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Building Skills And Competencies Through Workplace Learning


The Industrial & Services Co-operative Society Ltd (ISCOS) is a social organisation which has been extending friendship and support to ex-offenders and their families so that they can lead meaningful and productive lives. The core challenge that ISCOS faced was staff retention and development.

To better understand its employee and training issues, ISCOS worked with the Institute for Adult Learning (IAL)’s Certified Workplace Learning Specialists on an extensive training needs analysis using the Index for Learning@Work diagnostic tool. Through interviews, online surveys, and a focus group discussion, the Specialist identified the factors that made it challenging for ISCOS to train new staff and volunteers. This includes high turnover, lack of staff development, as well as undocumented systems and procedures.

These problems most adversely affected the Children & Family department and intervention was needed for its upcoming Bursary Awards flagship programme – the Fairy Godparent Programme.

IAL and ISCOS co-created an induction and onboarding programme aimed at the new hires handling the bursary awards project, with objectives to:

  1. Provide new, incoming staff with a consistent welcome message from management together with a department overview.
  2. Have workplace learning and assessment of learning in place for the new hires to bring them up to speed quickly and develop core competencies.
  3. Document all procedures and processes so that new hires reliance moves from people to systems and resources, allowing greater consistency, capability, autonomy, independence and efficiency.

After creating learning aids and objects to engage learners, the progamme saw several positive outcomes, which included higher levels of commitment, self-esteem and confidence among employees. Furthermore, this project is also now being replicated for The Tuition Award programme and being explored for other departments within the organisation.

The partnership between IAL and us has helped strengthened our job processes for the Fairy Godparent Programme and greatly enhanced our orientation and staff development processes. We have benefited very much from the contribution of our Specialist.”Elvis Overee, Deputy Director & Project Champion, ISCOS