Posted: Tuesday, 23 August 2016 @ 11:14
For staff working in the contact centre at Strathclyde Police’s Force Communications department, every day is different and potentially high pressure. They have responsibility for answering all emergency and non-emergency calls that come in, prioritising them and then transferring them to area control rooms if necessary. Yet although the Force has a further and higher educational policy, when Simon Jones, Quality and Training Manager for Force Communications, joined Strathclyde, there was no specific training in place for these call handlers.

Deciding to change things, Simon looked at instituting a formal programme, which would give staff the opportunity to gain an externally recognised qualification, as well as raising their morale and improving their competency. One problem was that he needed a training provider who would be able to provide assessors to cover all shifts, meaning they might need to come in early or late to fit in with learners’ work patterns. After talking through this and other operational requirements, Simon chose Intec to deliver the qualifications and the training started with a pilot of 14 learners taking NVQs in Contact Centre level 2.

“When the learners enrolled we were told they would take between six and nine months to complete, but they have been so enthusiastic about the qualifications that all but one of them completed earlier than that,” said Simon. “They’ve all done fantastically well and the assessors have told me that a lot of the learners actually provided level 3 evidence.

“The feedback from the staff themselves has also been very positive, they feel better skilled, more efficient and proud that they have a portfolio of work which shows what a great job they can do. I also think they feel valued by their employer, which is vital to their morale.”

With these results showing how successful the pilot has been, Simon is keen to progress and has put a proposal together to place more staff onto the level 2 qualification and to widen out the training to team leaders and management. With this currently being assessed, Simon is sure that soon every member of the team will be able to access relevant training.