The e-learning-related solutions and services consultancy, Core Learning Services (CLS), is working with the National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure (NSA) to provide a wide and growing range of e-learning materials to over 2,000 workers in this sector.
Sunil Malkani, Head of Digital Business at NSA, explained: “As an employer-led organisation, we exist to help employers in our sector achieve their goals relating to training and skills development. These employers include not only the national governing bodies for sports, such as the England and Wales Cricket Board and the Amateur Swimming Association among many others but also private sector employers, such as health and fitness complexes.”
NSA’s parent company is SkillsActive, the Sector Skills Council for Active Leisure and Learning, and, together, these bodies not only define skills and skills standards for the sector but also relate these to national vocational standards and qualifications.
“This not only means that we have to try to ensure that people working in our sector have relevant skills but also we need to put in place the resources to meet skills needs which are constantly changing,” said Sunil. “This involves us working with employers to discover what up-skilling their employees need; identifying and then ‘approving’ suitable training providers, and acting as a broker to put employers and workers in touch with the training providers.”
While some of these skills needs are specific to the sport and active leisure sector, NSA also acknowledges that some skills needs are more generic – especially when it comes to continuing professional development (CPD) in soft skills areas, such as management and leadership.
“Furthermore, we realised that there are many advantages to making such CPD activities available via e-learning,” Sunil explained. “E-learning is available ‘24/7’ and so can be undertaken whenever the learner is able to do it; it’s flexible; it can be undertaken almost anywhere at any time; it can be done at the learner’s own pace, and, in these economically challenging times, it can reduce the travel and subsistence costs associated with formal training.”
This led Sunil and his team to work with Paul Higgins and his team at CLS, who have years of experience both as a learning management system (LMS) provider and as partner channels for the leading e-learning libraries.
Paul Higgins commented: “As a Chairman of a Sports Club, it was evident to me that, working with the Academy, we could make a difference to enhance core skills.
“Working with our supplier network, we’ve created ’common units’ aimed at specific job roles and mass participation for members. In targeting the heart of sport at the national level, we’re able to improve skills at the grassroots of sport – which is my main focus, working in the community.”
Sunil explained: “Over the last few years, CLS has helped us greatly to put in place an efficient and effective system, making high quality e-learning available throughout our sector. The CLS LMS hosts the e-learning materials, sources the third party produced e-learning content and helps us to manage the distribution, tracking and monitoring process.
“In our view, it’s important that the platform for the e-learning materials – the LMS – provides easy access for learners to the e-learning materials and, generally, ensures that the learners gain a positive experience,” he added. “We’re a highly demanding client in that respect and we’re pleased to say that CLS meets our requirements by supplying this for our learners – and it’s continually improving both the platform and the learning experience.
“In addition, CLS has set up a number of special user groups and even micro-sites to enable particular sports’ governing bodies to ‘badge’ with their own branding and manage their e-learning activities for themselves. The beauty of the platform is that it’s a delivery mechanism – and it’s invisible because it doesn’t go wrong!”
NSA currently makes over 200 separate e-learning courses available via the CLS LMS. This number is rising constantly, at a rate of around 20 to 25 courses a month – chiefly covering soft skills.
At present, ‘management and leadership’, ‘outdoors’ and ‘health and fitness’ are the areas in which there are the most e-learning materials. Other areas include ‘event management’, ‘community sport enterprise’, ‘leisure operations’, ‘mandatory training’, ‘customer service/ sales’, ‘sports development’, ‘coaching’ and ‘first aid’.
At any one time, the platform plays host to over 2,000 learners.
“CLS regularly installs new features which help us – and our clients – for example, to generate detailed data on system usage to identify the popular e-learning courses; how learners are using the e-learning materials and so on,” Sunil said. He added that NSA has now expanded its e-learning to offer an ‘eCommerce’ option which allows individuals to buy access to the e-learning materials via its website with the new CLS application programming interface ‘API’ linking core LMS functionality providing a seamless process.
You can visit the NSA site at http://www.sportactivensa.co,uk/ and view their comprehensive range of e-learning.
About The National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure
The National Skills Academy for Sport and Active Leisure supports employers by providing quality training and key resources for businesses, professionals and newcomers to the sector to boost business performance. Through its regional and national teams, it ensures quality standards, career opportunities and a professional approach to training in the sector. By addressing employer needs and filling the workforce’s skills gaps, it ensures a stable and innovative future for the industry. Split into five sub-sectors – sport, fitness, the outdoors, playwork and caravanning – it offers:
- Access to a network of quality approved training providers
- Business support and training tools
- A range of funded training programmes
About Core Learning Services
Core Learning Services (CLS) provides consultancy services in the e-learning sector, working with partners to deliver customised learning management systems reflecting clients’ needs, pre-populated with market leading on-demand e-learning content libraries and unit stock models. This is complemented by CLS’s in-house course design services based in the UK.
CLS’s successful partnerships include Sector Skills Councils – National Skills Academies, leading Government training organisations, UK publishers, to partnerships in the Education sector including Manchester Metropolitan University and many more…
Paul Higgins, Core Learning Services, + 44 (0)7533 732784; email@example.com