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Go Ape Case Study

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The background

Go Ape is the UK’s number one forest adventure - dedicated to living life a little more adventurously, having fun with friends and family and getting in touch with your inner Tarzan.

The classic and original Go Ape experience is a 2 – 3 hour Tree Top Adventure involving flying down zip-wires, leaping off a Tarzan Swing and tackling crossings whilst enjoying some of Britain’s most breath taking scenery.

There are 28 Go Ape adventures around the country but no two Tree Top Adventures are the same.

Some locations also offer other outdoor activities like Tree Top Junior courses for kids and Forest Segway Experience safaris.

The Grizedale Forest Go Ape is home to the very first Zip Trekking Adventure.

Go Ape has around 100 permanent members of staff and another 600 staff employed on a seasonal basis.

The challenge

As Go Ape expands and adds additional activities at many of its sites, it has created the new role of Deputy Manager.

The Deputy Manager works closely with the Site Manager to ensure targets are met and sites are run successfully. This may include any aspect of site operation including staff, equipment, facilities, health and safety, customer-care, administration and local marketing.

Many of these new positions are being filled by members of staff who have been promoted through the company.

Rob Davies, Area Manager for Go Ape, explained: “We saw an opportunity to up skill and support these members of staff in their new roles.

“Being geographically dispersed across a wide area creates some practical issues for traditional face to face training so we started to look for alternative solutions.”

The solution

"The People Manager's Toolkit was identified as an ideal way to help our Deputy Managers reach their full potential,” said Rob.

“We opted for the Advanced Level package to give access to a wide range of appropriate resources and City & Guilds accreditation means the learners have something of recognisable value at the end of their studying.

“At the same time our Site Managers will go through the courses so they are aware of the resources being accessed by their Deputy Managers."

The results

“It’s important that we achieve a high level of quality across all of our sites and online learning provides a consistent level of delivery,” explained Rob.

“We also purchased Virtual College’s Customer Care resources for the same reason.

“Given the seasonal nature of our operation, most training takes place in January and February outside the busiest period.”

Go Ape’s staff do their practical training face to face on site but Deputy Managers are given time to undertake their online learning at home as most of them are not regularly in the office.

Owing to the widespread UK penetration of PCs and broadband, this does not create any practical issues.

What next?

“Delivering PowerPoints face to face was time consuming and inefficient,” said Rob.

“E-learning helps to create a consistent quality of messaging and delivery and I am sure it’s use will grow in the future.”

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