UNOPS is the central resource for the UN in procurement and contract management. Its mission is “to expand the capacity of the UN system and its partners to implement peace, while building humanitarian and development operations that matter for people in need”.
After a comprehensive scoping exercise, DLC staff began developing a flexible learning solution that could be accessed anywhere in the world. The platform was built around the needs of the learners and from the outset both supply chain professionals and IT experts worked together to formulate the best possible solution. The platform had to be flexible to enable students to learn in a variety of ways, and the key measures of success were a combination of student satisfaction rates and exam pass rates.
As an existing supplier to the United Nations, for distance learning, DLC were invited to tender for a one-off training course on the subject of ‘Essential Warehousing’. The course was to be over three days and would be delivered face-to-face to approximately 15 United Nations personnel. The personnel would all be employed at their global logistics base (UNLB) in Brindisi, Italy, where the course was also to be delivered. From a brief outline of requirements supplied by the UN a course overview was written and submitted along with the other tendering requirements. DLC were successful in winning the contract.
The contract required both classroom delivery and the writing and publication of a ‘study guide’ to be given to students to support the three day course. The programme was to cover the fundamentals of warehousing and inventory control in a modern and fast moving environment, the emphasis being on the need to quickly move humanitarian aid and support equipment over great distances and in challenging operating environments. The study guides were duly completed and the classroom delivery commenced in Brindisi.
After the successful delivery of this first course DLC were invited back to deliver the further programmes to more UN personnel twice per year for the next three years, with the option for the UN to increase this to five years. Due to the success of the training, the UN invited personnel from all procurement, warehousing and asset management staff from across their global missions. DLC have now delivered the course to UN employees based in Iraq, Jordon, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Darfur, Chad, Rwanda and Pakistan. This has created further interest from other UN missions who have since requested that DLC run additional programmes. The delegates all have different backgrounds and UN experience and their positions cover everything from field, procurement, stores and general management.
The first course covered “Essential Warehousing” which looked at the Principles of Warehousing, Inventory, Basics of Packaging and Labelling Techniques, Principles of Security and Safety in the Warehouse and the Basics of Receiving and Inspection Techniques. The second course covered “Warehouse Safety” which looked at the Basic Principles, People, Equipment and Process, Management Responsibility and Safety Standards.
These courses have now been running since 2008 with growing nominations from the missions for additional courses along with excellent feedback from attendees and UN training staff. Delegates from the Warehousing courses have also continued their development by enrolling on distance learning courses in CILT and CIPS through DLC. The courses provide the delegates with the tools to take back to their individual missions and implement the basic Health and Safety requirements as well as improvement tools to establish “Best Practice”. The delegates are invited to participate in actual learning activities during the sessions as well as being given a full tour of the UN Logistics Base. The tour also allows for practical theories to be trialled.