Artemis: the Children's Workforce Induction Programme was launched in January 2009 as a response to the need, identified also by the CWDC, to ensure that all professionals working with children and young people had a common approach. Six Children's Trusts in the West Midlands took up the challenge to develop an innovative and comprehensive e-learning programme, which together with some portfolio work complies with the Common Core Standards and CWDC Induction Standards. We are now rolling out this programme to other Local Authorities and wider partners.
Jan Britton; Interim Chief Executive Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council endorses Artemis
"I became Interim Chief Executive of Sandwell two months ago, having spent a considerable number of years working in Local Government for a number of Local Authorities. Children's Social Care is a key risk for Sandwell and I recognised from the first moment I needed to rapidly increase my understanding of this area, so was really pleased to learn Artemis was available to me, just as it is to any member of the Children and Young People's Workforce. I loved this way of learning as it enabled me to fit it around the busy schedule of a Chief Executive and the ability to take up from where I left off the last time, is fantastic. The comprehensive nature of the topics covered enabled me to reinforce knowledge and understanding from my past experience and learn new areas as well. Artemis provides great context and the additional information contained in the resource facility helped to extend my knowledge base considerably. I like the way the learning is facilitated through a series of pen pictures of children and young people, based on real case studies, as this made the learning come to life. Artemis is one of the best designed e-learning programmes I have ever seen and I am proud of the fact Sandwell MBC has been involved in this project since its first inception."
Why the initiative was created and how we did it
Artemis was born out of a need to train the children’s workforce to be able to work together to help children and young people achieve the 5 Every Child Matters outcomes. Historically many organisations, areas and departments were working in isolation not realising or effectively communicating who was doing what. We came up with a ground-breaking solution!
What we did
Within the West Midlands, we decided to build an interactive e-learning programme to serve as a Children’s Workforce Induction programme, and use it for both new and existing children’s workforce staff. Having secured funding from IEWM, six Children’s Trusts came together to form a project board. Following a European tendering process the development of the programme was initiated with over 26 key subject matter experts who worked alongside the technical partner Active Mind Solutions.
How we did it
Before commencing work, all subject matters experts attended a concentrated three day workshop to explain the aims and objectives of the programme and to develop a focus of learners achieving the expected learning outcomes. Whilst keeping a focus on standards, the key importance was on developing a tool that offered the essential learning to the entire integrated workforce from the crossing patrol officer to frontline social workers.
Role of IEWM
Improvement and Efficiency West Midlands have supported the development of this e-learning programme since its conception. It met their criteria of enabling improvement to take place in authorities across the region, and offers a very cost effective way of doing this. The programme has been self sufficient since it was launched and we welcome the ongoing development and improvements that are continually taking place. We now have a core of the Children’s workforce within the region who have the same basic skills and we are delighted that other Local Authorities outside of the region continue to take up the programme.
The scale and scope of the programme were larger than initially anticipated and the number of partners added to the complexity. This was overcome through the leadership and commitment of the Project Board and project team. The programme continues to develop, and each and every evaluation has been scrutinised by the Artemis Development Group to commission small bites of work to improve the learner experience.
We know this resource is very much in need within the children’s workforce and Artemis will continue to develop and improve the programme, maintaining high outcomes, but with a focus on ensuring it is affordable to the public sector market.
Adding up the benefits - ROI
5:1 Return on Investment over 5 years based on an estimated return of £2,053,000 and costs of £408,765, funded by IEWM and subscriptions.
To date 3000+ people have accessed the programme. The programme improves how professionals work with children and young people. A particular benefit of the programme is that each candidate is tested thoroughly throughout the course to ensure learning is understood and embedded. The programme is motivational and intended to produce a competent, confident and world class workforce. The e-learning approach results in cost and time effectiveness as well as reduction in the carbon footprint of learners and trainers.
Identified Benefits to an Organisation
Identified Benefits to an Individual (learner)
- The learning is cost effective and subsidised achieving 87% reduction than proving the same training via face to face.
- The continuity of learning never changes however is continually maintained and updated due to the infrastructure Artemis has in place.
- The ability to embed the learning into the recruitment process.
- Proven quality of content with 26 individual subject matter experts contributing to the course and certified by CPD
- The ability to customise the course to suit a particular local area.
- The option to use the software as a training administering tool for their own organisational needs.
- Optional use of workbooks to compliment the induction.
- Comprehensive support in place.
- Quicker completion time than completing traditional face to face course.
- Allow learners to progress their own personal development.
- The ability to learn at users on pace.
- The ability to learn at own workstation or at home.
- A safe learning environment where users will learn from mistakes without repercussion.
- Access to a well-supported and maintained programme
- Access to a large resource database.
- Access to other learning modules developed by Artemis
- The ability to leave the course and return later without losing any progress.
- The ability to allow learners to have their say and contribute to further development.
Benefit to Children
- A well trained workforce
- Better outcomes for children.
- Consistent approach from collection of LAs when staff move.
- Parents can understand the programme and even take it.
- Provides training to those who might not get it like receptionists etc so more likely to get better help first time
We believe that we are moving from working in partnership to delivering services in a truly integrated way. This will improve the efficient use of public money and provide a more effective range of learning.
Our current road map for development is:-
- To make the eLearning content more accessible in line with our disability policy.
- To continue to develop courses in partnership with local authority partners and affiliated organisations.
- To refine and improve our signposting resource website
- Develop more online learning modules using existing infrastructure and process in place.
This is a very exciting project and I hope it will eventually be recognised and utilised nationally. We believe this initiative marks a turning point in partnership working offering a better value and a sustainable product.
Contacts and further information
For more information, please contact:
Artemis / Stoke on Trent City Council
Tel: +44 (0) 1782 236185