How do you run L&D successfully across large organisations? Live from Learning Technologies Conference, Richard Owen, Product Manager at long-time Unicorn partners CII explains how they have trebled use of the Broker ASSESS platform in one year.
CII is the world’s largest professional body for insurance and financial planning.
Broker ASSESS is effectively a lot of content and an LMS that has 50,000 users. It is bought by companies who range from having 10,000 staff to one, and can be used by business owners to Head of Compliance, Director of Operations to HR and L&D, everyone.
About two-and-a-half years ago CII started on a journey to increase usage of the LMS.
Usage was really low (4%of all courses on system) and all the content was compliance. It was old and looked old. The challenge was to provide something that was about more than just exams.
CII asked customers why they weren’t using it and the main points were:
- time was challenge – these were people who were doing only one to four courses a year or touching the system once or twice every six months.
- content tended to be too generic – it didn’t suit everyone
- the way learning presented was just in a long alphabetical list – finding anything was just too hard.
- the reporting wasn’t telling the story it needed to so it wasn’t really usable for much.
How did they do it?
They had a plan and it started with sorting the content out. Everything was rewritten from scratch (500+ courses and many thousands of MCQS). It was a huge undertaking but it was the first base from which everything else could move forwards.
This involved getting their hands dirty; not simply employing a research company to do their market research for them but getting out to customers themselves and not just talking to the managers but the people who work for the managers too. First answers weren’t accepted either…
“People don’t want to offend you,” admitted Richard. “They’re saying it’s great and the best thing they’ve ever seen but I can see from their MI they’re lying and they never use it!”
Making the new content role specific was key too. If people think something isn’t relevant to them they gloss over it.
Now learners get a personalised experience. The first thing a learner sees is a diagnostic; they are asked approx 5-10 questions on a topic and exempted from learning if they get the questions right while if not it gets added to their basket.
The new reporting functionality also provides a real time view of knowledge across a business on a subject at any time. The CEO gets this on their desk at the start of each month so does Head of Compliance, which makes this data very powerful.
Through this there has been a distinct change in attitude to the traditional tick box approach. There is a mass of data for senior managers to digest and insights into what people in the business know. The key was for this information not to be used as a stick to beat people with rather understand what people do know and how they can improve.
The navigation and catalogues were fixed to become much more user friendly and all this was only possible by getting buy in from top.
One year in and usage has trebled and is still growing. Use of the new functionality has also increased significantly. CII has also improved the way it communicate about Broker ASSESS, and with more mechanisms still being rolled out on this front growth is expected to expand further still.
“Without having a supplier in Unicorn that was agile enough to adapt to our ideas we would’ve struggled,” Richard continued.
With the building blocks now in place CII are starting to look at integrating apps and gamification into the platform. Their first learning game is due to be launched next month.
To help businesses understand how the platform can support them, CII aren’t adverse to providing it on a trial basis and frequently find that it’s now very quickly embedded into that business.
But Richard revealed the champagne cork popping didn’t last long. He added: “Once you’ve arrived at your destination, don’t think you’ve done it and it’s finished as you’re already behind and it’s out of date. It becomes a constant maintenance process then to keep achieving the desired outcomes so don’t spend time too long celebrating it!”
Unicorn is to launch the Learning Ecosphere at next month’s Learning Technologies show, which introduces a brand new way of reimagining the dichotomy of traditional vs new eLearning.
The explosion in digital and social technologies holds great promise for L&D professionals, and the learning community is rightly excited by the potential of collaborative learning, point-of-need performance support, serious games and even augmented reality.
But amid the hype, how do enterprises identify what is relevant, affordable and good value, in the context of the practical day to day demands on time, budgets and resources?
This is the focus of a new White Paper being launched by Unicorn Training at the Learning Technologies conference and exhibition next month.
The Unicorn ‘Learning Ecosphere’ reimagines learning in the context of balancing enterprise-focused ‘you must learn’ and learner-focused ‘I want to learn’ demands.
The White Paper argues that a firm’s learning strategy does not have to sit on one side or the other, rather seeing the possibilities for utilising different technologies to create a better blend and balance in an overall learning approach.
The free ‘Learning Ecosphere’ White Paper can be picked up from stand P14 on both days of the Learning Technologies exhibition at Olympia on 1-2 February.
Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC), custom content, LMS and apps/games are all key elements within the Learning Ecosphere, and Unicorn will be showcasing its solutions in each of these and explaining how, far from being in competition, the ‘new’ and ‘old worlds of learning technologies, are, in fact, complementary.
There will even be the chance to win a giant Unicorn (yes you did read that right!) by having a go at Unicorn’s new app-based game, Quizcom. This gamified application allows firms to manage their own question banks to create quizzes and push them to individuals or groups of learners. Who doesn’t need a giant Unicorn in their life?
Peter Phillips, Unicorn CEO, said:
“The mobile revolution has opened up exciting new opportunities for L&D to radically improve the effectiveness of their investment in learning. But mobile learning is inherently different from, and does not replace, the more traditional enterprise led training. We still need to ensure staff are safe and competent to do their jobs.
“The Learning Ecosphere is designed to help businesses to recognise what new pieces of the learning jigsaw might be missing in their business and how it is possible to make the many different elements on both sides work harmoniously together.
“What is needed is balance, and anyone visiting the Unicorn stand at Learning Technologies will go away with a much clearer understanding of how that balance could potentially be achieved within their business.”
More information about Unicorn Training is available at www.unicorntraining.com and registration for free entry to the Learning Technologies and Learning and Skills 2017 exhibitions and seminars is available at www.learningtechnologies.co.uk
With 52,000 more firms due to come under the Senior Managers Regime by 2018, in the new T-C News magazine Simon Mercer, Unicorn ComplianceServe Product Manager, asks ‘What’s your training strategy for compliance?’
“Do not put it under the jurisdiction of Compliance or HR”, Simon argues. “It has to be championed by a Senior Manager and driven from the top down.”
Find out why by downloading the January 2017 edition of T-C News for free from the website at www.t-cnews.co.uk
Newsflash – learning is changing. But what are the benefits and pitfalls of creating bespoke learning in this landscape? Chris Tedd, Strategic Head of Content at Unicorn, and Unicorn CEO, Peter Phillips, enlightened us!
So how has learning changed?
Here’s a good quote…”The future has already arrived, it’s just not evenly distributed” (William Gibson). What does that mean in relation to learning? That the explosion in digital and social technologies make EVERYTHING possible in learning. It’s just understanding what’s relevant, how we can best use which technology to deliver what and how that’s the tricky bit.
You’ve only got to look at a timeline of when the things we take for granted, like Google, Facebook, WhatsApp etc, arrived to grasp just how rapid the exponential growth in digital technologies has been over the past 20 years. Moore’s Law they call it (Google it), but it now means user experience (UE) directly translates into learner experience and the language the highest level decision makers and CEOs use naturally today is the language of UE.
What does that look like then?
A user interface is like a joke, if you have to explain it it’s not very good. eLearning hasn’t always done a very good job of this.
We live in a world of mobile everything. Pull down to refresh, pinch zoom, swipe across – these gestures are used everywhere, to the extent that they are taking on cultural significance. It’s second nature to use these gestures so should we incorporate them into learning? If we use them, it is undoubtedly an advantage in design. If we don’t, the learning is less intuitive and enjoyable to today’s audience and people are less likely to use it.
Our day’s are made up of ‘mobile moments’ – interactive touchpoints where you use a handheld device to access apps, internet, maps, social media, games, whatever. With the fact almost half of the workforce is already made up of Millenials – digital natives – learning delivery needs addressing now.
How do we achieve behavioural change?
The $64,000 question. What simple technicques do we use to transform a campaign of learning?
Robert A Bjork’s concept of ‘desirable difficulties’ is a good starting point – you want to slow down learning (by introducing variability, spacing, testing, reducing feedback to learner) to help long term retention. You don’t want learning itself to be too easy.
The ‘forgetting curve’ tells us if we don’t use something we’ve learned within an hour, 50% of it is lost. By day 2, it’s 70%. Could breaking content into campaigns of learning to do at different times overcome this? What about using a diagnostic approach where long term learning is tested, followed up with targeted learning, and another test, to satisfy competency before following up with periodical learning (videos, podcasts, PDFs, whatever bitesize activity it might be) to top up/reinforce knowledge?
Achieving behavioural change requires the following to the taken into account when deciding content approach….
- What is the behaviour trying to change? Is it reasonable to affect change?
- What’s the audience – roles? Time to access learning? Educational level? Language? Experience of subject matter? Experience of doing this type of learning? Attitude towards learning? Motivation to learn?
- Subject matter – is it being taught now, if so how is it taught, how long does it last, how well is it received, is content mature (been in business while and refined or new content)? Are SMEs available to the project as part of project team or do they need to be called from outside?
- Is it detailed?
- Is it volatile? Is there going to be change over time, for example, if content changes every 3 months don’t use video, but if a longer term message from the CEO etc then video maybe a good content option.
- Delivery environemt – where (not going to do 30min eLearning course on mobile), when will they be doing it, what device will they be using, BYOD (not universal at moment), tracking, hosting (just on LMS or elsewhere eg another CMS)?
How do games and simulations fit into this?
The old learning by doing. Games appeal to some of the most basic elements of the human psyche – we like to complete things, we like to think we’re getting something for nothing, we like to be rewarded, we’re quite happy to keep doing effectively the same thing to achieve all of the above!
Chris showed demonstrations as to how Unicorn’s eCreator authoring tool had been used to create Riskford Manor, an immersive interactive ‘game’ for wannabe insurance brokers to explore, ask questions and test themselves in a ‘real life’ risk assessment situation at a fictional hotel.
Peter then showed some examples of whole business simulations Unicorn has created in airport development and portfolios of risk in commercial property decisions.
The difference between games and business simulations? Short, sharp games are looking to teach one or two things and make it stick, whereas simulations are about holistic nature of business.
But while the set of learning objectives maybe different, the principles of learning by doing are the same.
Simon Mercer, Unicorn ComplianceServe Product Manager, and Julia Kirkland, Partner at FSTP, presented a recap on what’s happened so far, looked ahead to what are going to be the hot regulatory topics over the next 12-18 months and answered the biggest question of all, how on Earth are we going to do all this?? Julia even sang a little bit. It was beautiful.
Anyway here are the top five takeaways on compliance training and where we go next…
The Senior Managers Regime and accountability will remain firmly on agenda – last week the FCA fed back on the first tranche of it accountability regulation, which took effect in March, stating that many firms have misunderstood the guidance. In a nutshell, the screw is going to keep turning. With 55,000 more firms due to come under SMR by 2018, Julia’s key message to anyone still grappling with the challenges of SMR was do not put it in compliance or HR! It has to be championed by a Senior Manager and driven from the top down. The good news is the FCA is suggesting there won’t be a ‘big bang’ on the next tranche of SMR and Certification implementation, but as we’ve seen from the first phase a year’s gap is nothing in these terms. Which brings us neatly to…
How are you bench marking people ahead of the Certification Regime? – firms who have already had to adhere to SMR regulation only have until next February – that’s five months – to put a robust certification process in place. In a quick show of hands amongst the delegates in the room, only one firm who had moved over SMR had already got their certification regime running. Under certification you are asking people who weren’t previously approved persons to take on more responsibility, knowledge etc, so how are you benchmarking these people? What competencies and/or qualifications are you using as a baseline? What are the KPIs and the core competencies required for a role? How are you going to issue that individual with a certificate? And remember the Senior Manager has the ultimate responsibility for saying they’ve signed that person off. It’s a big deal.
What’s hot in 2017 and what’s relevant to you – Julia outlined how she and her FSTP colleagues had trawled through the FCA’s annual risk documentation and picked out what they believe to be the 12 biggest areas of interest over the next 12 months. She did threaten to rap at this juncture also…regardless this is the list.
- Conduct risk
- MiFID II
- Transaction reporting
- Certification Regime
- Business strategy and stress testing
BUT (and note the capital letters), even though some will be more relevant to certain businesses than others, the majority are interdependent on each other. They cannot be taken in isolation.
Modernising your learning approach – in the past we have dealt primarily with compliance departments, but this is changing. Within the L&D community learning is being modernised to move from push to pull learning and getting to point where learners have access to resources and tools to pull as well as utilise what’s pushed to them. This includes introducing more elements of microlearning, in bite-sized chunks that is much more informal and on demand in line with the 70: 20: 10 approach to learning. Unicorn’s eCreator authoring tool, built into ComplianceServe, has got a really significant role to play in this. In fact, by Christmas all existing ComplianceServe content will have been re-developed in eCreator, with the smaller chunks of micro learning, to follow. The benefit? By downloading the SkillsServe app learning can take place offline to sync when back online.
There is a brand new generic T&C system now built in to ComplianceServe – we’ve been building and integrating custom T&C systems and functions for clients for a long time but now there’s a generic version for smaller organisations to make use of. This includes:
- T&C Guidance – regulation is only going way way, there will be an ever greater need to evidence competency. Guidance is all about what does T&C mean for an organisation, how do you create a T&C scheme in the first place, what things need do you need to set up a T&C system in ComplianceServe
- Pre-defined forms and workflows
- Offline forms – there is too much to do online for some things. Can be completed, scanned and attached as part of site.
- Pre-built pathways – for e.g. monthly one-to-ones, quarterly action plan and final sign off, can be assigned to both regulated and non-regulated staff (couple of forms different)
Every day at Unicorn we help other companies achieve their organisational aims through implementing learning that embeds desired behaviours, practices and cultures amongst staff while also helping them meet their regulatory, legal and compliance needs.
But we can only do that successfully if our own behaviours and practices within Unicorn are also reflecting the company culture that has made us, well, us.
So how do we make sure the family ethic that has helped Unicorn grow to 90+ staff across our Bournemouth and London offices over the past few years is complemented by continually building a high performance culture internally too?
Enter Todd Eden and the LeadNow programme…
“As we grew we wanted to make sure we didn’t fall into the classic growth traps such as disconnected directors, employees feeling disempowered, inter-team tension, communication levels reduced, etc,” explains Jackie Kennedy, Unicorn Training COO.
“We needed a solution that would help us to avoid these and take us to the next level. We felt our great ‘family feel’ was getting stretched. Leadership capability in all areas and at all levels is critical to growth, and we needed a solution that was both engaging and impactful.”
The LeadNow programme is enabling Unicorn team members to lead themselves, one another and groups.
Over the course of a two-day event, team members discover…
- how coaching can help day-to-day
- the importance of understanding others
- how they lead themselves
- they understand their values and beliefs more deeply
- how to affect their attitudes,
- how to better relate to colleagues, clients and everyone else they meet
Jackie continues: “Todd initially worked with a group of 20 Unicorn directors, line managers, and team members on a two-day workshop, which was followed up six months later with a one-day leadership-in-action revitaliser.
“However, we quickly realised this unique event would benefit everyone in the business and we now intend to put all employees through this programme in the coming months.”
Each subject is explored via stimulating presentations, experiential learnings, individual reflection and socialisation; enabling each participant to develop their own personal views. The structure is simple – after an introduction to leadership there are three modules – 1) leading self, 2) leading others and 3) leading groups, followed by a planning session.
Here is some of the feedback from our impressed Unicorn’s so far…
“An awesome workshop that I would recommend to anyone.”
“Thank-you for an amazing two days. I’ve realised some huge aspects I need to work on with self-awareness / reflection and look forward to building on that!”
“I wasn’t expecting it, but it was a life changing event.”
Team members have reported that they can talk more freely and are better connected with themselves and other team members. Difficult conversations became easier, and the change in behaviours of the participants has rubbed off on their colleagues too.
Jackie concludes: “We’ve just had really great feedback and everyone enjoyed the experience and learnt a lot about themselves. Todd has this flow of activities, which build trust and depth of self-awareness. He’s also really skilled at weaving in the specific goals we had requested. A thoroughly recommended event, well, experience really!”
As an award-winning provider of L&D and compliance solutions for the UK’s ever-changing financial services industry, Unicorn’s talents combine 28 years’ learning knowhow with superb creativity, reliability and security endorsed by numerous large organisations and professional bodies.
For more information about LeadNow visit www.leadnow.net
In this month’s T-C News, we ask four months into the new accountability regime for banks, how did the industry handle its arrival and what’s next?
The article addresses:
- how adjusting to the new accountability regime has been
- what challenges have arisen, things that needed extra attention and how they were dealt with
- preparing for the Certification Regime and training for the Conduct Rules ahead of the March 2017 deadline
- how the Senior Manager and Certification regimes have helped streamline policies and processes, especially around T&C.
“ As far as evidencing competency is concerned, CPD alone doesn’t cut it.” – Philippa Grocott, Partner, FSTP.
Unicorn first invested in Bournemouth-based Amuzo last December and the partnership’s potential has proved so positive in its first six months that Amuzo has now officially become part of the Unicorn Training Group.
Together Unicorn and Amuzo are developing and publishing learning games that engage and immerse ‘players’ along with Apps to meet employer and employee demand for Just-In-Time and reinforcement spaced learning outside of the more traditional desktop environment.
Peter Phillips, Unicorn CEO, said: “This partnership is about allying the creativity of a great casual games company with the instructional design expertise of Unicorn to hit the sweet spot where the power of games can make learning more meaningful, practical and effective, and fun too.
“Equally important, Amuzo have in-depth expertise in publishing Apps to mobile platforms for global audiences, a skillset not yet embedded in the desktop-oriented world of corporate eLearning. Amuzo’s LEGO® games, for example, are played on a range of different devices and in different languages in over 100 countries worldwide.
“That knowhow and level of experience would take years to build from scratch in the eLearning world, and yet flexible, mobile learning solutions that can be made available to many thousands of people at the same time is what employers and learners want now.”
Mike Hawkyard, Amuzo MD, said: “We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Unicorn through this new investment. Unicorn bring scale and financial strength and open up a new revenue stream for Amuzo while enabling us to continue to grow our core business of creating great games.
“With games and gamification the fastest growth areas in learning and development, adding proven world class games development to its core business helps Unicorn meet this demand with uniquely creative and effective solutions.”
The past 12 months have been record breakers for Unicorn, with sales topping £6m for the first time while Unicorn’s learning and performance platform, SkillsServe was ranked the World’s top LMS for financial services for the second year running. Unicorn has been creating learning and development and compliance solutions for the UK’s ever-changing financial services for 28 years. This experience, industry expertise and award-winning creativity is unmatched in the financial services sector.
Award-winning Amuzo games have been played well over a billion times in the last two years alone and have reached #1 on the App Store in over 150 countries.
Unicorn have renewed our headline sponsorship of the Learning Technologies Awards in 2016 and we are delighted to be back!
“The Learning Technologies Awards are without doubt the most prestigious and respected in our sector and their continued growth mirrors that of the learning technology industry itself,” said CEO, Peter Phillips.
“Unicorn has seen many ups and downs in our 29 years, but I can’t recall a time when the potential for technology to enhance and transform workplace learning was greater.
“The infrastructure is now here to integrate formal and informal learning, with personalised learning support, learning games, collaborative learning and just in time reinforcement, combined with high quality analytics. Unicorn will be at the forefront of this revolution as will many of our fellow sponsors and the Learning Technologies Award winners.”
Unicorn’s learning solutions are marked by outstanding creativity, reliability and security. Our enterprise LMS, SkillsServe, continues to be ranked global #1 for the financial sector, and sits at the heart of a unique compliance and CPD solution that delivers the highest quality learning to organisations across a range of industries.
Our partnership with multi award-winning games studio Amuzo has also changed the way custom content can be delivered, and has facilitated some of the most original and innovative learning games, Apps and business simulations on the market.
Unicorn has a proud track record at the Learning Technologies Awards – formerly the elearning Awards – winning, amongst other awards, eLearning Designer of the Year (Sam Yates), Outstanding Learning Company, Outstanding Achievement (Henry Phillips) and eLearning Development Company of the Year in the past five years.
With over 25 years’ experience in the L&D space, Unicorn continues to challenge learners and training managers alike to reimagine the corporate learning experience. Find out more about the awards at www.learningtechnologiesawards.co.uk
Unicorn smashed through the £6m sales mark for the first time ever in the last financial year (2015-16), a new record in any 12-month period and £1m up on our previous financial year best. These are our top 10 highlights of our record-breaking year (in no particular order)…
You’ve probably heard of Craig Weiss? He’s widely considered to be the most influential person in eLearning in the world. Every year Craig produces his Global Top 50 LMSs Report and for the second year running, in January 2016, our learning and performance platform, SkillsServe, was recognised as the world’s best in our field.
…in addition to the number of other Unicorns who did amazing stuff supported by our Fundraising Team. This included Dean, Tai, Katrina and Simon all completing multiple distance and endurance running challenges raising money for The MS Society, Macmillan Cancer Support, Macmillan Caring Locally and The Samaritans, while Sam and Xiomara pounded the capital’s streets in the wee hours in their quest for The Big Issue Foundation.
3 Million+ course activities were completed on SkillsServe
Off the shelf courses, user-generated content and eCreator courses, CPD recording, Training and Competency (T&C), on-the-go learning and Apps, you name it and SkillsServe has probably helped the financial services industry achieve it.
You know Craig Weiss’ LMS report we just mentioned? As well as maintaining top spot for financial services, SkillsServe also moved up a place overall from fifth in 2015 to fourth this year. In the report Craig said: “New User Interface, expansive features. I love that they have a CPD mobile app. Regulatory is strong which is a must since their target vertical is Financial Services. An overall, top tier performer.”
5 the number of key areas Unicorn was assessed to receive Service Excellence accreditation from the National Skills Academy for Financial Services
This means Unicorn has demonstrated its dedication to high-quality, professional customer service and commitment to consistent improvement in service and staff training. With Helpdesk now 11 strong, 4,000 more calls were dealt with last year compared to 2014. This is reflected in an SLA of over 95% between March 2015 and March 2016. Already in 2016 Helpdesk have dealt with more calls month-on-month than 2015. What does this mean? Quicker and more effective issue resolution for our clients and happy customers ☺
It was looking good at the end of the calendar year, when we reported sales exceeded £5.6m ($8.5m), but we are delighted to report continuing strong organic growth in our core business streams, culminating in sales crashing through the £6m for the first time.
We first received ISO certification in 2011, but 2015 saw Unicorn transition to the new ISO27001:2013 standard from the previous ISO27001:2005 benchmark. The new standard reflects the changing demands of IS security in the face of challenges that didn’t exist in 2005. To maintain ISO27001 certification requires monthly security audits and an annual British Standards Institution (BSI) assessment.
8 where Unicorn Training CEO and founder, Peter Phillips, is ranked in the Top 10 of the UK’s most influential people in corporate eLearning
Now in its seventh year, the 2016 annual lists of the ‘Top 10’ most influential people in the corporate eLearning sector – in the World, North America, Europe, the UK and Asia-Pacific – saw Peter break into the top 10 for the first time ever as one of four debutants in the UK rankings.
…according to a University of Colorado Denver Business School study (2010). This is a snippet from our 2016 White Paper ‘The Future of Game-based Learning’ (produced with our games partners, Amuzo). Games are still BIG news in learning and, in its first year, this partnership has helped clients, existing and prospective, really understand games aren’t just fun they’re effective and it’s mobile technology shaping this.
10 (+1) the number of our commercial, trade and professional industry partners
These relationships are invaluable in underlining Unicorn’s long-standing position as the solutions provider trusted by the financial services industry. As regulation tightens, having our partners’ expertise in helping inform the direction of the learning and supporting the development of appropriate learning tools, makes Unicorn the only credible choice. A great example is the work we’re doing with FSTP and the BBA to develop ComplianceServe in response to the FCA’s Accountability Regime for banks, building societies, credit unions and designated investment firms.