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College makes the grade with online administration system

first_img Previous Article Next Article Five years ago, Stroud College failed an Ofsted inspection, with the lack ofan HR system to monitor staff attendance cited as a key factor. In Septemberlast year, it was re-inspected, and the report highlighted personneladministration as one of the college’s strengths. The dramatic turnaround was masterminded by Nicky Wood, the newly-appointedpersonnel manager at the time, who knew the answer lay with implementing someform of HR software. “With 300 to 400 employees in the college and little or no informationon any of them, my role in HR was challenging to say the least,” sherecalls. “There were no processes in place, no standard terms andconditions, reporting information was non-existent, and recruitment was done byeach department, irrespective of headcount.” Wood was able to secure some of the recovery funding that the college hadbeen awarded to pay for her plans. Stroud College, which offers a range of academic and vocational courses andlearning programmes to meet the needs of local employers, chose HR softwaresupplier Computers in Personnel to install its new personnel and recruitmentadministration system. “They wanted a system to address an immediate need,” saysComputers in Personnel managing director, Chris Berry. The system ran on existing PCs and went live in 2000. The hardest part ofthe implementation, says Wood, was the data collection to populate the system.It was collected by her assistant, who had to work with every departmentmanager, key the information into the system, and then get it validated toensure accuracy, explains Wood. With the information held digitally, Wood took the opportunity to review andrenew HR practices and procedures, including terms and conditions, criminalrecord checks and teaching qualifications. The recruitment software allowed her to create a more structured and uniformapproach to authorising and advertising vacancies, and the college also beganto use the data more strategically. “On a monthly basis, we produce a selection of management reports,which are circulated to the board and senior management team,” explainsWood. “These cover a range of metrics that we need to monitor, such asheadcount, sickness absence, turnover, equal opportunities and vacancies. The managersin the college have now become reliant on the information we are able toprovide and are keen to have access to more.” The HR team’s ability to generate data and therefore benchmark its practiceswas one of the things that impressed the Ofsted inspectors during their lastvisit. “We’d worked for a number of educational establishments before and alsohad experience of generating the kind of returns needed to satisfy the variousfunding councils,” says Berry. After a lot of groundwork, the ease with which the college can extract dataon its people has made the system vital to Wood and her department’s operation.”It is an intrinsic and essential part of everything we do on aday-to-day basis, whether it is sending out a contract of employment, posting avacancy or reviewing a job description,” she says. “We make extensive use of the diary facility for key reminders, such asappraisal meetings and maternity entitlement, and rely on it to trigger theactivities we carry out on that day.” Comments are closed. College makes the grade with online administration systemOn 13 Jul 2004 in Personnel Today Related posts:No related photos.last_img read more