National Express transports 20 million passengers a year and services around 900 different locations, making it the UK’s largest coach network. Most of the organisation’s learners are coach drivers, meaning they are dispersed across the country. They don’t tend to have much spare time to learn as they are generally on the road, so the challenge is offer them consistent, first-class training.
Historically, National Express delivered all its training face to face. Delivery was complex, with a variety of content dispersed in different locations and formats, both paper based and online. National Express wanted to introduce a more blended approach to learning, and understood that this required a powerful digital solution to keep track of training and host content such as e-learning, resources and performance development materials. This solution needed to be easily accessible and available for learners to log in anytime, anywhere to take advantage of their limited downtime.
“We needed an LMS to bring all our resources together, kind of like a one stop shop for learning! We liked Totara because we wanted a system that we could put our own identity on and still have the ability to change things. We’re transitioning all the time and we needed a platform that could evolve with us as we go through our journey.”
- James Rutter, Head of Learning and Development, National Express
Fortunately for National Express, choosing their first LMS was a pain-free process. They opted to work with Totara Partner Learning Pool** to implement Totara Learn, which they selected for its highly customisable user interface, powerful functionality and flexibility.
“We looked around a few different suppliers and Learning Pool turned out to be the best value for money. We also wanted a supplier that we could really partner, and build a relationship with, and we instantly got along with the team at Learning Pool.”
- James Rutter
As National Express’ first LMS, they needed to find a way to blend their new digital training delivery method with their existing L&D offering. A rich-media induction solution was chosen to educate staff on the use of Totara Learn, and the role it would play in their current approach to training. Learning Pool created an introductory video which plays whenever a new learner accesses the platform, using rich visuals and screencast tutorials to show how the platform works.
Brand is very important to a large national company like National Express, so Learning Pool immediately got to work helping them customise their LMS, tailoring the look and renaming the platform ‘iLearn – Switch onto learning’. The LMS was set up to enable learning to easily log onto iLearn and access quicklinks on their homepage, saving them time wasted searching the catalogue for allocated learning and eliminating the challenge of having to locate multiple resources scattered across different areas.
National Express also liked how easy Totara Learn made it to deliver training to their dispersed coach drivers. It meant they no longer needed to take staff away from their daily operations to complete face-to-face training; drivers can now complete their e-learning and access resources online using their smartphones. As James Rutter said:
“A key benefit for us is that our learners can access the system on multiple devices; our drivers out on the road can actually now complete training and development reviews in their own time and on their own mobile devices, which has been really positive for us.”
Totara Learn has played a significant role in transforming the learning culture at National Express, which now makes full use of digital technology to engage and support learners. As well as this, there has also been a behavioural shift, as staff have become more open to learning in their own time on their own devices as part of National Express’ BYOD approach.
The iLearn platform has been received extremely positively. The platform saves employees time by streamlining resources, and has organised their approach to training as a whole. The L&D team at National Express is now aiming to increase user reach to 100% by getting all coach drivers on board by using the LMS for mandatory training this year.
“Technical support was always at the end of the phone, Tim and Kieron were great and helped with the set up and ongoing support even now we are 18 months into the roll out.”
In the future, National Express would like to continue developing their blended approach to L&D, introducing more digital solutions and exploring new technologies and innovations to meet the growing expectations of their learners.
**This work was undertaken by Mind Click prior to its acquisition by Learning Pool