“We had a real problem with a lack of strategic overview of training compliance and competencies,” explains Pete Beaumont, Training & Competence Manager in the Defence Support Group at Babcock International.
Each one of the 1,500 employees in the Defence Support Group had an individual paper file, stored in filing cabinets. The files were often incomplete if training had been completed offsite, or when certificates had been taken to make copies and not returned. Records were maintained on an Excel spreadsheet and displayed on a dashboard.
“It was a very manual process. The dashboard gave us face-value information based on the information we fed it. It was effectively an exciting spreadsheet - it worked, but people lost confidence in it very quickly and reverted to paper records. This meant we were back to square one without the strategic overview we needed.”
“HandsHQ brings clarity and confidence where before there was confusion.”
Pete continues, “When a director asked whether we had the capacity to deliver a certain piece of work at a particular site, we were able to determine whether we had the time - but it was difficult to quickly determine whether we had the correctly trained capabilities. We knew things had to change.”
In line with the company’s digitalisation ambitions and to allow his department to work more efficiently, Pete and his team began searching for a less manual way to manage training and competencies, which would also provide the necessary insights to be more proactive.
“One of my colleagues saw HandsHQ’s competency management software mentioned in an IOSH magazine and we realised it could be just what we needed,” Pete says. “After seeing Training Register for ourselves, we could see that it more than fit the bill, and adopted HandsHQ as our competence recording system.”
Existing internal solutions simply didn’t compare. The automation, live reporting and dashboards and clear presentation of information in HandsHQ made it a far more impressive and user-friendly solution than the unreliable Excel dashboards the team had been used to. In addition, the longevity and clear product roadmap for HandsHQ was very appealing.
The team began working on transferring existing paper records into HandsHQ. “We work with restricted MoD data, which needed to be approved, but the HandsHQ team helped us through that. The onboarding was superb. It’s a very easy-to-use system – second to none. We had regular calls with account managers, who were always helpful and very supportive. The ongoing support from the team at HandsHQ has been outstanding as well.”
"Since using HandsHQ’s Training Register, our managers have a centralised Competence Recording System that eliminates the confusion of spreadsheets and hard copies.”
“We have now transferred almost all paper records to HandsHQ – we can’t wait to sell off those filing cabinets! We can see that our people have the required competencies, and can send them off to work with confidence.”
“Even better than that, it is so easy for us to see when those competencies are due to expire. We’re able to plan future training well ahead of schedule, and better diarise when training events need to take place,” says Pete. “We’ve never had anything like that – so it’s an exciting thing for us.”
Pete expects the use of the HandsHQ Training Register will deliver significant cost savings through being able to plan training proactively. Instead of booking a £6,000 emergency course for one person when a certificate has expired, the team can book cheaper courses, further in advance with multiple attendees.
In addition to the expected cost reduction, the system is already delivering time savings for the training team, staff and site managers. “When people asked us questions, we couldn’t find the answers easily, and it would take us time to look through paper records. HandsHQ gives us near-immediate clarity - which brings credibility to my team.”
Pete gives the example of a recent on-site investigation after a minor accident.
When the investigations team made enquiries of Pete’s team, they were able to provide information to show training was up to date immediately, by using the information from HandsHQ’s Training Register. This was instead of having to travel to the office and search through reams of paperwork, not knowing if parts of the file would be missing.
“It was an instant result for us,” Pete says, “we were able to get the answers they needed within ten minutes, so it shortened the investigation time considerably. HandsHQ had a massive impact and everyone realised that.”
The team also uses HandsHQ to monitor and deliver eLearning. Babcock’s Defence Support Group has been using iHasco eLearning content for several years. The seamless integration between iHasco and HandsHQ is another major advantage for Babcock.
Pete adds, “The fact that HandsHQ provides us with a single source of online learning content is perfect. We’ve even been able to create our own iHasco courses and put them on there! All the alerts are set up for managers and staff - it really is good.”
The new capabilities perfectly align with Babcock group values. Pete explains, “Health and safety is vital at Babcock. Our company motto is ‘a safe and secure world together’, and our health and safety motto is ‘home safe, everyday’. Our company principles are all geared towards this. Our training underpins our ability to live these values – and HandsHQ Training Register enables us to deliver on them. By showing us the current training status of each member of our staff, supervisors and managers can now check competencies to ensure our people are safe.”
“We can be more proactive and ensure no one is onsite without proper training – that fact will now never be in doubt,” Pete adds. Due to the immediate success, Pete is now talking to the wider Babcock Group about rolling out HandsHQ’s Training Register as the group training administration solution, to manage the competencies and training compliance for all 27,000 staff globally.
Training Register fits our needs perfectly right now. But it’s also being developed and improved continuously, so there’s scope for the future too - and that’s a huge bonus,” Pete adds, “This is another of the great advantages of HandsHQ - the way they explore the art of the possible. The solution evolves with its customers and they are very receptive to new ideas and feedback. It’s a very forward-thinking, collaborative and honest approach, with a solution that brings so much benefit.”
“HandsHQ’s Training Register shows our capabilities and where our training demand should be focussed to support us in ‘creating a safe and secure world together'."