RENFREWSHIRE COUNCIL: CUSTOMER SERVICE PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION

Scottish local government’s new Customer Service Professional Qualifications represent a groundbreaking, new initiative developed by a consortium of Scottish Councils under Renfrewshire Council and the Improvement Service’s lead. Available at Award, Certificate and, in the near future, Diploma levels, they are:

• nationally recognised qualifications;

• Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) certificated;

• endorsed by the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (CoSLA);

• supported by the Society of Local Authority Chief Executives (SOLACE);

portable across Scottish local government and associated bodies.

Download the application form: CUSTOMER SERVICE PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATION

WEST LOTHIAN COUNCIL: ADULT LIFELONG LEARNING IN OPERATIONAL SERVICES

The Lifelong learning initiative commenced within Operational Services in February 2008 as a joint project between colleagues in Operational Services, Adult Basic Education (ABE) and all represented unions, such as GMB, Unison and Unite. The main focus of the initiative was to provide learning and development opportunities for all employees within Operational Services. Operational Services is a diverse service which includes: Waste Services, Roads Services, Grounds services, Facilities Management (janitorial, catering, cleaning) Fleet Services and Inprint, employing over 1500 people. The employees are spread all over the county in 8 separate locations, which does not include the schools where the cleaners, caterers and janitorial employees are based.

The initiative was created when it was identified that a large number of employees faced a common problem in the work place and one which also has an effect on an individual’s life in general; low levels of literacy and numeracy. Operational Services was in the process of developing a training programme to up-skill its workforce to meet the changing environment and which would contribute to the Council’s agenda of improving performance and best value. There was a need to help and support employees to undertake the training, to understand that learning was a lifelong process and to remove barriers to success both in terms of progression within the workplace as well as in other areas of their private and family lives.

The aim was to remove barriers to learning and implement support mechanisms and opportunities for employees to develop and take ownership for their own learning. It was identified that the initiative had to be sustainable and not a campaign that had a start and end date. From the outset, it was agreed that we needed support from all levels and at all stages. We needed a buy in from the top Management tier down plus, from the bottom up, we needed to ensure a non-threatening approach was adopted which would enable employees to access support.

Download the application form: ADULT LIFELONG LEARNING IN OPERATIONAL SERVICES

ABERDEENSHIRE COUNCIL: PROBATIONER TEACHER YEAR

This project was set up to address teacher recruitment and retention issues in the context of the demographics of the teachers workforce in Aberdeenshire, including measures to positively influence probationer teachers to remain working in Aberdeenshire following their induction year through progressive support for their on-going development needs (target for retaining at least 20% of probationers in permanent and fixed term posts in Aberdeenshire schools). From 2002/03 to 2009/10 Aberdeenshire has accepted 544 primary and 380 secondary probationer teachers on their induction year, almost all of whom have successfully achieved the Standard for Full Registration. The total number of probationer teachers who have been supported in our schools is equivalent to almost one third of our teaching workforce. To date for 2008/09 Aberdeenshire has re-employed one third of our cohort of 2007/08 probationer teachers in permanent and long term temporary posts. We have also interviewed and placed half of our 2007/08 probationer teachers on to our supply register.

Download the application form: PROBATIONER TEACHER YEAR

SOUTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL: THE CLYDE VALLEY LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (CVLDP)

The Clyde Valley Learning and Development Project (CVLDP) designs and delivers training, learning and development to its eight authority partners. By working smarter and in partnership the group has saved both money and time, using innovative training and technology to deliver First Aid, Scottish Vocational Qualifications (SVQs), accredited Management Development at all levels, social care and equality and diversity training and courses. Savings and benefits derived have resulted in greater value for money and has provided access to better quality of training for Clyde Valley council employees.

Download the application form: THE CLYDE VALLEY LEARNING AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECT (CVLDP)

NORTH LANARKSHIRE COUNCIL: MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

North and South Lanarkshire Councils have a long standing commitment to management development. From their inception both Councils have offered a range of learning opportunities for staff. Like any programme designed to build skills and capacity within the organisation, it is important to ensure that management development meets the changing agenda in the organisations and provides the Councils’ managers with the skills and knowledge they need to help them meet future challenges head-on. Following evaluation and consultation in 2007, a new management development programme was designed and developed by North and South Lanarkshire Councils in partnership with Glasgow Caledonian University. The resulting programme is highly innovative in its approach, combining the skills and expertise of a range of partners. Further it focuses on individual job roles which is a unique feature of this programme. It offers the opportunity for managers to take their learning journey to the next stage by pursuing an academic qualification with Glasgow Caledonian University. This qualification – MSc in Leadership & Management of Public Services – is now a new option offered by the University, and arises directly from the work of North & South Lanarkshire Council. The success of the programme, which was launched in February 2007, is now attracting interest from other organisations who hope to emulate our formula.

Download the application form: MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

GLASGOW CITY COUNCIL: PEOPLE STRATEGY

In line with the national local government agenda, in 2007 Glasgow City Council was one of the first councils to implement single status and undertook a Workforce Pay and Benefits Review, radically changing the way we managed our business. This was a major challenge for any organisation not least Glasgow City Council with a workforce at that time of just under 35000. Not only this but the Council would also have to undertake a Service Reform to ensure that it could meet the requirement to deliver services effectively and efficiently. It is of no surprise that the major impact was on the staff at all levels. Showing the beginning of a continuing commitment to staff engagement, an employee opinion survey (EOS) was commissioned. Results were not unexpected. Staff were disengaged, unsatisfied with their job, considered communication to be poor and that they needed more direction and support from their managers. It was recognised that GCC would need to address these issues and would do this through a People Strategy which would set out a clear vision and values supported by 10 clear commitments on how the council would improve the working life of its employees from recruiting, developing, managing, rewarding and recognising staff throughout the council.

Download the application form: PEOPLE STRATEGY

FIFE COUNCIL’S CONTACT CENTRE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT

Fife Council’s Contact Centre was established in 2001 and has grown significantly in that time from an operation of 16 people to over 100. Much of this growth has occurred in the past two years; this has meant changes to systems and processes but critically has re-emphasized the importance of continuing to develop the workforce in a focussed and structured manner, with the ability to deliver in the future.

The approach to developing the workforce was based on a robust training and development programme, a project management approach and seeking to obtain a globally recognised Customer Contact accreditation to give focus to the initiative and to ensure the resulting services were of the highest standard.

By aiming for accreditation, Fife would be able to ensure that development and training would not be done in isolation but would instead link in to all aspects of delivering services successfully from a contact centre. The critical outcome is for customers to have a firm belief that only well engaged and appropriately trained staff will deliver their services, now and in the future.

The changes have now been completed and the contact centre was recently awarded the Customer Contact Association’s (CCA) Global Standard © accreditation. This meets the Contact Centre’s objectives of continually improving the quality, delivery and standard of operations for the customer, staff and the whole organisation.

Download the application form: CONTACT CENTRE WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT