British Council

The British Council is United Kingdom’s international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. They are the world authority in English language teaching, learning and assessment that makes a positive contribution to the countries they work with. Working with countries around the globe, they directly reach over 65 million people and more than 660 million people via broadcasts and publications.  

The British Council works with over 100 countries across the world and have been traditionally viewed as a global leader in the face-to-face ELT market. Each year they receive millions of customers face-to-face who are wanting to learn English but more and more customers are doing it online and digitally; which is why there was a pressing need to develop an online solution to attract and retain these customers. 

Because of this, the ‘TOFFEE’ programme was born, which is one of the British Council’s current major change programmes. TOFFEE aims to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their global teaching centre network by making it easier for customers to do business with them. The TOFFEE programme encompasses a range of change projects that is enabled through a new software platform called the Teaching Centre Management System (TCMS).  

Tribal Group, with the support of Prolinx Ltd, was engaged to supply this software and provide technical solutions to implement this change program. This forms the underlying platform for a wider operational transformation and standardisation initiative at the British Council, which aims to put the customer at the heart of their work. 

The new system supports online and integrated customer journeys which reduces – and in some cases, replaces the need for customers to physically visit centres; enabling faster and smoother online registration and the ability to pay for courses online.  

In the first six months of 2017, a quarter of a million enrolments and registrations were processed through the TCMS, demonstrating both the strong demand for the British Council’s mission as well as the ability for Tribal and Prolinx to deliver at scale across the globe.   

As part of the TCMS project, Tribal built the “online level check” (OLC), a solution which sees customers take an automated test which provides the British Council with their English language proficiency level. This solution is an extra component to the software that Tribal built which provided the Customer Service teams an access to manage confidential customer data seamlessly and consistently. A pilot of the tool in Saudi Arabia and Qatar revealed: 

  • The customer journey time (from first contact to registration) was reduced on average from 75 minutes to 39 minutes 
  • Resulted in-cost reduction of 40% per customer 
  • Increased conversions (from enquiry to registration) by 6%

Tom Stiff, Senior Global Project Manager at the British Council said: 

“A big thank you to the regional and country teams for embracing the new ways of working with such willingness and to the project team and suppliers who helped make this a reality.”   

Since the beginning of the program, the system has been implemented in at least one teaching centre in each of the British Council’s operational regions including Europe, East Asia, South Asia, South America, the Middle East and North Africa and Sub Saharan Africa. And Tribal, supported by Prolinx Ltd, will continue to roll out to the remaining countries with the aim to accomplish all 47 countries by first quarter of 2018.

Michael McKeand, Chief Operating Officer, Tribal Group said: 

“We look forward to supporting the British Council on the remaining implementations and seeing the benefits realised across all their operations,”