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The business case for utilising an eportfolio solution

If your training establishment has not yet switched across to an e-portfolio system, it may be because you’re not sure why it should. You may think you have a perfectly good paper-based system in place and therefore why make a change to something that ‘isn’t broken’.

We understand. In fact many of our own customers said the exact same thing before they decided to switch to an online system.

So we’d like to point out why you should consider switching across, not to benefit us (although we would hope that you’d decide to use our system!) but to help your centre become more streamlined, efficient and improve its revenue streams.

There are many reasons why an e-portfolio system is proven to be extremely beneficial, take a look at the two most valuable to your centre below:

1. Reduce Costs.

An e-portfolio system streamlines the assessment process to minimise wastage and inefficiencies. Such as:

  1. Minimising travel: With an e-portfolio system your assessors can log in to the system without the need to be physically in the centre or at a candidate’s workplace, therefore reducing travel expenses significantly.

  2. Reducing student visits: Since work is placed directly into the portfolio remotely, the assessor can schedule meetings with the candidate only when they are ready, rather than planning a visit in the hope that the candidate will be ready.

  3. Reducing unproductive activities: Assessors are able to use their time more wisely to increase productivity. They can log in and check each candidate’s progress at any time, rather than waiting for scheduled visits. This will help to highlight any issues early on and better prepare assessors in advance of their visits, focusing on the candidates’ actual needs rather than their perceived needs.

  4. Monitoring progress: E-portfolio systems generally come with monitoring functionality. For example Ecordia has ‘Workflow Monitoring’. This is an area where the assessor can review the status of each candidate to ascertain if additional support may be needed. And just as importantly from the centre’s perspective, it also makes it possible to review the status of each assessor to see if they may need additional support.  Moreover, systems that have an alert function mean that assessors and training managers can be automatically alerted to possible time-limit infringements, enabling them to become truly proactive with managing the training centre and assessors assisting their candidates.

Whilst the above mentions what can be reduced to save money, there are also positive increases that keep costs lower:

  1. Increased candidate support: Candidates still receive the same support, if not better, by improved efficiency in the response process without the centre incurring direct cost of travel or assessor time.

  2. Improve QA processes: Centres can readily access candidate portfolios, monitoring progress and timely achievement without impacting on the workplace or the activities of the assessment staff. Real-time data can be analysed without the need to request additional information from staff which can be time consuming and subject to interpretation.

  3. Improve communication:Like our own system, many e-portfolio solutions offer integrated messaging features. This allow centres to conduct standardisation and share good practice, without having to collect and remove paper-based portfolios from the workplace, or bringing staff into the centre.

2. Improve Revenue & Capacity.

In addition to the reduction of costs an e-portfolio solution will bring, it can increase your centre’s revenue generation and supply capacity. By:

  1. Improving Your Reputation: E-portfolio systems can help to improve overall quality through the increased efficiencies for both assessors and candidates as mentioned in points above. This in turn can help to improve your centre’s Ofsted grades, which in turn can help to attract more customer organisations and candidates

  2. Increasing turnover of candidates: Because it’s easier for assessors to respond and support each candidate, centres are able to help them through their course quicker whilst ensuring individual achievements remain high. This paves the way for fresh new candidates to start their qualification.

  3. Increasing learner capacity with the same number of assessors: Depending on other limiting factors, assessors (in theory) are able to have a larger case-load of candidates which means your centre can generate more training revenue without the need for more staff.

  4. Reducing any geographical barriers: Centres can attract candidates from much further away since the need to travel has been minimised, if not removed entirely. Assessors are able to manage the assessment process more easily and can access candidate portfolios online 24/7 regardless of location.

  5. Increasing productivity and motivation of assessors: As is often the case when a simple but effective managing solution is put in place, centres can see their assessors becoming much more engaged with their work once again. Knowing that they have constant access to all information without the need for paperwork that can get lost, forgotten, or mis-filed, reduces the stress that many centre staff are under. Candidates also feel the same benefits knowing that they have support when they need it, rather than via a scheduled visit which may be much later-on down the line.

In summary, your centre will be improving effectiveness, widening participation; you will be modern, innovative and efficient – and you can make your courses available 24/7!  And particularly now, with mobile apps for iPhone & Android, you will be able to record assessments anywhere, at anytime, with or without internet access!

So what are you waiting for? Read our Guide to successful e-portfolio implementation and start your strategy for switching your learning methods online today.

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