Last updated: 17.12.15

Online learning scores at Trust’s POD Awards

The POD Awards (Positively Different Staff Awards) are held annually by South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust. The Trust’s Learning and Leadership Development team, working with Virtual College, won the coveted ‘Chris Holley’ award for innovation.

Staff from South Staffordshire & Shropshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and Virtual College celebrate winning the award. 

Over 300 guests attended this year’s awards ceremony which acknowledges staff who provide an outstanding contribution to mental health, learning disability and children’s services nationally, regionally and to local communities.

The Trust’s Learning and Leadership Development team won the coveted ‘Chris Holley’ award for innovation which recognises creativity and new ideas to deliver improved services or to reduce inefficiency.

Working with online training specialist, Virtual College, the Trust has embraced the use of technology to deliver mandatory training to 3300 existing staff and induction training for new starters.

Their innovative approach has made it easier for them to reach the Trust’s geographically remote services and released time for its subject matter experts to focus on improving quality rather than delivering mandatory training.

Theresa Shaw, Head of Learning and Leadership Development at the Trust, explained some of the benefits:” “Before the Virtual College project, we ran 193 face-to-face sessions in a year which we haven’t needed to run this year.

“This has released 559 hours for our trainers, allowing them to provide more specialist support and concentrate on the quality of higher level training.”

“Our clinicians have also benefited with the average clinical staff member spending just 4 hours to complete all of their core mandatory refresher learning.”

“This has resulted in the trust benefitting from around 3087 hours in time savings so far! And the estimated time saved over a three year period for a typical mental health nurse to complete the required core mandatory training having started as a new employee is circa 15 hours… that’s two days of time saved for each new nurse we employ!”

Virtual College attended the awards ceremony to lend their support to the Trust’s Learning and Leadership Development team.

Judith Clarkson, Divisional Director at Virtual College, commented: ”It was fantastic to see the team receive this prestigious award. They have embraced online learning enthusiastically and are realising the benefits for the Trust and the people for whom they provide services.”

About Virtual College

Virtual College won the prestigious ‘E-learning development company of the year 2015’ in the independently-judged global awards. Virtual College has developed into one of the UK's leading providers of total solutions within the e-learning arena. Its key objective is to help enhance the traditional learning solution through the careful integration of technology.

Founded in 1995, today Virtual College has over 1.75 million registered online learners and this is growing at a rate of over 1,500 a day, across both public and private sectors. The company has developed a comprehensive product range, including over 300 online courses, accessed via the company's own Learning Management System, as well as offering a complete content design and development service. 

Further information is available at