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Unicorn Training Client Forum


So we're back at King's Place for our annual Client Day and this is where you can follow all the updates from the day.

Here's what's going on...


Be sure to follow us on Twitter #UTGForum all day too.

Right off to get some coffee...

Room filling up nicely! Just about to kick off with the introduction.


Our CEO Peter Phillips is welcoming everyone here - looks like a record turnout :)

Now Mark Jones is introducing us to The Abbreviations Game - we'll find out more about that later but why not check it out and have a go (eh, who cares you're at work ;) ) at the App Store or via Android. Putting in The Abbreviations Game will get you there quicker.


Philippa Grocott from FSTP to discuss the how we believe blended learning is the right approach...

"Do you remember ra-ra skirts the first time round?" Interesting opening line!

Ah there is a method to her madness - next Q who's had their L&D budget increased year on year. No-one is the answer! So how do you best spend your budget?

A 'blended approach' - never been a big fan of the expression as it's a throw back to when eLearning first came out and wasn't very good! People became very wedded to face to face training.

Why did FSTP & Unicorn partner?

Don't provide content for anyone else's eLearning - what Unicorn produces is quality, engaging and better than everything else out there in terms of what it gives to learner in financial services space.

All partners in FSTP have all held L&D budgets so experience in making budget go a long way, and what you need to do in terms of regulatory requirements.

  • internal resource is getting smaller
  • L&D budgets are first to be cut
  • Lots of providers in work place

So where do you start?

For most regulatory training first priority is senior managers - they're responsible for setting culture of business and they need to be able to discuss and ask questions, which is where F2F comes in.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 11.15.06

If look at your fundamentals most can be addressed by good quality eLearning that engages the user. F2F comes in where it involves the most complex areas.

No-one makes eye contact - people read and learn online now so got to do something that caters for that. You have to give different interventions and ways of learning to different people.

In 1st 2 days, first online University course had 310 responses in 1st 24 hours!

F2F won't go away as it is required but as part of a blended experience. Can budget be satisfied with eLearning or is some F2F required?

Quotes a Forbes 2014 article which stated how eLearning spending will reach $107b dollars in 2015. But how it goes on to say how "content is still the winning card" and F2F won't be going away any time soon.


Workshop time now.

For first one am jumping in on this one...

A Responsive Future Looking into the future of SkillsServe, our Lead UX Designer Aswad Charles will be showcasing and sharing some insight into the new adaptive mobile ready design. Experience the new concept first hand and receive some behind the scenes knowledge about some of the new design features.

Aswad's been with us three months so Client Day is all new to him too - Hi Aswad - :)


Same solution use in office environment will adapt to different devices too - visit BBC or Guardian etc experiences are continuous same regardless of what device using on it.

Learning will become more social and when people interact with LMS it is more personal - create an emotional cue and empathy with the user that encourages them to proceed.

'Responsive design' is where you have a solution that adapts.

Demonstrating how a 'typical' webpage can be reduced in size to tablet size and mobile size so the interface experience isn't effected, layout just alters automatically.

That's what are trying to do with SkillsServe so all the content can access through main LMS you can access through mobile device.

Importance of consistency with information across applications. Filter and categorise what's been completed, and what's important to us to prioritise so learner takes more ownership over deadlines too - stop the nagging!

"As humans we like completing taks from A to B but within that there a mini-challenges you categorise, and when you know you've only got a few items left there is motivation to go back to complete outstanding items."

We're not just talking about technologies, but the user experiences.

"You've nearly finished" not "You haven't finished" is a more encouraging, positive message.

'Responsive design' is different to apps - the ongoing Unicorn app development is targeted for different purposes/tasks etc as well as the on/offline advantages.

Difference between SkillsServe and other LMSs - others give structure and control but when had product for 2 years isn't always easy to make major changes without basically getting a whole new product / migrating content & data etc. But with SkillsServe it's like a living, breathing piece of software and functionality is only going to increase with new technologies.

Future - rating of content is one element.




Now Nick Wilding, Head of Cyber Resilience, AXELOS Global Best Practice is addressing the human factor in cyber resilience – from the top to the bottom.

Main points • Why typical awareness learning methods fail; • How everyone has a role to play – from the top to the bottom of the organisation; • It’s all about engaging our people; • Measuring the value of a new approach.

Never been more relevant in light of the Talk Talk attack last week - 48hrs is a long time in business.

Cybercrime is the crime of our generation. This is not something that can be solved by IT anymore but it is still the belief of many companies Nick meets.


Showed video of CEO of major business who were victim of hackers - knew very little about what threats were out there, thought had back covered by IT, firewalls etc, have to see through advice and be honest about what don't understand.

'Whaling Attack' - major companies get attacked hundreds of times day and what's arguably most important now is how you recover from an attack when it happens.

Everybody can be a target from top to bottom of organisation so people have to sit at heart of an effective resilience strategy.

What read about in press is tip of iceberg and typically stuff that affects customer data but commercially sensitive information is being targeted all the time (IP, financial forecasts etc).

A significant attack undermines fundamental level of trust between a corporate and their customers.

Any cyber resilience strategy has to be fundamentally linked to business strategy - by focussing on that can drill down on the most critical stuff that needs protecting. The business and IT have to work together much more effectively in building resilience strategy.

Everyone has role to play - the 'Human Factor' accounts for 90% of breaches - need to influence & enable positive change in user behaviours.

You cannot take a 'compliance based approach' to cyber resilience - have to take a risk based approach. Annual security awareness training does not work.

  • Learning needs to be ongoing and regular - short (2-3 mins) and concise with supporting updates & refreshers
  • Adaptive & personalised - same learning developed in different formats to suit different learning styles
  • Engaging, competitive & fun - ability to learn inside and outside of work
  • Measurable benefit - tracking changing behaviours over time, demonstrate value of investment

People take more care of own cyber security at home then they do at work.

Every organisation should have a tried and tested response plan because you will get a breach at some point.

Need the support and insight on the Board to protect business.


Rattling through now!


Performance Management with Samantha Ridgewell, Talent and Development Advisor at Liberty (the specialty (re)insurer) not the clothing company!) talking us through their new LMS system.

• The design and engagement of the Liberty, Specialty Skills site as a great example for others. • The decision making process on how to address the lack of engagement within the business and • Utilising the potential of the LMS within Liberty to support key initiatives Presentation from a client and their experiences using SkillsServe for Performance Management.

Objectives for new system...

  • One stop shop - forms, policies, CPD, events (inc F2F courses), revision, Head Office buy in.
  • Personality - colour, cartoons, soft edges, not corporate
  • Easy access - single sign on, draw users in

Spent time going through learning catalogue and grouping them into categories so can see all of eLearning courses that corresponds to qualifications/assessments including CII.

Events - in-house training is catalogue of everything doing F2F allows users to be independent in setting own learning plan, Liberty can see who's and how many registered and plan events accordingly in the future (waiting lists etc). Logs CPD hours so doesn't have to be done manually.

Separate area for managers to give it 'special' feel for them.


  • increased demand for F2F training - helps budget planning
  • successful launch of 'lunch and learns' sessions
  • increase in non-compulsory eLearning courses
  • positive feedback for CPD
  • international offices feel more 'connected'
  • positive feedback on appearance - only input from marketing is had to be corporate colours, everything else was 'new'
  • over 25,000 hits from 900 employees
  • breath of fresh air

Admin benefits

  • substantial reduction in password reset
  • reduced email enquiries
  • easy to track event registrations
  • resources for additional forms
  • promote external events
  • increased support for CII revision
  • report on all courses attended not just elearning
  • automated joiner instructions and feedback forms
  • increased manager responsibility

Recommendations for increased use

It's really important updated regularly as people get bored. Review every 6 months for updates include newsfeed to share updates and articles (e.g. TED Talks) and Lunch & Learns most popular so have own box on homepage.

  • single sign on
  • what is learning to them - CPD, CII, F2F
  • be creative - how much can you get away with with markteing
  • one stop shop
  • relevant but regular promotion - monthly 'what's on' is only correspondence outside of any urgent email
  • induction for new joiners
  • continuous improvement
  • fix problems quickly

LUNCHTIME!!!! See y'all on the other side...

This is what we did at lunchtime - apart from gobbling the laid on spread obviously!



And we're back in the room with Foundations and Fireworks - client talk from Tim Purcell (Transformation and Best Practice Manager) from AXA Insurance, who is presenting tips on impact launching the Unicorn platform including using wiki pages and other resources.

Tip 1 - think strategically. What is the purpose of platform in wider strategy of your function or business? Easy to get bogged down in the platform being the project not what you're trying to achieve through implementing it.

Supporting the Development Framework > Training in existing role > Career development

Tip 2 - know your audience (who are the people are actually aiming at - demographics of who is working for you) What motivates them and why do they care?

  • Focus on the user - find that connection with people who are actually doing the learning
  • Geographic challenges
  • Key priority bringing staff together

Tip 3 - user interface is everything. You are competing with Apple and Google!

Very tempting to try to funnel everything into platform and make it ultimate one stop shop but people already have that and it's called Google and you can't compete!! So make most of the stuff the platform can do well and that will make the biggest difference, and don't try just to crowbar everything in.

Tip 4 - make it local. Use imagery from actual workplace, audio with he people who work there, and show aspirationally of where you can go if you WANT to go, and the want is crucial, not forced to.

How many clicks does it take to get to where you want to is key - have made use of wiki pages to make this successful.

Tip 5 - use the project momentum.

This is the moment to push it to make it work for your business, don't accept everything off the shelf and don't be tempted to 'lift and shift' - TOMORROW NEVER COMES so push now!

Tip 6 - Lead them to water - work with business or HR and never be proud enough to say we're not getting anywhere here or getting what we want.

Tip 7 - build foundations and set off fireworks. The reality is if you can deliver some fireworks at start of what you implement makes a massive difference.

E.g. podcasts talking about career development from senior management - what was their career path, what was good and wasn't. Really well received. Have some video relevant to people who are looking at it from day 1. You don't get that engagement back if miss that 1st engagement opportunity - 'Coming soon' doesn't wash.

Tip 8 - aim high and communicate big. Senior managers are very busy, how do you get their time and attention? In build up there is never too much communication.

Tip 9 - people first, numbers second.

"Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a fire."

MI is one thing and is important, but out of all this stuff inspire 5 leaders to guide the business in the future for example, that is what counts.

Tip 10 - have an eye on the horizon. The world is changing, the roles of employees are changing within it. What will that look like?



Now going to get a SkillsServe Roadmap update from our IT Director Stuart Jones and demonstrating the new SkillsServe App.

Once the technology works anyway!

Presenting his talk through the eCreator app - so can pick up learning where left off.

Update templates - new releases coming in next few days and more coming as the year goes on.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 14.43.09

Other big development been working on in past 18 months - diagnostic functionality including assessments, diagnostic scorecard plus new catalogue design and filters in the system.

Can you use diagnostic assessments or eCreator on an LMS other than SkillsServe - yes using ContentServe a new SkillsServe-lite launched earlier this year.

What's coming in next year?

  • Language support - Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and Russian by end of this year - tied in at backend so every time there's a SkillsServe update auto-translates
  • Social aspects - getting feedback from learners, doing in more objective way than subjective not one star rating option
  • Next generation of app - offline doc access, tracking, branding

Next Generation for SkillsServe

When launched SkillsServe in 2009 way everyone accessed was PC, same screen size and the new kid on block was netbook. That was how UX was governed and when iPad came out same. But everything's changed now and all very different screens and use to using touch on mobile devices with it set to become even more accepted in PC/desktop devices too.

Aswad is back up now, telling everyone about responsive design.

If got to redesign interface look at different user journeys that haven't done since launched it. Most common journeys are looking for course they want and register to the content.

Screen adapts to the size of the screen you're using.

Big project to come up with a completely new user interface architecture.

'Mobile first' approach - start thinking about UX on smallest screen and scale upwards.

Cuppa time...back in a sec

Going to see what all the fuss was about this morning now and check out Philippa Grocott's 'Preparation for Senior Management Regime' workshop. This session will include, incorporating T&C/performance management, why use performance management and developing your T&C strategy.


What are the correlation between T&C and performance management? Healthy debate over what the 2 terms actually means - turns out they mean different things to different people!

Certification Regime concerned with 'causing serious harm' - Senior Manager function and prescribed responsibilities is being res for competence of everyone in the organisation so when look at T&C just look at those who've got to do 35 hrs CPD or do you look at whole lot?

Does it matter what you call it if you achieve what you need to achieve? But Philippa advocates an integrated approach to both - are they competent at what they do and Performance Management is around how they do it to achieve those results.

SMR is there to stop saying you're great because you bring in all the money at customer's detriment - you do it in the right way or you don't do it at all. Massive shift in the culture.

Also where they sit in the business? Where does T&C sit and where does PM sit (appraisals, HR, reward, talent etc).

If you separate performance and competence you could actually be rewarding destructive, irresponsible behaviour? The SMR is designed to limit this.

Line managers often have clients to manage too - so what gives? Will see changes in structure especially when regime rolls out to cover investment.

Will you have significantly lower numbers of SMFs to CIFs - regulator believes you will but...

Philippa's really making people think!


Last one up Serious about learning games Mike Hawkyard gives an update on Amuzo and Unicorn’s mission to bring Learning Games into the workplace. From top tips to sneak peaks, you’re very unlikely to forget this presentation. We cover how to use game design strategies to increase the effectiveness of your learning. So explain recent innovations in high score tables and monetisation etc, and apply them to learning tools.

We're talking to Gen Y and 82% of time spent on mobile devices is on App!

If you're going to make a game how you deliver it is more important that what you put in it and put in on a mobile device. People love to play!

Short, sweet but impactful from Mike as Mark Jones starts the round up of the day.

Thanks and goodies are handed to our awesome speakers.

"deliver fireworks" has got to be line of the day.

Winner of the The Abbreviation Game - 2 tickets for dinner at The Shard - has just thrown the tix open to auction for the Poppy Appeal! Awesome gesture! Just gone for £150! Fantastic end to what's been a brilliant day


Karenza Morton

Karenza Morton

Communications Officer

Karenza is a trained journalist who has worked with Unicorn on the editorial and communications side…

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