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Case Study – Avenues Group

Avenues & Ecordia From the Group OD Manager

The Avenues Group are leaders in the field of social care and all of our work is based on a very clear vision – we want to push the boundaries of possibility for the people that we support, creating opportunities with them to have more meaningful lives.  Our purpose is to challenge and overcome the disadvantages people face through illness and disability and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity and support to be actively engaged in their local communities.

To help us achieve this we have a commitment to our employees that we will provide them with learning and personal development opportunities that will not only benefit them but will help them to deliver our goals and aspirations.

Our biggest and most recent change regarding personal development for our employees has been to embrace technology, and the use of e-portfolios has seen us take a big leap forward.  Having been an accredited centre, with City and Guilds, to deliver vocational qualifications for ten years, last year we decided it was time to move away from paper portfolios.  Ecordia came to our rescue!

The Ecordia system has proved easy to use, it is well-supported by the Ecordia team and has completely changed how we operate our Vocational Qualification Centre.

There are many advantages that we have seen since using the system including the fact that learners can track their own progress at all times and have instant access to course materials and resources.  Learners can easily upload evidence into their e-portfolio and communicate with their assessor.  The Ecordia system provides total transparency, with full tracking of learners’ submissions and assessors’ workload, which has driven efficiencies and has saved assessors and IVs time – as their time is being used more effectively.  For us the Ecordia system’s robust management reporting/QA functions have justified the costs.

We wouldn’t do without Ecordia and it has helped us in developing and using other e-learning materials because the system was so easily embraced by our employees.

The Ecordia Impact

The three key points of frustration for Avenues prior to utilising Ecordia were the paper overload, the paper trails in large, cumbersome portfolios and the issues surrounding storage and tracking of paper portfolios.  The Ecordia system has completely eliminated these problems.

Our previous attempt to resolve these issues meant reviewing our internal processes and increasing the number of staff who could be internal assessors and verifiers.  However our line managers and operational managers soon became overloaded with work.

We knew we needed an online solution; it was the only way forward.  Feedback from staff and managers, the desire to reduce paper and generally modernise, particularly throughout our Learning & Development function within the organisation, was becoming a key priority.

We loved the easy functionality, accessibility for learners & assessors and the modern look & feel of the system, especially compared with other systems available.  Also the reporting systems to monitor progress are great, especially now that we can measure completion of portfolios as a percentage – this was just not possible with paper portfolios.

We’ve found Ecordia has the following benefits for our training centre:

  1. Greatly reduces administration time with no bulky paper-based portfolios.

  2. Saves learner, assessor and verifier time with easy access to portfolios.

  3. Has given greater opportunities for some learners, particularly those who have learning difficulties, to be able to access the learning programme. It has made it much easier for them, giving them a sense of achievement.

  4. Ecordia has proved to the organisation as a whole that the e-assessment can work and has a place as part of a blended training solution.

  5. Ease of transferring a portfolio from one assessor to another if needed.

  6. The learning is no longer confined to a specific workplace.  Learners study when they want, where they want.

  7. There is no software or hardware to install, all that is needed is an internet connection and a web browser.

  8. No specialist technical skills are needed to operate the system. The system is intuitive to use with minimal training required.

  9. Learners can track their own progress at all times, having instant access to course materials and resources.

  10. Learners can easily upload evidence into their e-portfolio and communicate with their assessor.

  11. The online software streamlines workflow and efficiencies and dramatically reduces paperwork.

  12. Assessors and internal verifiers have total visibility of learners’ e-portfolios and progress and access can also be given to external verifiers.

  13. Assessors and internal verifiers can work anywhere with internet access.

  14. Ecordia provides greater control over deadlines and improves communication with learners.

  15. There is evidence that learners achieve results more rapidly and are fully engaged with the learning process.

  16. The Ecordia system provides total transparency, with full tracking of learners’ submissions and assessors’ workloads.

  17. Assessors and IVs’ time can be managed more effectively.

  18. The system includes a robust management reporting/QA System.  So that line-managers and senior operations managers can be provided with up-to-date progress reports at any time.

  19. The system includes a robust reporting feature to improve access to funding systems.

By adopting Ecordia our learners are empowered to manage their own learning, they are freed! And overall, a reduction in portfolio completion time, therefore a reduction workload time for learners, assessors and verifiers has improved our bottom-line.  Furthermore we are now more efficient with our ability to claim funding as deadlines are easier to monitor.

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