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A powerful replacement for DVD: a quality solution for Friends of the Elderly

About Friends of the Elderly

Friends of the Elderly is an organisation that runs care homes and community services in Bedfordshire, Dorset, Essex, Greater London, Hampshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Worcestershire. Their ten care homes offer residential and respite services, as well as home care and day care services operated by their sister organisation, Triangle Community Services, across seven locations. Their focus is to provide the best possible care whilst supporting independence and engagement in community life. Friends of the Elderly is also a charitable organisation that runs a range of activities to support older people to live fulfilled lives. These include a financial grants service for older people living on low incomes, as well as various community projects such as their befriending service and their ‘Football Friends’ programme, which connects older people together over a shared love of football.

Online training was a clear winner for course delivery

Learning and Development Advisor John Randles is based at Friends of the Elderly’s office in Victoria, London. John says: “Our previous training course was DVD-based: staff would watch DVDs and complete printed copies of comprehension tests to assess their knowledge. Problems with this method included administering the training, organising the viewing of material and making sure that the content was up to date. As registered care providers, it is crucial that our staff are aware of the most recent legislation and working practices, so we wanted to change our training package to make sure it was as effective as possible.

“Our research suggested that e-learning would better fit our needs and enable us to effectively deliver training to an estimated 1,000 learners, so we went out to tender. We met with seven providers and chose three to trial.”
While the central office for Friends of the Elderly is based in London, John emphasises that staff and volunteers are widely dispersed. To get a clear picture of how the courses on trial would perform in real-life situations, John enlisted a selection of actual users for assessment.

Feedback from the user trial was overwhelmingly in favour of Me Learning. “We were told that the system was very easy to use,” says John, “and it did exactly what we wanted it to do. On that basis, Me Learning emerged as the clear winner.”

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“We found course content varied and suitable for all levels of learners, thanks to a tiered approach; we also really liked the simplicity of design – it’s user-friendly and intuitive to use” John Randles Learning & Development Advisor Friends of the Elderly