Tool or Toolbox?

It can be fascinating to listen when a group of people get together to discuss a topic that they’re all regarded within their organisation as “experts” on.  There is often an assumption that all of the people in the group will have the same knowledge of the topic – although this is often far from the truth.  After all, each individual will have built up their own experiences during their different careers and will often have been influenced by different managers and corporate structures.

Sometimes it can be valuable for us to take a step back and look at topics that we thought we knew a lot about in a totally different way.  For example, most of my time is spent working with the Development Zone, both developing the platform and providing support for it.  I recently asked a colleague about the platform and was told that it is a powerful tool to deliver training in the workplace.  This set me thinking, is the Development Zone really a tool, or is it actually closer to being a toolbox?

The platform overall is a great tool to deliver and support training within organisations, but it can also do much more, providing tools to support the wider organisation rather than just the training function. 

For example, the My Role element of the platform is a complete performance management tool in its own right, allowing you to develop and maintain job specifications for individuals within your organisation, and providing a robust framework for the appraisal and review process.  My Role also encourages you to develop a competency framework for your entire firm, incorporating skills that relate to the specific roles within it.  These can then be used to support the training and development and CPD elements of the platform – providing ways of monitoring whether your staff are competent to carry out their current roles, and helping to plan professional development to enable them to progress further in their career.

The Mind Mapping tools available on the platform, both as standalone tools and linked to specific topics, also support the wider organisation.  They allow individuals to develop and reinforce their understanding of key topics through the use of Mind Maps.  Many of the younger members of your workforce are likely to have been introduced to the techniques behind mind mapping at school or college and may be used to using them to help retain knowledge and skills on topics.

The Gift and Hospitality Register provides support for firms to show that they are aware of and mitigating the risks of undue influence on/from third parties.  The tool is fully integrated with the Development Zone, allowing organisations to take advantage of key tools such as email notifications to allow individuals to quickly make declarations about items offered or received, or to request/grant/deny approval for such items with the minimum of fuss.

Of course, the heart of the Development Zone will always be the training elements, from our content catalogue providing hundreds of ready-made modules covering both technical and wider business topics to the custom content tools that allow you to develop your own content and assessments in a wide range of formats.

The CPD recording features on the Development Zone allow you to record activity that you plan or undertake both on and away from the platform, giving you the flexibility to undertake learning in the format that best meets your needs, while keeping your full CPD record safely in one place.  We even provide tools such as the CPD Mentor to help you review and improve the quality of the information that you include in your CPD Record, and help identify any gaps where you may have missed recording information about activities completed within the platform; and the CPD Wizard, helping you to relate your training to the requirements of the IDD.

The Development Zone truly is more than just one tool.  For more information about the range of tools within the Development Zone that can both support your learning and your wider organisation, please visit the DevZone Academy (available via the Support option from any page on the platform).

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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