James Freed, HEE’s CIO, looks at how the Learning Hub could change learning across the workforce
I’m Chief Information Officer at Health Education England (HEE) and also Deputy Senior Responsible Owner (SRO) for a workforce transformation programme called Building a digital ready workforce (BDRW). In both roles I have a responsibility to foster a culture of continuous learning in the workforce – both within my team and, in, the 3.1 million people working in health and care in England.
The world is changing, faster than it ever has before and that rate of change is accelerating. Part of my work in BDRW is to help people, and organisations, develop a different set of tactics to help them learn faster and govern smarter. Part of learning has been that in order to help people solve problems, providing the right toolset is extremely important.
If BDRW – and more broadly, HEE – is in the business of helping people learn the right skills, in a world where those skills are changing faster than ever before, part of our job is to provide the tools that enable people to learn easily, ‘friction-free’.
I remember when I first heard the vanity metrics for our learning platform, e-Learning for Healthcare, I was blown away. Over a million registered users with more than 12 million e-learning session launches being undertaken right across and, in some cases, beyond the NHS. In short, we have the largest healthcare learning platform in the world. It’s not a bad place to start from.
But it isn’t perfect. It is a little too clunky and its age is starting to show. More importantly, healthcare organisations have felt they needed to invest in their own Learning Management Systems to host locally developed learning. This meant that whilst electronic learning offers could be created and hosted nationally, they were difficult to customise and share. There was a need to address this and the idea for the Learning Hub was born. Next year we’ll see that idea transition into reality and I, for one, simply cannot wait!
The thing I am most excited to see the Learning Hub address is the idea of community contribution. The power of technology is exponentially increasing and the tech world has adopted ways of working to accommodate this – from software sharing and iterating services like GitHub to the internet itself. These approaches leverage whole communities – the power of every interested mind rather than just those in the right department or company. The Learning Hub will follow suit allowing people to upload and signpost their own learning offers and learning they themselves found useful. In short it’ll democratise healthcare education.
I’m intending to use that functionality to signpost the best available (and already existing) learning and education offers for digital skills to all health and care staff.
My hope is that we will facilitate an increase in learning that is exponential – just like changes we see in the tech world. We’ll make learning easy.
For more information about the Learning Hub visit www.hee.nhs.uk/tel and follow us on Twitter: @HEE_TEL.