Online Learning Management System

Now that Constructing Equality Ltd have officially launched their one hour – Introduction to Equality & Diversity in the UK Construction Industry online learning course, which has been tested and reviewed by the industry. We want to give you a sneak peek into our Online Learning Management System as we highlight the benefits it can bring for you.

Blog Picture (1) PB 23.06.2014

We want to ensure that all our audiences have suitable accessibility to our Online Learning Management system – this has been achieved by reducing limitations that other systems bring to users such as being unable to access your course when your workplace is not always at your desk or in the same place which means it can take a long time to be able to complete your online programme. By making our courses available through other devices such as tablets and mobile devices you can access your learning programme wherever you are and whenever convenient.

Making our content informative and engaging was vital when designing our online course, using Sharable Content Object Reference Model (SCORM) Packages. SCORM packages are supported by all Learning Management Systems and allowed us to create game packages that deliver the important learning outcomes of the course in a fun, engaging and interactive way.  We have made gaining a greater understanding around Equality and Diversity and the benefits this brings to your business fun for our learners as well as educational. 

One common issue which was highlighted within our research and feedback was that finding information and case studies on search engines can be somewhat of an annoyance and even I myself understand the pain of swarming through the internet trying to find that needle within the haystack. This is why we focused on making our LMS as user-friendly as possible. We make all our information and supporting documents, such as Wikis, FAQs and glossaries easy to find at just a click of a button. 

Q – Online Training or Training Workshops which is better?

This question is asked frequently and the answer isn’t so simple, but what we do know is that when participating in courses students love the debates, discussions and interaction between themselves and tutors. This has encouraged us to make our Online Learning Management system as engaging as possible – our Online Learning Manager, Matt Crouch, has been seeking new ways to help create rapport between student tutor relationships. By focusing on the interaction of discussion boards and creating debates which give students the learning environment structure similar to classrooms it allows the audience to get the most out of their experiences.

Q – How can I make our training courses unique to our company?

This is why we made our courses flexible allowing them to be appropriate to companies’ requirements; our presentations on the Online Learning Management System can also be made to conform to company branding guidelines to enable them to fit in with any other training from other providers. Additionally videos, documents, policies, etc. relevant to a particular company can be incorporated, if desired. This can give the Online Learning Course a unique look suitable for your company.

This weeks blog was written by Paul Boothroyd our IT Trainee and Business Administrator who has currently been working on Designing and Developing Constructing Equality’s Online Learning Management System.

For more information please feel free to read the product brochure below

Introduction to Equality & Diversity Course – 1 hour (opens as pdf)

Foundation Equality & Diversity Course (opens as pdf)

If you would like to trial the Online Learning please visit the following page and fill out the registration form here

What Constructing Equality have been getting up to in 2014.

Team Selfy

As the end of January nears we thought we would take a moment to tell you what we have been up to recently. As you may know the team has been rapidly expanding and we now have seven full time members of staff alongside four part-time assessors. Currently the members of our in-house team are: –

Chrissi McCarthy – Managing Director – Chrissi is our lead trainer, assessor, developer and researcher as well as the Owner and Managing Director of Constructing Equality Ltd. Chrissi additionally sits on key strategic boards and groups for industry and government that drive equality and diversity for construction and is often known as The Boss or The Talent.

Caroline Gee – Operations Manager – Caroline leads on the delivery of the CITB Be Fair Accreditation Framework Pilot , manages the support and assessor teams as well as the HR functions whilst delivering research and evaluation reports for clients. Caroline can be a little picky about spelling and grammar and has been named The Grand Vizier.

Matt Crouch – Training and Product Development Manager – Matt leads on the development of products, particularly training products like our online learning. Matt is also our social media guru and is currently to be known as The Prince in recognition of his lead role for all things PRINCE2 within the business.

Roy Stewart – Stakeholder Development Manager – Roy leads on the development of our client base and builds our understanding of our stakeholder network as well as their understanding of us. Roy is also an assessor for Be Fair, consults on the CCI Annual Awards and is gearing up to drive our social value research. Don’t tell him, but Roy is secretly known as The Godsend.

Patrick Hughes – Trainee Finance Manager – Patrick is currently studying for his HNC in Business and Finance and oversees our accounts alongside our Accountants as well as manages procurement processes and financial planning for the business in conjunction with the MD. Patrick is key support staff for Be Fair and PRINCE2 project management systems.

Paul Boothroyd – Trainee IT Manager – Paul is currently studying for his first degree in IT and Business whilst providing IT system support and development for the business. Paul works closely with key staff to cover newsletter, social media, online learning and website development and is also key support staff for Be Fair and PRINCE2 project management systems.

Peter Langley – Trainee Marketing Manager – Peter is currently studying for his Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration at the same time as generating client data, overseeing the monthly newsletter, revising website content and managing our brand alongside key staff. Like Patrick and Paul, Peter is also key support staff for Be Fair and PRINCE2 project management systems.
Peter, Paul and Patrick are known intermittently as The Three Ps, The P Amigos and The P Musketeers.

At present we are busy working on our online training, which we are looking to launch this spring; it is, of course, specific to the construction sector, and we have had some brilliant feedback so far. As the end of the CITB Be Fair Accreditation Framework Pilot draws near we have been compiling reports that will help companies understand how to make the next steps – we can’t spill too many beans at the moment, but it’s been brilliant to see how hard the different main and sub-contractors have worked. Finally, we have started work on a new project around social return on investment, so watch this space for updates on that in the coming months.

The newsletter and blog are continuing to provide people with the information you need with this neat little infographic showing how well the newsletter is doing. We are still trying to find new ways of helping you gain new information which will result in an overhaul of the monthly quiz and the start of a monthly Vlog.
Finally, Chrissi is still working on the PhD looking into mainstreaming equality in construction and for which we hope to have a presence again at this year’s ARCOM conference; with any luck (for this read ‘with a lot of hard work’) there will also be a published paper at some point this year.
If you want to find out more about the work that we do, please feel free to get in touch, we are always happy to help.

Why a thank you from a client can make a bad week good

 

 

thank you languagesWe are very lucky here at Constructing Equality Ltd that we often get people commenting positively on our work – this is something that means a lot, as whilst we all believe in what we are doing, sometimes after a long week travelling the length and breadth of the country, being lost in paperwork or overrun with meetings, the real reason behind why we do it can get a bit lost. So when we turn on our emails to receive a letter like the one below from a small sub-contractor talking in honest terms about how the work we are doing has helped them as a small company, it starts to all make sense again.

So, a big thank you to all of the companies and individuals who have supported both Constructing Equality Ltd and the CITB Be Fair Accreditation Framework so far. Not only does it mean a lot to us as individuals in an organisation, but it helps us back up our claims that the industry can make a positive change to the way it treats people on its own – it just needed a bit of guidance and common ground.

“I just wanted to spare some time at the end of the day, because it is not often we get really nice news: –

Introducing the framework to the staff was a really valuable experience for all.  With the office staff, our oldest member of staff got to share his years of experience of the industry, how he felt about it, what had changed and what still bothered him. He gave the office staff who are younger a real insight into what it can be like to work on site. This gave them a better understanding of our site staff.

The site staff I spoke to today also really opened up about how they felt about the sector and especially site work. They said they felt really respected and valued by us, but often on site the contractor’s staff  and others are patronising, rude and don’t seem to have the same pride in their role. They said it was difficult to have to work with grumpy unhappy people. I felt really honoured that they trusted me to open up – also a bit sad and angry they come across these things that are very difficult for me to control. I was also rather touched because they said our belief, respect and value of them carried them through.  In their words, they have proper jobs and conditions and felt like proper people and part of a team – they love to come home to the office. (: They feel like equals here.

They did not think any framework would change things overnight, but they offered their support for it as something that should be done and it was good to try. They also offered some concerns over some practices they have come across, which I now must find a positive way to address.” Liz Rickard Highwire Ltd

 

As Liz further said in a few short paragraphs – 1000 reasons why this is important, and why all the hard work is worthwhile.

Many Thanks

Chrissi, Caroline, Sanjay, Matt, Patrick, Peter, Paul and all of our assessors.

Re-thinking Online Equality Training – 5 Reasons why it could be for You and your Company

c4b1-love-teaching

Lights, Camera, and Action! – this week Constructing Equality went all “Hollywood” as we brought our Online Equality Training scripts to life.  Now, I know what you might be thinking, Online Training has not always lived up to the dream it promised – so often being dry, over cautious and even ill-informed.  We are hoping to change that by providing Training that will not only engage the audience but help them see the value of learning in this style.  With two large main contractor organisations testing the initial four modules in October 2013, below are 5 reasons why you should re-think Online Training as a solution to your Equality Training needs:-

 

1. We know our stuff, both practically and academically.  By that we mean we really do know what we are talking about, and not just Equality either.  Our Team houses experts in Equality and Construction, as well as Teaching and Online Learning.  In fact, the wealth of knowledge that went into the Training is as follows:-

    1. 15+ years practical Construction Industry experience
    2. 15+ years Teaching experience
    3. 7+ years Equality and Diversity Practitioner experience
    4. Postgraduate qualifications in Construction Management, Equality and Teaching
    5. In-House expertise in Online Training

 

2. We think Training should be enjoyable.  We spend a lot of time thinking about how we can teach people things in a way that keeps them engaged and helps them relate to the subject.  Our Training hosts a mix of videos, tasks, audio and visual stimuli to cater for a range of learning styles and needs.  We also test using a range of methods so that you can see how your staff members are progressing.

 

3. We know what’s important.  Whilst the law is important to know, we think that people are more likely to buy into an Equality agenda if they can understand why it’s important to them.  Hence, our courses are not only written by people who have worked in the Construction Industry, but they also look at the benefits to the individual, the business and the Construction Sector as a whole.  This approach helps people understand why this is important and how they can progress this work within their roles.

 

4. We know that your time is valuable.  Our Training modules last for one hour and each module is further broken down into blocks lasting 15mins.  There are tests to be completed during the module and at the end which complement the learning experience.

 

5. We consider your Budget.  The Training is designed so that you / your Company can claim grants through the CITB Grant Scheme, if you are eligible.  For this Online Training needs to be 3 hours long in order to be able to claim back via a grant.  Our courses are designed to meet this minimum with 3 x one-hour long modules (with each module being made up of four 15 min blocks).

 

We are looking to take the Training live in January 2014, with packages that complement the Be Fair Framework becoming available in Spring 2014.  If you would like a free trial, please get in touch with Sanjay (at sanjay@constructingequality.co.uk) to find out how Online Equality Training can help you meet both organisational and procurement requirements.

How we got to here – a history of Constructing Equality.

 

This month marks the sixth year anniversary of Constructing Equality Ltd and we thought we would provide you with a bit of history and perspective so that you can understand how we are working to make change in the sector.
 
2007 – 2009 The Learning Years                
Originally, after leaving my job as a site manager, I set up the company with the aim of helping businesses find an approach to aspects around equality that could understand the challenges they faced. What was very clear from the off was that the industry could not overcome many of the barriers it was presented with such as: – false self-employment, poor trainee record, and nepotistic culture, without working together. We knew
this because companies that had tried told us they found this work was undermined by competitors poaching staff they had trained and therefore were unable to pay more, was diluted on projects without the same underpinning and was not valued by clients – who often valued short-term initiatives for the community over longer term progress for industry; consequently this did not win tenders.  You might think that this is not important to equality, but it is, very important indeed. How can we expect the majority of the industry to co-operate in encouraging and developing individuals from minority backgrounds when they themselves feel undervalued, badly treated and threatened? We felt that in order to bring equality to the sector we needed to start with the workforce we already had.
 
2009 – 2011 – Formulating a Plan
The first two years were spent reading quite a bit – the next few were spent reading a lot; undertaking a Masters degree and transferring onto a PhD . Not only did we need to improve conditions in the sector for the individuals within it, but for the companies too and we needed to be able to back this up with research. Whilst ten years in industry gave us a good background in the sector we needed to establish a greater depth to the understanding of how policy, politics and the economy shaped the way the industry operates and then look at how we could set in motion a realistic plan to overcome those challenges together as a sector. We know from historic work, to succeed it needed to have value, but be reasonably priced, be highly complex in its understanding of the sector, people and equalities as well as easy for companies to understand and use – but most importantly have the ability to bring the industry together; trusting that if we worked together we would all benefit. Early on we understood that we could not develop this trust from a consultancy framework, nor could we do this alone. We therefore decided to approach CITB the sector skills council.
2012 – Present – Making Progress
CITB were looking to develop an equality standard of their own – so, with the timing right, we put forward the idea of something bigger – that went beyond equalities and tackled the issues faced by the sector in a way that was affordable and attainable to all organisations working within it. We won the bid and have been developing the CITB BE FaIR framework for the last year and a half with the first 6 strands (Sub-contractors and Main Contractors) being piloted this year and the second set of 8 also being tested. The BE FaIR framework has had an amazing response and whilst it is at the core of our business, it’s not all we do.
We also undertake research for CITB and other clients, Training for companies like Graham, Taylor Wimpey and Derbyshire County Council and consultation for the likes of  Vinci, CITB and CIC.
Aside from the business of making money, we commit 10% of our time to work which helps move this agenda forward in industry – not only with our more recognised resources like the website, quiz and newsletter, which contain a wealth of information and opportunities for companies to promote good practice, but also by running projects to retain students in universities, collecting data in industry (CIC), visiting schools to talk about careers in industry and talking at events.
In the future, we want to involve more of you in this work – creating a scheme where you can become supporters of Constructing Equality Ltd., which will essentially mean that you support the right of all people in industry to be treated fairly.  We in turn will look to give you training and opportunities to showcase your passion. At the end of the day, the company is guided by a love of industry and a vision of the potential of the sector.
We already do amazing things on a daily basis – just imagine how much more we could do in the right working environment.
Please get in touch to find out how you can get involved,