Money and Pensions Service (MaPS)
The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) has embraced digital learning to enable over 8,500 individuals to access quality, affordable money guidance training so that they can support people with financial issues, including some of the most vulnerable and in need. Half have been awarded a City & Guilds credential.
Meeting the demand for quality money guidance training is a challenge and is often overlooked compared to debt or financial advice. This leads to practitioners lacking the necessary skills to provide up-to-date and impartial guidance. The pandemic and the cost of living crisis have only intensified this need.
To address this, MaPS sought a partner to develop a comprehensive digital learning curriculum of 33 modules in collaboration with independent third-parties (City & Guilds and evaluators). The brief was to create clear, accessible, engaging and interactive learning that could be accessed anywhere by individuals in different organizations.
Additionally, MaPS required a digital learning platform to host the learning on and the development of assessments. The digital learning is a central pillar of their blended strategy, which includes a network community and resources for managers.
MaPS partnered with Learning Pool to develop a Learning Hub housed on Learning Pool Platform and up to 20 hours of custom online learning across four skill levels, including the City & Guilds assured Foundation course. The 33 modules were developed using Learning Pool Authoring.
Learners begin with Foundation content encouraging reflection on the nature of money guidance and legislation. Tiers 1, 2 and 3 focus on specific technical subjects like pensions and borrowing, offering deeper knowledge and skills development. Learners are free to choose their own learning journey.
The Money Guidance Foundation Course is assured by City & Guilds, with a digital badge for completion; similar assurance for Tier 1 is in progress.
The Learning Pool Approach
Conducting workshops with MaPS, Learning Pool’s Learning Design team identified the unique requirements of each tier, determining the necessary learning interventions, such as scenario-based learning for higher tiers. This resulted in a learning design framework that guided subject matter experts in efficiently gathering initial content and helped allocate the budget appropriately.
Learning Pool also interviewed practitioners and stakeholders to gain insights into the audience’s needs and contextual factors, incorporating their realistic scenarios. Collaboration with City & Guilds in workshops ensured adherence to robust quality standards for both content and assessments.
To ensure clarity, accessibility and engagement, the custom learning modules were designed using a direct, quality approach to avoid distracting themes. Leveraging Learning Pool Authoring, the team developed fully responsive modules including interactive activities and media.
Careful consideration was given to the appropriate learning design for each level. In the Foundation level, the focus is on engaging learners and building their confidence. Video content showcasing practitioners discussing their roles and the nature of money guidance is effectively used, alongside a reflective learning approach encouraging individuals to contextualize and apply the learning points within their own work.
For the Tier 1 technical modules, ‘explainer animations’ are employed to highlight key concepts, supplemented by audio clips showcasing best practice conversations. Tier 2 and Tier 3 modules place greater emphasis on realistic scenarios, including the use of online tools and calculators that learners use to help their customers.
A Considered Implementation
A phased delivery approach was adopted due to the large volume of content and importantly the need to pilot the training and continually assess its effectiveness (as part of a wider evaluation of the entire blended program offered by MaPS).
The initial set of Foundation modules were developed as part of a program pilot and in-depth evaluation that ran from March – September 2021 and was run by an independent evaluator. This pilot was released to 101 partner organizations reaching 1,672 practitioners across the UK.
From that, MaPS decided to take a ‘test and learn’ approach with additional, ongoing evaluations planned.
101 pilot organizations
Learning Pool understood we were doing this for the first time, and that there was a lot riding on it. Without their patience in those early stages, we wouldn’t have been able to create such a large body of content that provides progression through a skills framework.Fiona EllisSector Skills Strategic Learning Lead
From a starting point of having no existing training content or prior experience with digital learning, MaPS has achieved an extraordinary amount. In partnership with Learning Pool, they’ve delivered a unique learning opportunity for frontline workers delivering vital services:
- Creating, from scratch, an entire digital learning curriculum of up to 20 hours across four technical levels.
- Providing access to this quality, affordable training to over 8,500 practitioners from over 200 organizations via a digital learning hub and providing reward and recognition through City & Guilds digital credentials.
- Delivering high production values that raise the status and profile of money guidance training.
- Enabling practitioners to access elearning flexibly without taking them away from the frontline.
20 hours of learning
The impact of the program is clear:
- 8 out of 10 users said they would recommend the training to others in a similar role.
- 2 out of 3 practitioners agreed they were able to apply what they’d learned to their work.
- Fantastic feedback from learners about user-experience and from managers about integrating the training into their existing in-house programs.
- Learners indicated an appetite to progress through higher technical modules (tiers 2 and 3).
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