UK E-learning Market Update (Sept 2006)

The summer of 2006 has been a hot one for e-learning in the UK. Companies are reporting lots of contracts and very busy workloads; and we can confirm this growth in activity through our own bleary eyes...not that we're complaining....

LINE continue to be busy and have added Donald Clark to their team as Director of Strategy. We managed to catch up with him in our monthly interview where he shares his own views on the state of e-learning in the UK.

Epic claim that the buzz of 2006 is rapid e-learning. We would agree with this assessment, have been saying as much for a few months. Adobe are talking rapid e-learning too, with the launch of a new version of Captivate, and Brainvisa with the launch of a new version of their RapideL authoring tool. See our review of RapideL, and look out for the launch of our our comprehensive rapid e-learning service in October.

Academy Internet have completed an e-learning project for the Commission for Social Care Inspection which they tell us will help CSCI employees to be more confident and able to deal with enquiries relating to the Data Protection and Freedom of Information Acts.

Academy are also about to kick off a highly innovative new project to build a VLE and Community of Practice for a Government funded environmental organisation using Moodle, our favourite LMS, which we have been developing for a range of clients.

Hays has partnered with Brightwave, the workplace learning specialist, to develop a blended training programme for the Office for National Statistics' (ONS) upcoming Census Test in 2007. Brightwave will develop several e-learning modules for the ONS that will cover the general introduction to the Census as well as role specific information for team managers and enumerators. There will also be an online resource library for staff to use throughout the test.

Walkgrove continue to maintain their blended portfolio, scoping four workshop based framework contracts for the design and delivery of Management Development, Professional Development, Equality and Induction training events for the Greater London Authority (GLA).

Walkgrove have also won the contract to design and deliver highly specialised training to Mental Health Tribunal Members in Scotland to help them deal with people who, in addition to having a mental health problem, also have a learning disability. Recognising that it is essential to involve those with learning disabilities in both the design and the delivery of the training, Walkgrove contracted-in the Scottish Consortium for Learning Disability,who have provided expertise and access to people with various types of learning disability to play a vital role in the highly participative events which include mock tribunals.

On the downside this month Adval has gone into administration. Root Capital LLP, acting as general partner for Root Capital Fund LP, ("Root"), has withdrawn its offer for the combined bespoke e-learning businesses carried out by AdVal Learning Solutions ("ALS") and Maxim. Discussions have also taken place with certain other interested parties, but they have not led to a formal offer for ALS and Maxim.

The sale referred to in the previous announcement of the generic product business previously carried out by Maxim has been completed. The negotiations for the sale of Livementor Ltd have been terminated and Livementor Ltd will be placed in liquidation.

The Board of AdVal have concluded that, in the absence of a suitable offer for ALS and Maxim, the group has insufficient resources to continue to trade and has, therefore, appointed Martin Pickard of Mazars LLP as Administrator.

We predict continued consolidation in some segments of the UK market, but with strong continuted growth for those with a clear model and the right fundamentals in place.