Competence where it matters

BENEFIT ANALYSIS: Stavanger City Council
– Use of digital competence plans in Stavanger’s municipal administration

 
In 2010 EVRY supplied Stavanger’s city council with a solution that included a competence and employee follow-up solution from Dossier Solutions, a Webcruiter recruitment solution and an Agresso payroll system. The council has subsequently also chosen to manage its training courses through the digital learning arena KS Læring, which has an e-learning capability.

“With over 10,000 employees, many of whom work part time, the choice of digital payroll and personnel administration system was a decision with wide-ranging consequences,” says HR consultant Torbjørg Skaustein.


Learning from strictly regulated industries

“The Dossier User Forum showed us the benefits it was possible to obtain from the use of digital competence plans – what Stavanger Council calls training plans.

We saw how competence plans were used by Dossier’s customers in strictly regulated industries, like the offshore sector, and realised that these processes had a lot in common with the administration of medicines, which requires a high level of competence, training and documentation of completed training,” Skaustein explains.

For nurses and social educators, the administration of medicines is part of their basic training. But because it is difficult to recruit enough qualified nurses, local authorities must often authorise other staff to administer medicines. This presumes the person concerned has undergone a course of training, and the authorisation they receive is time limited and must be renewed annually. 

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Frustration, mistakes and high administrative costs

Around 900 of Stavanger Council’s staff require special authorisation to administer medicines. It is necessary to ensure that these employees have sufficient competence with regard to medicines, their effects and any side-effects. For in this area there is no room for error.

The authorisation requirement applies to both qualified and unqualified staff providing care in the community and at various residential facilities, auxiliary housing, nursing homes, etc. Every individual must undergo an annual test before their authorisation can be renewed.

Managers used to handle this in a large number of different ways, making use of ring-binders, spreadsheets and checklists in an attempt to keep on top of deadlines for course enrolments, the issue and sending of authorisations, registration of test results, etc.

All this was extremely resource and time consuming, and caused manager’s a good deal of day-to-day frustration.

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Safe and effective medication administration with digital competence plans

Stavanger Council has developed a training plan for the administration of medicines, which gives employees, managers and the responsible department a clear overview of training needs and completed training at the individual, departmental and organisational level.

The training plan includes e-learning courses, course tests, seminars, practice reviews, allocation of authorisations and refresher courses.

The training plans give staff a better overview of competence expectations with regard to the administration of medicines, and managers at all levels obtain a better decision-making platform.

Managers and the responsible department always have an overview of and can document completed training, authorisations, etc. Notices have also been incorporated into the scheme, with email messages being sent to the individual employee and manager before the authorisation is due for renewal and it is time to take a refresher course.

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Millions saved

In all, the conservative figures we have used here bring the combined saving to around NOK 2.7 million a year.

It is remarkable that digitisation of a single function like medication administration can result in such enormous benefits. Which leads us inevitably to a bigger question: What would the benefits of digitisation come to for the council as a whole, which has ten times as many employees and far more areas of application?

New applications for digital competence plans

“Based on the experience gained from the area of medication administration, Stavanger Council is now implementing digital training plans for employees in its preschool daycare centres. This encompasses compulsory training which has previously been followed up manually, and which has now been transferred to digital training plans,” explains Skaustein. “The training plan will include basic competence about relational issues, language, early intervention and intercultural competence, as well as various areas of in-depth study.”
“We are also planning to use training plans for new employees, new managers, industrial safety representatives and other professional groups.”

The solution will also be used in connection with staff appraisals where competence is a topic. Here the council can draw up pathways for internal career advancement through its various professional hierarchies, in which competence development can be planned on four levels, from basic skills to specialist expertise.

This will lead to better quality in the services provided, and help the Council to retain good staff.

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CASE

Benefit analysis: A total annual saving of approx. NOK 2.7 million.

900 follow-up processes per year – the manager’s perspective before implementation of the digital solution

  1. Status check of authorisations, overviews of authorisations and expiry dates
  2. Registration of annual reviews
  3. Course enrolment
  4. Printing out of authorisations with copies
  5. Archiving
  6. Sending of authorisations
  7. Registration of dates for next review and authorisation

If we estimate that a manager spends two hours per employee per year, we are talking about a cost of NOK 500 per hour times 1,800 hours – a total of NOK 900,000 (100,000 EURO).

Administration time has now been cut to perhaps 15 minutes per employee per year

  1. Allocation of training plan to the employee
  2. Digital signature to confirm completed training
  3. Email message from the system with a reminder that the employee needs a new authorisation or a refresher course

NOK 500 per hour times 225 hours = a total of NOK 112,500 (12,000 EURO).

Employees seeking authorisation used to have to complete a two-day course. In the training plan this has now been replaced by an e-learning course, which is completed in one day.

This e-learning course is one of the elements in the digital training plan, and saves the cost of one whole day’s training per employee, as well as temporary staffing expenses and time spent. The department responsible for the courses has spent a lot of time on both organisation and administration.

The council also saves on fees to course holders, the hire of premises and other course-related expenses.

Including temporary staffing expenses, the council saves roughly NOK 2 million (210,000 EURO) a year related to the administration of medicines.