Elmhouse Training get the job done

Zebina Campbell, Business Manager of Elmhouse Training, needed an integrated system which could take Twitter in its stride and found enrola fitted the bill.

Todays young applicants for training places are more likely to reach for their smartphones than think about sending a form in the post.

Elmhouse Training is a private training provider delivering quality training throughout the Lambeth, Southwark, Lewisham borough areas. Established in 2008, they specialise in Childcare, Early Years and Teaching assistant courses. They also offer courses such as Hairdressing, Barbering, Radio Broadcasting, Nail Services and Business Administration.

In addition Elmhouse works with children’s centres and larger colleges seeking to reach students outside their catchment area, enabling their training to be delivered in communities that they wouldn’t usually have access to.

Zebina explained that Elmhouse initially tracked the learner’s journey in much the same way as other providers. “People would call in, we’d take their details down on a form and then the information would be transferred to spreadsheets. It could be frustrating because the spreadsheets weren’t always up to date as things would change so quickly. It was difficult to find out if someone had called us previously, and if they had called, who they’d spoken to. The process worked, but it was complicated and time consuming”.

At first, Zebina wasn’t sure that enrola would work for Elmhouse. “I thought of it as something more tailored to apprenticeship providers, but we don’t deal with apprentices. There are similarities, but we have very specific requirements”. It took a visit from Stevie at enrola to convince Zebina to adopt the system.

“When we saw what enrola was capable of, and how adaptable it is, we realised it was just what we needed.”

“We use it in a slightly different way to others. Firstly it’s an enrolment tool, and of course we use it to track learners’ progress. But we also use it to set up the register and to monitor our numbers for classes. We can tell straight away how many people we’ve recruited for a class; how many are actually there and the number of free spaces we’ve got left”.

The Elmhouse team realised that if enrola was integrated into their website this would give them added functionality and flexibility.  “enrola did the integration for us. Now, when someone applies for a place, they actually apply via enrola on our website. Of course, lots of our applicants don’t go on the site; they send us a text or a WhatsApp message, and we can text or message a link back to them.”

The ability to respond to changing circumstances particularly impressed Zebina, as did the level of service she receives for her subscription.

“We recently asked enrola to integrate our online portfolio. Once an applicant is on the programme its integrated into a portfolio. Every step of the learner’s journey can now be tracked at the click of a mouse. It’s so much easier than spreadsheets”

Elmhouse Training  works to develop partnerships with students and enable them to create their own success,  which will eventually give them financial independence. The partnership with enrola gives the Elmhouse team the tools to get the job done.

MK College look to the future with enrola’s help

Anna Clarke needed a system driven by the learner experience and finally found it in enrola.

The last time the nation looked to Bletchley Park for help in a crisis Milton Keynes was a sleepy village in Buckinghamshire and it certainly didn’t have a college.

But now Milton Keynes College is attempting to address the desperate skills shortage in the digital sector by establishing an Institute of Digital Technology at Bletchley Park.

The centre, backed by an industry consortium, will train apprentices and technicians in a wide range of skill including Network Engineering, Software Engineering, Development & Testing, Applications Development, Data & Business Analytics, Intelligent Systems, Games Development, Communications & Digital Marketing, and Cybersecurity.

It’s an exciting time for Anna Clarke, Head of Apprenticeships at Milton Keynes College, and she’s confident her team have the systems in place to meet the challenge.

Anna’s department recruit 300 to 400 apprentices annually and those recruits will stay on the programme for up to 4 years.

“Initially, recruiting candidates was a very manual process”, Anna says, “involving a lot of spreadsheets. Someone applied for a vacancy, they were marked off on a sheet, interviewed and that was pretty much that. There was no matching up or moving of people into other vacancies. We couldn’t really do that.

“On top of that we didn’t have the resources to post vacancies on all the different job sites. It took up too much time and we couldn’t manage that on top of everything else.

When the college decided to invest in a recruitment system Anna had a very exacting set of requirements.

“We needed a system that was scalable and flexible; that could react to changes in the market, changes in policy and changes in the entire sector.We also needed the scope to develop, to cope with changes in the way we might operate in the future. enrola was one of the very few systems that offered that capability”

Anna’s team have been enormously impressed by the level of service and support they get for a monthly subscription.

“We’re in contact with them all the time, developing the next add on to the system.

“Through the development process we now have separate communications streams for different employers, so if they have differences in the way they recruit that’s reflected in the system at employer level.

We also use all the job sites – we can do that instantly at the press of a button.

And of course we have GDPR compliance reflected in there now; they turned that round for us really quickly”.

Anna is currently working with enrola on a project to create an integration with OneFile, the e-portfolio system.

“Apprenticeships combine the academic side with workplace experience and this integration will enable us to track the apprentice’s entire learning journey. It will be a one touch data system.

“We will be able to take the details we get from candidates at recruitment, take all their assessments in subjects like English and Maths and put them straight into OneFile to set up their account, and from them on it will be a totally seamless process for the learner. We intend that they’ll even be able to sign contracts electronically.

“Throughout this process the enrola team are in constant contact with the Director of Apprenticeships and myself checking that they’re doing what we want and that they’re reflecting our business needs and the processes that we use”.

Since starting their journey with enrola the Milton Keynes team have seen a number of similar products come on the market.

Has Anna ever been tempted to try another system?“I’ve checked out some of the other systems, but the impression I get is that they’re always driven by something else. enrola is driven by the learner experience. That’s what sets it apart”.

Anna Clarke, MK College

enrola saves Exeter College time and money

Exeter College and enrola

Dean Matthews had 2400 apprentices to look after and almost as many spreadsheets.

Exeter College is the best college in the country. We’re not trying to start an argument here, we’re just quoting FE Week, who placed Exeter at the head of their league tables in 2017 for the second year running.

Judged on learner satisfaction, employer satisfaction, 16 to 18 positive progression and adults into employment Exeter leads the field. In 2016, the college was named Centre of the Year at the Lion Awards, the City & Guilds’ most prestigious awards event.

So, Dean Matthews, Exeter’s Workplace Learning Systems Co-ordinator, has a reputation to uphold.

His team tried several customer relations management systems in an attempt to get the best possible experience for learners and employers but these proved to be costly failures.

When we started out we were working with multiple spreadsheets, and everyone seemed to have their own individual way of doing things. It was incredibly complicated

“Posting vacancies to job sites was very time consuming and we tended to rely on the NAS site all the time. That caters almost exclusively to 16 to 25-year olds so we were missing out on everyone else.

“We tried a different CRM system but that wasn’t a good experience. Everything was so rigid and limited and we couldn’t customise anything. If we wanted to change the slightest thing, even an acronym, we’d have to go back to the developer and pay again. In a college environment that’s totally impractical.

“Every college uses its own acronyms and its own terminology and a system that can’t deal with that is just a waste of money”.

When Dean first suggested adopting enrola, he encountered resistance.

“Everyone had been through the experience of adopting a new system which would then prove to be not up to the job. It was all time and money down the drain and nobody was too keen to start the process all over again.

“But the enrola team came to the College and spent time with us; showed us all the possibilities and basically just asked us what we wanted. And they would implement the features we asked for, sometimes almost instantly”.

When asked for examples of features enrola added in response to requests from the Exeter team, Dean has no difficulty in reeling a few off.

“Learner location search. We get a vacancy in Newton Abbot so we search to see if we have any learners in Newton Abbot. It sounds such a simple thing but a year ago we couldn’t do that.

Linking to the Learner Record Service was another one. This automatically pulls through the learner’s GCSE results to their application. When you take account of the features already built into enrola there’s a big saving of time and effort. 

It used to take us 30 minutes to post a vacancy to just one website; now we can post to all of them in under half the time”.

The Exeter College and enrola teams aren’t content with just tweaking the system.

They’re making ambitious plans for the future.

“We’re now working on a major project with enrola and Milton Keynes College, creating an integration with the OneFile system”, Dean says.

“At the moment we use another system to sign learners up, and enrola to assess them, so we’re integrating these with OneFile. This would enable us to automatically create Learner Portfolios which at the moment have to be set up by individual assessors in quite a laborious process.

It will be a real gamechanger for my team and for the college.”

Dean knew what he wanted from enrola from the start.

“We needed a system that would allow us to make changes ourselves without going back to the developer.

“We needed to be able to post vacancies quicker. We needed to track applications more effectively. And we needed to never mention CRM systems to anyone in the College ever again. We’ve achieved all that and more.

The thing about enrola is they can listen to one of my streams of consciousness about what I’d like to see happen and turn it into IT reality.

That’s impressive”.

You can now pay monthly by credit card or Direct Debit

enrola accepts payments through Stripe and GoCardless

It’s easier than ever to pay for enrola thanks to Stripe and GoCardless

We’ve always said at enrola that cost should never be a barrier to you using our system.

It’s important that you know what you’re getting from us, which is why we’ve always been upfront about our Pricing. We’ve designed enrola so the full range of features are available if you’re a team of 2 or 20. This lets you plan your annual budgets accordingly, without any nasty surprises.

This means that you get our full range of services at the same price:

  • Onboarding
  • Training
  • Support
  • Feature development

All of this is included as part of your license fee. We won’t charge you £500 every time you want to change a title, or £1000/day for a training session.

But we also know that paying annually for our service is difficult for some providers. That’s why we’re delighted to announce that we’ve integrated with Stripe and GoCardless to let you split your payment into monthly instalments.

Stripe is one of the largest online payment vendors in the world. It’s designed to handle card payments in 100+ countries across the globe seamlessly and securely. If you’ve paid for something online in the last 2 years by card, there’s a good chance that it was processed by Stripe.

GoCardless specialises in Direct Debit payments. With over 30,000 customers, it’s the default choice for this form of payment online.

Both services have the latest security protocols so you know that your money is safe. The other advantage is that both systems automatically adjust your monthly payments when you add or take away user licenses, so you’ll always be charged exactly what you’re owed.

Our new payment systems even pro-rate your bill if you start part-way through a month with us.

If you’re ready to start with us then you can sign up and enter your preferred payment method now. If you’d like to know more then please contact us for more information

New integration – Ecordia

enrola now links to Ecordia's e-Portfolio software

We’re delighted to introduce a new enrola integration; we now link with Ecordia e-Portfolio software.

Established in 2004, the highly experienced Ecordia team are inspired by their experience of the vocational training industry.Ecordia has now grown to be one of the most successful e-portfolio systems. It’s a one-stop shop for the management and delivery of e-portfolio and assessment.

The Ecordia team is totally dedicated to assisting with successful implementation and ensuring long-term effectiveness within your training centre providing the following on-going services:

  • Support & maintenance
  • Email support
  • Remote assistance & training where necessary

Want to find out more? Book a demo today

If you’d like to see for yourself what enrola can offer you and your team, then contact us and we’ll arrange a short demo either online or in person (your choice!)

If you integrate enrola with Ecordia, then any Application with the On Programme status selected in enrola will be transferred automatically into Ecordia. This cuts down on duplication and error, while increasing efficiency – all things that we like at enrola!

If you’d like to find out more then please contact the Ecordia team. Ecordia will then contact enrola to make sure both systems are linked.

Turning the GDPR from an obstacle into an opportunity

GDPR; are you ready? | enrola

When a new set of rules is first introduced, our first reaction is often fear. Fear of compliance, of punishment, of red tape.

But here’s the thing – all the recent data protection laws are built for a simple reason: to provide better experiences for our customers and the people who trust us with their data. Be relevant, be helpful, be transparent, and you’ll be on your way to compliance. Be spammy, interruptive, aggressive, and you’ll be in trouble.

Complying with the GDPR will require effort, and that effort may lead to stress between now and deadline day. But, at the end of the day, if the GDPR makes your customers’ lives better, it’ll grow your business as a result.

Here are a few big business benefits to think about, as you work through the process over the next few months:

• The GDPR requires increased transparency around data collection and processing. In legal language, that’s the “right to access” and “portability,” which mean your contacts can demand a copy of their data in a common format. In other words, your contacts should be able to ask you what they’re signed up for, and receive a quick, accurate, and easy-to-digest answer. When it comes down to it, not so crazy, right? Transparency breeds trust, plain and simple.

• The GDPR requires that you give your contacts the “right to be forgotten.” They can request that you delete them from your database. Not only will that satisfy the specific contact in question; it’ll ensure that you’re not wasting your time trying to market and sell to people that have no interest in your product or service. That means more time to focus on your best prospects and customers.

• Perhaps most importantly, the GDPR requires lawful basis for processing. In other words, you need a legal reason to use a contact’s data, like consent or legitimate interest. That’s bad news if you’re purchasing lists: not only is this not allowed under the enrola Acceptable Use Policy, but now it’s also not permitted under the GDPR.

That may sound painful in the short term, but it’s good news for your company in the long run. Think about it. Who’s more likely to buy from you: a set of email addresses scraped off the internet who may or may not have ever heard of you, or a set of engaged contacts already interested in your product or service? We’ll take our chances with option two. Making sure you have established a lawful basis will lead to a more engaged list, better email deliverability, and fewer annoyed contacts.

For many companies (and this includes enrola) GDPR compliance is stressful and work-heavy.

But, as you work through those long hours reading through the GDPR and building out your processes, don’t forget the purpose behind the law: to provide better, more secure, more transparent experiences for your applicants.

When your applicants win, you win too.

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