The Learning Management & Competency Management Dream Team
Abigail Adams, wife of the second US president, John Adams, said of learning that it is “not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardour and attended to with diligence”. With over one billion of the world’s population classified as illiterate, being in the position to avail of learning with enthusiasm is not something to be taken for granted.
Learning continues through to our professional lives and because of the nature of its work, the Fire & Rescue Service places a particular emphasis on its staff learning and development programme. The Fire Service demands highly skilled professionals which, in itself, requires a robust learning management process. At the centre of that is a learning management system which varies from inhouse solutions to more generic commercial products. Either way, the Learning Management System, more commonly known as an LMS, is used to create and deliver training events.
But an LMS alone does not reduce an organisation’s risk when it comes to ensuring their staff are suitably qualified to attend emergency callouts. There is a second more crucial piece, the Training Recording Management System, sometimes known as a Competency Compliance or Competency Management System (CMS).
A CMS monitors staff skills to ensure they are properly qualified and alerts managers when competencies are due to expire. It is this advance-warning element that gives a training manager the information they need to create the most relevant and fit-for-purpose training events. A quality CMS will give a Fire Service real-time KPIs on the status of their key qualifications. For example, how many staff do they have, right now, with valid, in-date qualifications to drive emergency vehicles or to respond to hazardous material incidents?
The CMS will empower users to take a more proactive role in their own professional development. It will provide the tools they need to manage their compliance with the relevant training programme. Acquiring the necessary qualifications is just one aspect of the process, though, the other is known as “maintenance of skills”. With a CMS, users can record the skills they used at an incident (preferably on their way back to their station) creating, therefore, the most comprehensive account of their development history.
Combined, Competency Management and Learning Management systems would deliver the most comprehensive training management solution. It’s the dream team. There is no point in creating a training event if the right people are not attending it. The CMS will tell you who needs to be trained, and in what, and the LMS will create and manage the course content.
The ultimate solution would integrate with the Fire Service’s rostering and payroll systems to create the most time and cost-efficient training process but that’s for another day.
As Abigail Adams said, learning must be attended to with diligence. The CMS piece of the process is at the heart of that diligence. For more information on how to create your dream team, go to www.gartantech.com/expert
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