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September monthly focus: Supporting education (electronically and funding)

Supporting electronic education

What does it mean?

Electronic learning (e-learning) has been widely used within UHS for a number of years as a method of delivering education, particularly for statutory and mandatory training subjects, but also through hospital information system training and other personal development courses. Having increased the library of e-learning courses available to staff, it has become more and more difficult for staff to locate the courses they require. When this is added to the hundreds of classroom courses and events which are offered by or via training and development, it has become very difficult to sustain a website which is user-friendly enough to allow easy location of development opportunities.

In addition to this, UHS is manually recording the completion of e-learning courses. This has lead to an increase in administration requirements to enter details of these courses as they are completed by all staff members on a yearly basis.

Training and development have therefore worked with an external partner organisation to develop a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) to allow for a central place for all educational activity. This central portal will contain information about all courses offered by, and within, UHS as well as allowing direct access to all e-learning courses. E-learning courses will now also be completed and tracked online, removing the need to print certificates and administration staff to enter all completion data manually. Aside from ensuring that your own staff record is kept up-to-date, this will ensure that Trust educational reporting is also made more accurate as electronic education will be automatically captured and applied to central records, with no administration delays or errors.

In addition to this, training and development will also be utilising ESR Self-Service to allow staff members to book directly onto courses, rather than having to complete a long form of details about themselves and the course they wish to attend, making the whole process of booking onto a course far shorter, and easier to complete. 

What happens next?

In the past nine months, over 6,000 members of staff have been given access to ESR Self Service. This covers all staff who currently have access to UHS IT systems - whether clinical systems or outlook. In the coming months, training and development will be working with education leads, HR and IM&T to extend this access to all remaining staff.

In October, the Virtual Learning Environment will launch allowing a single portal for all educational activity. Staff who have ESR Self Service access will be able to log in and complete their e-learning without the need for printing certificates or the administration process of logging the completion. Training and development will be making course materials, forums and other resources available via this portal, allowing staff to undertake, review and plan their own education, either by themselves, or in conjunction with line managers, supervisors and educational leads.

By the end of 2012, the aim is to have all educational activity self-bookable or self-accessible, along with an online area to develop, decide and discuss educational options.

If you have any queries on the information above, please contact Nick Lee, learning support operations manager, on

LBR funding

There may be money available for non-medical staff (bands 1 to 9) for vocational training and continuing professional development in 2013-14. There is a limited fund and money is only allocated against the Trust's training needs analysis (TNA) which is collated from each division via the divisional education leads. The TNA will be out for completion in the organisation from mid-September to mid-October. Please contact your divisional education lead to check how your division is collating the information if you wish to apply for funding. Nurses and AHPs have access to some core courses run by the University of Southampton and they and all other staff can request funding for specific courses such as MScs, post-graduate modules, clinical updates etc. This is the only pot of central funding for education and is limited, so only some requests can be approved.

The funding is allocated in conjunction with the divisional education leads and Trust HQ education leads by Julie Martin, head of healthcare scientist and pharmacy education and Alison Trenerry, learning environment lead.

Posted on Thursday 20 September 2012