Over the past year I’ve had the pleasure of training many of our customers on the AWARD® software. My new Training Manager role has given me the opportunity to build on my experience of supporting the AWARD® Helpdesk, helping me to truly understand how our customers are using the software and what they need in order to achieve the best possible outcomes on their procurements. This insight has been invaluable and I’ve taken onboard the lessons learnt in developing our new Accreditation and Digital Badging program.
As is typical of many software courses, Commerce Decisions AWARD® training was originally very functional and focused around the mechanics of how to use the product. This proved to be successful at getting our customers up and running. However, I consistently received questions from former participants who wanted reassurance about their level of competency in using the software. Another common theme from attendee course feedback was the interest in developing their knowledge further so they could fully utilise all the features that AWARD® has to offer. With this in mind I started to think about how our courses could be developed to address these two objectives…
If you don’t know exactly where you’re going, how will you know when you get there?Steve Maraboli – Life, the Truth, and Being Free
Taking this sentiment on board, our Accreditation Scheme has been designed to provide a structured pathway to become an AWARD® Expert within your organisation. Each of the levels – Foundation, Intermediate and Expert, are delivered at a logical point in a user’s project timeline to ensure the training has the greatest impact and relevance. We like to think of these as easily digestible chunks of the AWARD® pie!
The Foundation level gives participants the baseline knowledge needed to competently build and manage a non-complex evaluation project within AWARD®. This interactive classroom-based course provides a grounding in the key AWARD® concepts; questions, scoring methods, evaluation process and reporting. To demonstrate that this learning has been taken onboard each participant independently builds an evaluation project which is approved by a Commerce Decisions consultant prior to their certification being issued.
Our next level AWARD® Intermediate, gives attendees the skills they need to manage lot-based procurements and procurements with negotiation stages. The features within AWARD® that support these processes are introduced through scenario-based activities. These have been specifically designed so that participants can understand how AWARD® can be used to support best practice, rather than just providing a list of potentially confusing functional components.
Once the Foundation and Intermediate stages have been completed you can choose to become an AWARD® Expert. To achieve this, you must independently build and run two live AWARD® evaluation projects, both of which are reviewed by a Commerce Decisions consultant. Throughout this period the consultant is available to offer advice on making the best possible design decisions.
The key benefit of these three levels is that they can be studied at your own pace allowing you to gently build up your knowledge, and as an added incentive to complete each level we’ve also invested in a digital badging platform.
So, what are these digital badges I hear you ask? Well they’re an efficient way of accurately demonstrating what you’ve learnt with each badge containing meta data that lists all of elements of the course that you studied. Unlike a traditional certificate, anyone who views the badge can verify your achievement. The key differentiator between a paper certificate and your digital badge is rather than the certificate languishing in your desk drawer, you’ll feel incentivised to continue your learning and start sharing your success.
You can add each badge to your own digital backpack along with any other badges you’ve earned from other learning providers. Effectively you’re building up your own skills map which adds a further layer of credibility to your existing digital CV on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. Senior stakeholders can demonstrate their team members have the same baseline knowledge and levels of competency as well as providing them with demonstrable and transferable skills.
If you’re ready to start developing your AWARD® knowledge, why not drop me a line.