This helpful story highlights how Dimensions was able to overcome challenging circumstances at the start of the pandemic.
Dimensions is a large not-for-profit care organization of around 7,000 employees across England and Wales dedicated to supporting people with learning disabilities and autism to have great lives. In our exclusive audio interview as part of our Agility & Resilience Series, Simon Gosney, Head of Learning and Development at Dimensions shared with Venessa Parker, Digital Learning Consultant at CrossKnowledge, how his team has been able to ensure the care workers continue to have access to essential training during this period of instability.
The Challenge: classroom training wasn’t possible during lockdown
Traditionally Dimensions had used classroom training for several essential courses, but due to the COVID-19 lockdown the format needed to transition to digital to allow staff to train remotely. The team also had to create specialized training courses in isolation care to prepare their team with the potential scenario of someone in their care developing COVID-19 symptoms.
The Solution: transform resources into digital format and add COVID-19 safety training
The L&D team worked intensively to make sure that the training resources were ready for the predicted peak of COVID-19. Using the information provided by the pandemic emergency response team and feedback from the workforce, the isolation care course was created in just one week. This achievement is even more impressive when you consider that the team was also rapidly adjusting to new working practices and transforming existing training into a digital format.
The Impact: training is more learner-centric and incorporates user feedback
The changes made to the Dimensions training strategy have had a direct impact on the practices of the L&D team. Training is more learner-centric, with the ability to collect feedback and questions through the BlendedX platform. This allows the team to identify gaps in training and work with managers to provide reassurance and support where necessary. This process of refinement will allow courses to evolve and remain relevant and interesting to their learners. The feedback received on the launch of this project has suggested that the training has helped colleagues to change their practices at work and as a result feel safer.
BONUS: Realizing that digital isolation care training was a challenge across the care sector, Dimensions has provided access to their training course free of charge to a variety of organizations that would not have had access to training.
Check out our COVID-19 research article by Jan Rijken called “Is L&D Ready for a New Learning Era?”: