June 2018

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A successful journey with ESR OLM

A Case Study by Cambridgeshire Community Services NHS Trust



In 2013, following a period of significant change we were aware that we did not have an accurate record of staff training compliance and therefore found difficulty in planning training provision and lacked assurance on the safe working of our staff. Training records were held in a range of places, locally, centrally and by our third party support service provider. This resulted in a disconnected, inaccurate and time consuming process of gathering and maintaining a record of staff training compliance; not helped by our two IT networks which could not link together. This gave concern about the potential for staff to be non-complaint but more importantly meant we were not in a position to put training in place to address it.

The Trust decided to initially implement ESR/OLM and Employee Self Service (with a longer term plan to implement Supervisor and Manager Self Service), to give us  a single, real time record and enable our employees to access their personal records as well as being able to undertake e-Learning. Subject experts reviewed and streamlined mandatory training requirements and worked on a range of training delivery models which ultimately resulted in us introducing e-Learning as the main training delivery method for our employees.

This project was supported by our Deputy Chief Executive and Director or Workforce and Service Re-Design, Anita Pisani, who recognised the benefits that introducing Self Service and OLM would bring to the organisation;

With the successful rollout of Self Service our employees are able to view and update their personal data held on ESR directly, which has improved the quality of our data.  In addition, through using OLM for recording our mandatory training we have managed to improve the accuracy of our overall compliance data as well as providing our employees with a more timely and flexible route to undertaking their training.

The Project

In 2014, we undertook an ESR Health Check with our NHS ESR Account Manager, which identified that our overall rating for ESR Functional effectiveness was only 25%. The report made recommendations for us to make improvements to the way we used Self Service, Business Intelligence and Learning Management functionality, as well as general HR and recruitment processes. From the recommendations, an action plan was created focusing on the following main areas:

  • Implement Oracle Learning Management (OLM) for the recording and reporting of training completed by the individual employee.
  • Set up the Competency Requirements. By implementing this we would be able to define the training requirements at Organisation/Position level, which would enable the compliance to be reported accurately through the use of ESR Business Intelligence.
  • Implement Employee Self Service and use the associated e-Learning within OLM. This would enable our employees to view their own compliance and be able to keep up to date and meet the training requirements set on their profiles.

Employee Self Service would empower our employees to view and make changes to their personal and employment information held on ESR, which would improve overall data quality and accuracy.

Using the ESR Health Check as a driver to improve our current status, and recognising that we needed an improved and robust way of delivering and recording training within the Trust, we initiated the ESR/OLM Implementation programme. The initial remit of the programme was to utilise OLM within ESR to hold all Statutory and Mandatory training records for all employees within the Trust, and to rollout out Employee Self Service (ESS). The current training database had been created by an internal information analyst, and was not linked to HR/Finance or ESR, which resulted in a disconnect of information with staff changes, e.g. no automatic updates of starters and leavers, so this was a manual intervention.

Using ESS and OLM would enable our employees to book themselves directly onto e-Learning courses once the OLM Catalogue had been created. It would also give them the ability to check their compliance records and identify any face to face training that they would need to book onto.

Over the last year there has been significant investment in the ESR solution with the launch of the new portal and improved functionality, including OLM. The resounding success of this investment for us is the ESR Portal, which has vastly enhanced the user experience for our staff. Prior to the 2017 portal roll out we had worked tirelessly to upgrade our IT infrastructure in line with the MM-0100 document and set an objective to launch the Portal to our employees in October 2017.

In preparation for the implementation we adapted our ‘how to guides’, introduced screen savers, and updated our employees via communication cascades and corporate induction presentations for all new staff. We have personalised the portal with our twitter feed, create our own announcements within the system, advised staff of their compliance as soon as they log into the portal and advertise internal job vacancies. Prior to our portal launch, we also moved to electronic payslips. The intention was that this would encourage our employees to access the portal to view their payslip each month and would therefore steadily increase our usage of the system, and increase the likelihood of the employee seeing their Training Compliance at the same time.

Key Benefits

In May 2015 we launched ESS and OLM together. We had a very proactive communications approach that included presentations to services and the publication of ‘how to guides’ available on the intranet. 

A helpdesk was created with links to IT, Finance, HR and Workforce Information so that we covered all eventualities and could signpost employees to the right department. This is still in place today with an excellent response rate and high standards of service.

The overall compliance rate for the Trust has increased from 86% to today’s average of 95%.

Our employees now benefit from a greater sense of wellbeing as they are now able to access their own personal records when they want/need to and are able to plan and undertake their training around their work and home life.

The primary benefits that we have found from are:

  • Compliance rate is now at 95% for Statutory and Mandatory training;
  • Employees now have access to accurate, reliable and timely compliance information;
  • ESR Notifications remind employee’ when training needs to be completed;
  • National and local e-Learning modules are accessible through OLM and the ESR record is automatically updated instantly upon completion;
  • Training data is transferred between Trusts via the use of the Pre Hire IAT, reducing the amount of training required on induction;
  • Substantial reduction in duplication of effort and reduction in time spent to manage training and compliance across the entire organisation;
  • OLM has become a repository for recording qualifications, accreditations and skills against individuals, so is beneficial when searching from a particular skill base;
  • ESS has led to a decrease in the number of local ‘P forms’ received by the administrative teams, and has led to an improvement in the quality of diversity data, helping us to put in place equality and diversity improvements, assisting our diverse workforce;
  • Manager Self Service will provide further benefit when our managers can access team reports and act on these – providing timely, accurate and reliable data;
  • Immediate access for Quality, Governance and Performance teams to access reporting data.

Lessons Learned

The Project - When we initially scoped this project, responsibility sat within HR/Workforce functionality. As the project progressed, it became apparent that this needed a higher profile and it would have been more appropriately led by the Transition Team, this would have resulted in greater engagement from all areas and a smoother transition of processes.

Engaging IT - Due to the geographical area of our services, we were working with four IT providers, with vast differences in delivery. As scope grew within ESR/OLM, along with the impending release of the Portal, it was essential that we took action. Securing senior management support, we were able to bring each provider up to the standard of the MM-0100 document and ensure the system would allow the end user to transition effectively, limiting issues. Early engagement from IT specialists is critical.

ESR/OLM Programme Board - Establish an organisation user group involving the necessary functions/services. Our board consists of our ESR/OLM team, HR, Finance, Recruitment, Workforce Information and IT representatives - held every 4-5 weeks and are well attended. This forum facilitates discussion and consideration of the impact of work being carried out in other services, and agrees ways to minimalise potential issues. Having a broader presence on ESR Special Interest Groups enables shared learning.

Helpdesk - We have a dedicated ESR helpdesk able to change passwords, resolve or reroute IT issues and answer general queries about the system on a day to day basis. The Administrator is responsible for uploading announcements on the portal as well as keeping the ‘how to guides’ up to date with on-going enhancements. These can also be located through the link within the portal. With any system there are always going to be times when things aren’t quite meeting user expectation or are as a result of user error, and so our local ESR helpdesk is essential to helping resolve issues for employees.

Further Information

If you would like further information about our ESS/OLM project please contact our ESR OLM Lead Julia Michael at julia.michael@nhs.net.





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