A few months ago, I authored an article explaining my plans to bring a new solution using technology into my T&C Scheme, which was published in the October 2021 edition of T-C News under the title of “Expanding a T&C Scheme”, which was implemented in January this year. So, with the best part of six months use under my belt, I thought that now would be a suitable time to provide an update on progress.
There were two elements to this solution: The first was a complete Continuous Personal Development programme allowing the T&C scheme to record a range of activities and events, set up a variety of tests including tests specific to individual needs, and provide on-demand management information.
Part of my role is to source CPD events and offer them to the scheme members. The new solution allows me to enter these events in advance whilst at the same time sending out diary invites. Post-event I can centrally load the event learning points, slides, recording if available, CPD certificate(s), and assign the event to the attendees. All they need to do is to individually add a reflective statement. Of course, they can add their own events too, as I cannot, and should not either, source all their CPD for them. This gives me the benefit of both having MI which I can then include in the second element of the new solution, whilst at the same time it provides a library of learning events which those who could not attend can access later, or which can be used as part of our training programme. What hasn’t worked quite so well is the intended change of behaviour of some of the scheme members, in that whilst they have been encouraged to complete their reflective statements post event, some are still leaving this until the end of the month, which means that when I look at the CPD records, I am finding gaps which then need to be chased up. But overall, there has been a significant improvement in record keeping, having total oversight at any time, and efficiencies gained both in time and process.
The time and effort in doing so, and the benefits gained, far outweigh the costs.
The second element for this solution allows me to house all the various Key Performance Indicators in the scheme and record the outputs. This took a bit longer than the CPD element to set up as it needed to be built bespoke to my scheme and incorporate the different KPI’s for the line managers, team leaders, consultants, para-planners, and support team. Yes, I did get my way by including them in the scheme, both for KPI’s and for CPD, although we use the latter more as a record of learning and training undertaken than specifically for recording CPD.
I now receive a continuous flow of information as this years’ T&C Scheme has empowered the line managers and team leaders to become more active in monitoring their teams’ work. In doing so we have extended the Compliance team’s oversight by getting other people, specifically those with better on the job knowledge at local level, to do the monitoring for us. So, in addition to the usual monthly individual meeting notes that I used to get, I now get reports on work checked, work volumes, and local training and development needs. All these are added to the individual KPI’s, and then RAG-rated in accordance with the T&C scheme rules. They are then risk rated overall. There is a considerable amount of information for fifty scheme members, and each input is manual. But the outputs are phenomenal.
Imagine having the ability, at the push of a button, to have any combination of management information you require. You could request outputs for any range of KPI’s, or specific KPI’s, by any team, or set of individuals, over any date range, by any type of rating. Trend analysis is now so simple. Management reports are now so simple. Currently I provide each line manager with a monthly KPI report for each member of their team, together with an overview of the entire team’s KPI’s. Each KPI’s rating is supported by the reason for the rating and backed up by the evidence that I have been provided with. The next quarterly board report will take about an hour to compile, and only because the MI will need to be formatted to condense three months’ worth of KPI outputs for fifty scheme members into something that does not resemble a small book. Whilst the benefits are massive overall, my next goal is to get the line managers and team leaders to do their own inputs, as currently this is all being done by myself. That said, I did need to make sure everything worked and make changes as needed before I extend the work to my colleagues.
One final thing. The article I referred to talked about expansion. I can easily accommodate any number of scheme members as the business continues to expand and take on more employees. Already this year we have taken on seven people and expect to take on more. I also talked about taking on the scheme for another section of the business, which is both exciting and, unfortunately, on hold.
So, if you are looking at improving what your current T&C Scheme can deliver, shop around for solutions that embrace technology. The time and effort in doing so, and the benefits gained, far outweigh the costs.