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13 February 2023

Gas Networks Ireland

Fuelling a safety-first culture with a learning management system that gives employees the information they need at the precise moment they need it.

Sparking stronger engagement with online learning

Gas Networks Ireland is the semi state-owned company responsible for the transmission of natural gas throughout Ireland. It owns, builds and maintains the natural gas network in Ireland and connects all customers to the gas network.

Safety is of paramount importance to the organisation. Delivering high quality training is imperative to ensure that Gas Networks Ireland’s workforce of more than 700 people is able to work in a way that keeps their customers, their colleagues and themselves safe.

Having worked with the organisation since 2016, we were tasked with upgrading its Learnworks online learning platform to Totara Learn 15. The upgrade process would also:

  • Overhaul user experience for learners
  • Bring training to employees’ handheld devices
  • Make it easier to identify skills gaps within the organisation

Closing skills gaps

The starting point for a complete reworking of the Learnworks user experience was Spark, our highly configurable and flexible foundation for building bespoke design, functionality and usability for Totara Learn sites. This allowed us to easily deliver most of the features Gas Networks Ireland needed and focus more attention on custom development.

Key among these extra features is a complex training needs analysis tool, which helps Gas Networks Ireland to understand competency gaps on an organisation-wide and individual basis. Employees can easily see any skills they need to develop in order to fulfil their role more effectively.

The same tool also has a personal development aspect. The required competencies for every position in the organisation are available to view, so employees can easily determine which skills they need to develop in order to follow a particular career path.

Organisational planning and personal development are both hugely important for medium to long-term improvements, but it is in maintaining safety standards that the upgraded LMS has the greatest day-to-day impact.

Gas Networks Ireland can easily deliver safety training — and other mandatory training — to all staff quickly and efficiently. With the use of the Totara Mobile app, employees can access learning using phone and handheld devices. This means training can be completed remotely or on-site by field-based staff. Bulletins and training for new or emerging safety issues can be quickly deployed across the organisation. At the other end of the scale, it’s also simple to deploy relevant refresher training, bitesize information or logistical details relevant to employees starting work on a specific project. In all cases, Gas Networks Ireland has real-time data to track who has viewed or completed new training.

More traffic, more engagement

With its upgraded and improved LMS, Gas Networks Ireland is able to maintain its safety standards more efficiently. Crucially, it is also able to prove these standards to external stakeholders and auditors. Training records from Learnworks create a tangible way of demonstrating competencies and compliance.

Feedback from senior leaders, managers, field-based staff and engineers has been extremely positive since the site was upgraded. In particular, employees have commented that the new layout is more intuitive and it is very easy to engage with online learning, seminar books and other functions.

Since the launch, there has been a significant increase in traffic on the LMS. As word of this new, easy-to-use platform spreads through the organisation, employees are choosing to engage with learning instead of needing to be pushed to use the LMS.

“Synergy Learning are an absolute joy to work with. They have a real can-do attitude, which means you get none of the frustrations that you sometimes encounter when working with third-party suppliers. Spark has made it so easy to manipulate our LMS to the way we want it to be and gives us so much more flexibility going forward. The feedback from everyone who has engaged with the site so far has been very positive.”

Deirdre Cashin | Technical Training Planning Manager



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