As we begin the first full calendar year for EssentialsPlus, following it’s launch in October, it’s worth reflecting on some of the things we’ve done to get where we are today. One of those is the accreditation of all our EssentialsPlus courses through the CPD Accreditation Service. The decision to have all our courses accredited was made up of a number of factors, which I think are worth highlighting.
The ultimate aim of EssentialsPlus is to provide learners with a rewarding experience, and I think we do that pretty well. Part of it is getting the content and user experience right. But it’s also crucial to think about the learning context and what you can do to support that too. In some ways you could argue it goes beyond the remit of a learning provider, but I personally believe it is fundamental to the overall experience.
By linking our courses to CPD, we add value for the learner both at the start and at the end of the learning journey. We make it easier for them to choose what courses to attempt, and we then help them demonstrate the value of the completed learning to their employer, membership organisation or peer group.
Whether we like it or not, CPD is an important part of all our working lives, so to be able to give learners the confidence to answer the two key questions - what courses will help me develop? and what can I show to my manager to demonstrate I am thinking about CPD? - is hugely important to us as a provider of content.
Confidence is crucial for employers too. Yes our City & Guilds endorsement and the overall quality of the learning provides a huge amount of confidence, but so does the recognition from an external organisation like the CPD Accreditation Service. Employers know that the time taken out of their day-to-day work by their employees will be valuable towards their progress in their roles.
And with most organisations running some kind of performance development process, CPD accredited courses provide a very simple way for employees to evidence development, and for employers to track it. A win-win by any measures!
Lastly, but by no means of least importance, was the opportunity to have an external view of the product we’ve developed. During a demanding development period it is all to easy to become enveloped into the product you’re creating, and forgot to take a step back to see it as a customer or learner. Therefore, whilst it can be nerve-wracking, the opportunities 3rd party recognition provides are huge. Not only can it highlight things you may have missed in the user experience or content, it can also, if you’re lucky, go a long way to validating all the efforts you put in by the development team. This is all too often overlooked by developers who are constantly creating new content. We don’t often take the time out to say, “job well done” to everyone involved, and having a 3rd party say that can be a real boost.
If you would like to find out more about our accreditation with CPD or to find out more about EssentialsPlus then please get in touch. For a 1-2-1 EssentialsPlus chat book a free slot for our ask the experts corner at Learning Technologies 2016.