NCG

NCG, is one of the largest education and training providers in the UK. It works with 100,000 learners every year at 45 locations nationwide. It is a not for profit organisation made up of five divisions — Newcastle College, West Lancashire College, the Intraining Group, Rathbone and Newcastle Sixth Form College.

The Challenge

The Group used Maytas across all its funding streams in England, Scotland and Wales and wanted a solution that was customisable with extra fields or tabs in order to cope with the different funding bodies and workflows required for the different countries.

They wanted to move to a solution hosted by Tribal rather than hosted internally so that Tribal would be responsible for upgrades and new implementations.

Solution

The Group’s MIS team has used the customisation possibilities in Maytas to introduce a validation tab so that those entering the data can tick to show that they have checked the paperwork and the date they received the record and carried out the validation checks – acting as a quality check around the ILR data.

After validation the record can go live so every learner on the ILR return must be valid – the new process ensures that everything has gone through a check point to avoid putting data in and then cleaning it up.

They also opted to take the hosting from Tribal, to ensure that their infrastructure is always available and reliable, and that implementation of upgrades is seamless.

Benefits

Maytas has an improved look and feel and the navigation is based around the learner rather than around the paperwork. “It’s more user friendly and more like a traditional MIS-based system,” explains Doug Cairns, MIS Systems Manager for the Newcastle College Group.

He adds, “One of the nice features of Maytas 5 is the templates, which allow you to create templates around a ‘real’ average person; the College has used this to develop a template for learners on apprenticeship programmes, for example.”

The College also finds the link to the Quick Address software in Maytas 5 useful to ensure addresses and postcodes are valid.

Using e-track is an essential part of the College’s operations. Doug says, “All our assessors are in the field so it’s an essential tool for us, our assessors can upload every learner’s progress to their laptops and then synchronise them at the end of the day. Our assessors don’t need to carry around big bulky files and I don’t know how we would manage without it.”

With Maytas the data is more accurate and consistent and automatically saves at the point of validation. Doug adds, “We can treat the data as gospel as it’s gone through validation. Having accurate information on learners is essential and it’s essential that the senior management team can rely on the data. Less errors equals better cash flow for the College.”

They have used Maytas with the DWP Work Programme for two years and used the M5 processes to build up the workflows to match the requirements of the Work Programme. The developer tools in Maytas allow the Maytas team in the Newcastle College Group to tailor Maytas to fit the business’ processes. Doug says, “The customisation of fields and screens and tailored workflow we can implement in Maytas 5 helps to ensure the workflow is sensible and streamlined, to reflect the business process.”

Future

The Group plans to put its suppliers onto Maytas so that the Group benefits from greater efficiency through quicker access to data and the ability to flag up errors quickly. The move will save hundreds of pounds a year on postage costs alone. The Group will also avoid having the time and expense involved in rekeying data from the paper documents received from suppliers.

They are using the Payments and Allowances module at Rathbone to help incentivise learners to attend classes. The Group is also keen to introduce the Courses module to allow tutors to register learners for each class they attend rather than the simple AM/PM mark they currently use. This would help Rathbone to substantiate attendance for bursary claims and could also be used to help with planning, to avoid timetable clashes and to use rooms to their full allocation.

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