News story

Information Transfer and Hamptons International shortlisted in the E-learning Awards

Learning NewsActeon Communication and Learning

Training and communication consultancy Information Transfer and residential property consultants Hamptons International have been shortlisted for the 2008 E-learning Awards in the highly competitive category, 'Meeting the needs of compliance for an external regulator or internal workforce'. The joint entry is an e-learning programme delivering compliance training to all staff across Hamptons' network of 80 UK branches.

Estate agents work within a legal framework which applies to the individual employee as well as to the company. Hamptons International, as a professional and responsible employer, recognises its duty of care to ensure that all staff are aware of their obligations. This is a challenge for a company with a large, expanding network of offices and an increasing number of staff, and a demand for detailed, regular and up-to-date reporting. This challenge could only be met through e-learning.

Hamptons International commissioned Information Transfer to develop e-learning courses on a range of compliance topics, and implemented Information Transfer's Knowledge Centre LMS to manage and track the training. The initial programme included: the Home Information Pack (HIP) Regulations, the Property Misdescriptions Act, and the law and regulations relating to money laundering. Staff must be given the initial induction training, and then kept up to date with changes to the regulations.

The programme has been a notable success, with feedback from users being overwhelmingly positive. Staff reported that they found this way of learning incredibly effective, especially for tricky subjects. In addition, it was a new and convenient way of learning for individuals right across the business. An optional, anonymous opinion survey is included in every user's personal learning 'homepage'. Asked if they would favour the same approach for other training topics, ninety-seven percent answered "yes".

"I really enjoyed the experience - both the material and the presentation were excellent and comprehensive; the system is user-friendly; sense of humour is applied where possible. E-learning definitely saves time - all in all, a perfect tool." (Taken from the anonymous user survey.)

The e-learning programme now also covers health and safety training, the Estate Agents Act and the Ombudsman Code of Practice.

The introduction of e-learning demonstrates a proactive attitude to compliance: new modules can be delivered across the entire workforce at the same time; the auditing function provides invaluable evidence; it can be accessed 24/7 globally; it brings to life topics that can be dry in a classroom; and it fits with Hamptons' image as a progressive company.

One of the key benefits is the financial saving over classroom training, particularly as the majority of staff are fee earners. The Hamptons Knowledge Centre enabled the company to deliver training in the first four subject areas to all staff and save costs of nearly £300 a head compared to previous conventional face-to- face delivery.

"E-learning is a prudent and economical use of company resources, allowing us to maximise productivity by fitting learning around the regular working day." Mark Anderson, Managing Director, Hamptons International.

Information Transfer has also been shortlisted for another E-learning Award in the category "Best use of rapid e-learning content" for their work with KPMG, and the company won E-learning Awards in 2006 and 2007 for their work with Priory Group and Superquinn.

Winners of this year's E-learning Awards will be announced on the 6th November.