20 May 2022

Jonny McAlister

Head of Customer Experience

A learning management system gives your organisation the tools to cost-effectively prepare for even the most unexpected of situations, as East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS).

When East Midlands Ambulance Service  added a business continuity course to its mandatory training programme in 2019, the new learning content was the cause of a great deal of amusement among the workforce. It seemed totally unnecessary. An overreaction. Virtual classroom doom-mongering. After all, in what circumstances would large swathes of an ambulance service be taken out of action and be unable to work as usual?

Despite the scepticism, some 88% of EMAS employees duly completed the course as instructed and then went about the rest of their usual duties.

Fast forward just a few months and, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the UK, more than four out of every five EMAS employees had already been trained in the organisation’s work-from-home procedures.

At a time when so much was in flux and staff had plenty of other new training to complete, the much-derided business continuity course gave EMAS a valuable head start. The vast majority of office and support staff were fully trained in all the protocols they needed to follow in order to start working remotely.


Training to cover all eventualities

In retrospect, the business continuity training looks wise, even prescient, but it also demonstrates a key benefit of a learning management system like the Totara Learn platform we created with EMAS.

With the infrastructure in place, why not push business continuity training to all employees? The cost can be measured in the few minutes of each employee’s time it takes to complete the course (and given that the course can be accessed anywhere and on any device — including during natural lulls in the working day — even that might be an overestimate). In any case, the rewards ultimately far outweighed the costs for EMAS.


How does this apply to your organisation?

What is your organisation’s worst case scenario? Or what is your organisation’s best case scenario? What are the unexpected things that haven’t happened yet but might happen some day?

Whatever they are, your LMS is perfectly equipped to help you to prepare for those surprise situations that could otherwise catch your organisation off-guard. If you’ve got the technology ready to go, there isn’t really a downside to creating training to cover those eventualities.

Better safe than sorry. Forewarned is forearmed. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. The English language is full of proverbs that impress on us the benefits of preparing for the worst. With an LMS, you can cost-effectively spread that wisdom throughout your organisation.


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