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E-Learning Age Awards 2015: Focus on... City & Guilds Kineo

In the run up to the E-Learning Age awards ceremony on 25th November, we’re putting the spotlight on some of our Partners’ Totara projects which are up for awards. This week, we’re looking at Platinum Partner City & Guilds Kineo. Always prominent in the awards categories, among Kineo’s shortlisted awards this year are two Totara-powered projects: the PIVOT platform, which is shortlisted for ‘Most innovative new learning product’, and Samsung’s Extended Enterprise LMS, in the running for ‘Best LMS implementation’.

PIVOT: revolutionising how employers develop their people

Making apprenticeships more efficient

The volume of apprenticeships in the UK continues to rise, with 100,000 new apprenticeships launched this year. While this is good news for business, the reality is that managing their delivery is often time consuming and costly. Each lasts at least a year, and requires a sophisticated blended delivery model - learners often spoke of carrying around huge folders of paperwork. On top of that, the platforms that managed apprenticeships were ‘old school’ and rarely integrated, resulting in siloed experiences for both assessor and learner. They came into being long before anyone dared whisper the phrase ‘user experience’.

City & Guilds Kineo sought to create a management system that makes sense of all those complex, process-heavy, admin-loving programmes, and create a great user experience in the process. That’s the aim of PIVOT (Professional, Interactive, Vocational, Online Training) - to:

  • Make apprenticeship delivery more efficient  
  • Provide a simple, clean user experience  
  • Produce wider engagement and transparency for learners  
  • Offer a modern approach to apprenticeships  
  • Demonstrate cost savings and tangible ROI to businesses who use it

Kineo's PIVOT using Totara LMS
















Totara LMS at the core, powering a unique learner experience

With many other apprenticeship platforms, the learner had to log in to different systems to do various tasks. With PIVOT, City & Guilds Kineo wanted to make things simple. The learners have a single site to visit - Totara LMS. Totara brings several benefits:

  • It’s flexible and cost-effective, meaning we pass savings onto the business  
  • It’s highly extendable so PIVOT grows as the business does
  • Its responsive themes allow multi-device delivery  

As co-creators of Totara, Kineo’s developers know the product inside out. As it is built on an open source codebase, their customers reap the benefits of continued innovations.

Totara LMS integrates with several other systems to create a seamless, multi-device user experience in PIVOT.

PIVOT transforms the apprenticeship experience in the workplace:

  • It provides an intuitive, guided learner experience
  • It’s responsive across multiple devices, thanks to Totara LMS’s responsive themes
  • It incorporates social learning, with message centre allowing flow of both informal and formal dialogue between learners and assessors
  • It saves everyone time - by moving the assessment online and digitising the process, we reduced the need for paper-based evidence or expensive face-to-face visits

Tangible business benefits

PIVOT is in use across several organisations, with remarkable bottom line benefits. One example, Compass Group, is the 10th largest provider of apprenticeships in the UK. With over 60,000 employees in the UK and Ireland, training staff and developing skills is critical to keep pace and maintain standards.

  • For every £1 invested in the Qualifications Hub, Compass has returned £2.91 to its bottom line. That’s an overall ROI of 191%.
  • Compass Group is now able to deliver 50% more qualifications within its training budget.
  • Looking purely at the operational costs and savings, PIVOT delivered cost savings of £82,702 in year one alone (vs an initial investment of £300,058). This equals a 28% net return for Compass.

Beyond financial returns, it’s also being incredibly well received at Compass, scoring 6.5 out of 10 on user feedback.

Sandra Warren-Smith of Compass said:

Development through education and qualifications, particularly through Apprenticeship Programmes, is an important part of our business strategy. PIVOT enables us to deliver learning in a way that is not only more cost effective, but provides us with flexibility, quality and simplicity.

Sarah Bell, Learning Services Director at City & Guilds Kineo said:

Totara has enabled an interactive, engaging and responsive front end interface to Apprenticeships for the first time. As a solution PIVOT would not have been able to meet the challenging expectations set by our clients and the market without Torara as its core. We now have 6,000 users within the system experiencing yearlong Apprenticeship programmes through technology and harnessing bespoke content unique to each of our clients.

Samsung Backstage - extended enterprise LMS

Kineo has created a visually impactful, extended enterprise LMS solution for Samsung, the world-leading electronics company.

City & Guilds Kineo partnered with iris worldwide, Samsung’s lead creative design agency, to design and deliver Samsung Backstage - a modern, multi-device learning management system providing Samsung product knowledge to retail staff across the UK and call centres worldwide.

The project's focus is trade engagement through providing an exceptional learner experience, leveraging elements of gamification. The site makes extensive use of open badges and reward-based learning within an elegant, on-brand experience. It also extends beyond the enterprise to reach into multiple channels.

Samsung Backstage, built in Totara LMS, includes:

  • Integration with Twitter and Facebook for a great user experience
  • Personalisation through suggested learning
  • Open badges to motivate and recognise achievement
  • Visually rich user experience throughout
  • Responsive, multi-device design using Totara LMS's responsive themes
  • Powerful assessment using Totara LMS’s quiz functionality
  • Strong gamification element - competitions and promotions further supported through an ongoing email campaign, backstage course completions linked to Facebook competitions, which in turn promotes Backstage on Facebook

With a world-class brand like Samsung, looks matter, in its products and of course its LMS. And 'Samsung Backstage' looks eye-poppingly good. You can see it for yourself here:

Two fantastic Totara implementations here. We wish City & Guilds Kineo the best of luck on the night!


In association with


Kineo is a global workplace learning company that helps your business improve performance through learning and technology. Kineo has a global network of offices with extensive experience in working with clients to design, develop, host and support Totara solutions. We can work to help you with simple, quick to market LMS implementations through to highly customised enterprise portals. One of the founding Partners, we have also been a key contributor to the code.

Kineo's global head office, based in the UK, has implemented over 200 Totara and Moodle solutions for clients including Tesco, Vodafone, Samsung and many Government and health clients.

Kineo US has developed and deployed highly customized solutions for a wide range of organizations including clients Kohls, DataFlux, and Capella University.

Kineo Pacific has extensive experience implementing Totara solutions for many clients including ALDI, Toll Group, Computershare, KiwiBank, NZ Tourism, Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) and other Government and Health organisations.

Kineo South Africa provides a full range of e-learning services including content development, consultancy and custom Totara implementations. 

Kineo Latam ha desarrollado e implementado soluciones altamente personalizadas para un amplio rango de empresas como Golcorp, Bridgestone y Gobierno de Ciudad de Buenos Aires. Para más información, póngase en contacto con​ [email protected]

Other case studies by Kineo


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