Preparing for 2021

We’re already well over halfway through 2020, and rapidly approaching the point where businesses and individuals need to consider their plans and aspirations for 2021.

Needless to say, this has not been an easy year, with many unexpected pressures placed upon businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, with many of us now making the gradual transition back into the workplace, some sense of normality is returning. This return to routine – albeit a strange, new routine – may provide an opportunity to refocus, and think to the future.

For trainers, CPD champions, and for supervisors and senior managers, now is the time where we need to reflect on the lessons learned from this year, and consider what the training needs for the coming year are. Understandably, given the current situation, this might seem like a daunting task. 

As leaders and mentors, it is essential that we understand fully the range of tools and opportunities that are available to us.  For users of the Aviva Development Zone, the last few years have a seen a whole host of new and exciting capabilities added to the platform, with the potential to transform the way that many firms carry out their T&C programmes. With any system, it can be challenging to keep up with the updates available and understand the opportunities they provide.

At the start of September, we’re launching the DevZone Academy. Fully integrated with the platform, the academy will bring a range of over thirty training modules to highlight the key areas of the Development Zone and help identify how they might benefit your business. 

Each module has been written by a platform specialist and has been graded at one of four levels from “Basic” to “Expert”, covering both general topics, such as “Finding your way around the DevZone” and ”Recording your CPD” and in-depth topics focusing on specific features such as Custom Quizzes or “Tracking Progress within your Team”. We’re confident that even experienced Development Zone users will discover new ideas across the range of topics.

Every topic includes an indication of the amount of reading time required, and the scale of the assessment at the end of it, allowing you to dip in and out of topics according to the amount of time that you have available. Assessments are based on multiple-choice questions, many based on real situations and are “open book” – you can view the content and the questions at the same time. 

Completing a topic requires you to score 100% in the assessment, but you can attempt them as many times as you like. 

Once you’ve completed a topic, you’ll be awarded DZ Points that will be attached to your DevZone profile card and can be used to demonstrate your understanding and expertise relating to the platform.

The Academy will be open to all users, and we’re committing to developing new topics for it on a regular basis, particularly where we release new features or make any major changes to the platform. Academy topics are also supported by a range of new downloadable Quick Reference sheets and How To guides that will be found in the DevZone Help Centre following our update at the end of August.

In addition, from September, supervisors and firm admins will be able to opt in to receiving monthly “Update” reports directly from the Development Zone to keep up-to-date with smaller changes to the platform, and find out about the new courses that are added each month.

Let’s work together to build exciting plans for 2021.

About the author

After gaining a degree in Computer Science, Tim spent nine years teaching in a number of secondary schools (11-19 year olds) in Wales.  For the majority of his time teaching, Tim led a highly successful team of teachers delivering vocational ICT qualifications and reached the level of Associate Assistant Headteacher before leaving teaching.  He has also been a senior examiner and moderator for one of the UK's largest awarding bodies.  Since 2013 he has been the senior developer for the Development Zone.

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