us to ensure we’re continually improving the areas of the platform that matter most to the industry.
Want to find out why more of the Top 20 Independent Training Providers choose Bud than any other platform? Book a software demo to chat with a friendly Bud expert.
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