In 2015 Specsavers began the search for a provider of CMI Leadership and Management courses they could provide to a large team of leaders working across their organisation. As an organisation they knew they could opt for Classroom delivery, blended learning or distance learning to develop these employees however due to the scale and size of the project they decided that a course delivered 100% distance learning would provide them with the flexibility these individuals would require to study around very busy work schedules.
Ian Turner, Learning & Development Business Partner from Specsavers took on the challenge of finding the provider that would meet the requirements of the organisation. A Member of CMI for years and having worked closely with the Chartered Management Institute in previous businesses Ian was confident the Qualifications CMI provide was the best option for their employees the challenge would be choosing the college that could support Specsavers with such a large scale development plan.
Specsavers invest on a large scale in employee development for a number of reasons one is that fact that this helps them to attract high-quality employees as this investment helps them to differentiate themselves from their competition. The other reason is that the company want to support and develop their employees ‘to be the best they can be’.
As a global brand Specsavers could have decided to create a in house training and development programme for Leadership team, however Ian explains ‘the aim was to find a course that would ensure these employees were motivated and a future fit for our business as we look to expand and diversify, we wanted to arm these employees with the best knowledge, exposure and training ready to deliver our future plans’.
Ian wanted to work with a nationally recognised college with a good reputation that could manage a large-scale distance learning project like this while offering the employees the maximum flexibility to study and develop their skills around their busy schedules. Distance Learning College was one of a number of providers Specsavers decided to look at.
Distance Learning College won the business from Specsavers for a number of reasons, these include the high-quality materials provided to the students, the availability of the support team is superior to any other distance learning provider and the very knowledgeable and approachable member of the Business team that worked closely with Ian throughout his decision-making process. Ultimately the Distance Learning College solution was the right solution for Specsavers.
Now the development programme is underway Ian has received feedback from students on their studies and has reported that although some have found it challenging to fit studying for a qualification around full and busy work schedules they can already see the benefits of studying the CMI course. The availability of the Mentor and Tutor team at Distance Learning College is a massive advantage as they can reach out as and when they need to for support and guidance at times that suit them and one of the students has advised ‘The encouragement and motivation from the Mentor and Tutor team at the college is second to none, I have never felt alone during my studies’.
Since the beginning of the project Ian has worked closely with Kimberley Jayne from the DLC business team and finds her to be extremely supportive, really approachable and they have created a very strong working relationship. Specsavers receive regular management information from the college in relation to their employee’s progress which enables them to support the learners internally and identify any area’s where additional support might be needed.
Through his dealings with the college, Ian has found the Mentor and Tutor team to be very capable and commented ‘the Tutors have a fantastic understanding of leadership and management as well as knowing what is required from the learner in terms of completing their CMI qualification. This knowledge enables them to guide the students and support them on a one to one basis through their studies’.
“Without a doubt, I would 100% recommend Distance Learning College & Training to other businesses looking to invest in employee training and development. Specsavers look forward to continuing our relationship with the college for many years to come.”