27 Sept 2023 | Case Studies
HOW2 Platform Meets Diverse CPD Requirements of Royal Navy’s 1000-Strong Training Cadre
Find out how the HOW2 Platform is helping Team Fisher to transform trainer delivery in Navy training establishments by providing readily accessible, evidence-based, student-centric CPD to Navy trainers and personnel.
In 2020, Team Fisher – a Capita-led consortium including Raytheon UK, Elbit Systems UK, Fujitsu, and the University of Lincoln — was the winning bidder of a 12-year contract to transform and modernise shore-based training across the Royal Navy’s 16 sites.
The aim of the modernised training service was to provide the Navy with more qualified, motivated, and experienced personnel, equipping them with the skills and expertise to better prepare sailors for the challenges of the future.
With Capita’s expertise in transformation, learning, and the delivery of complex, technology-enabled defence projects at the helm, the consortium set out to combine a range of sophisticated technologies, processes, and training management systems to fulfil the contract, each focusing on its specific areas of expertise.
Enabling a developmental approach to teaching and learning
The need to make trainer delivery more flexible, adaptive, and student-centric was identified as a central requirement of the updated service – a need that was echoed by Ofsted in a report highlighting the Navy’s tendency towards a didactic approach to teaching and learning.
Simon Scott-Munden, Education and Training Team Lead at HMS Collingwood (the Navy’s largest training establishment) explains; “It will come as no surprise to many that the Navy has historically tended towards a didactic teaching model. It goes with the territory. One of the key reasons that the Team Fisher consortium was awarded the contract came down to its commitment to change the teaching and learning culture in place and to move towards a more developmental model.”
TeachingHOW2s was selected as one of three Continuing Professional Development (CPD) partners to help Team Fisher deal with the unique set of challenges associated with transforming trainer delivery across 14 of the Navy’s training establishments.
High-quality pedagogical support at scale, at the touch of a button
With its ability to reach large numbers of educators regardless of their location, and deliver readily accessible, evidence-based student-centric learning, the HOW2 Platform was ideally placed to improve the quality of trainer delivery across the Navy’s 1000-strong education cadre.
Part of the Navy’s Education Training Organisation (ETO), Scott-Munden said; “Every ship is like a small town. From supply chain logisticians, weapons engineers, and plumbers to intelligence personnel, warfare experts, and navigators, there’s a huge training effort required to ensure that all personnel are ready to get the frontline quickly.”
According to Scott-Munden, before the implementation of the HOW2 Platform, providing CPD to such a large and diverse group of trainers spread across widely dispersed locations had its challenges. He said; “Before using the platform, we spent a lot of time creating materials for CPD events, but it wasn’t unusual to have as little as six people turning up. Now I can push evidence-based teaching techniques out to the Navy’s entire body of trainers in seconds, knowing that everyone is getting the same high-quality support.”
Shifting the focus to the learning taking place
Another key reason behind Team Fisher’s decision to implement the HOW2 Platform came down to its ability to show educators precisely how to improve their practice following observations.
Capita’s Ben Houlihan, Deputy Director for Learning Design and Development explains; “We identified early on that the observation process was the area that offered the biggest opportunity to impact the culture of teaching and learning across the Navy, presenting by far the best way to affect the lived experience of what goes on in the classroom. But what makes observations powerful is when they are part of a developmental process. With the HOW2 Platform, we can go way beyond identifying areas for improvement and give trainers the how.
Once we identify areas for focus, we link those areas to specific HOW2 techniques on the Platform and use them as part of the coaching process. We move the focus away from judgment towards the learning taking place.”
Reaching the 10,000 mark
The HOW2 app’s core skills exchange which gives managers the ability to see how educators are engaging with teaching and learning development shows clear signs of the platform’s popularity across the Team Fisher training cohort. According to Scott-Munden; “Over 1000 educators are now using the platform with over 10,000 strategies viewed in just ten months.”
The HOW2 app’s community notice feature, a tool designed to encourage the sharing of successes across user institutions, has also proved highly popular with trainers. Scott-Munden said; “Every Friday I share a HOW2 of the week which consistently prompts between 4 – 500 views that same day.”
With its unique set of tools to encourage practitioners to drive their own learning and work collaboratively to strengthen their practice, the HOW2 Platform has proven highly effective in providing support to military personnel during what the Navy refers to as ‘individual harmony’ periods.
In simple terms, ‘individual harmony’ refers to a crucial aspect of military life. It grants those serving in teaching roles the opportunity to return from frontline duty and enjoy quality leisure and family time at their place of residence or duty station. It includes leave, adventurous training, and the chance to engage in activities that are often taken for granted.
Scott-Munden explains; “Being able to dip in and out of the platform whenever is convenient for our trainers works beautifully. Plus, the information on the platform is bite-sized which means not having to sit around for hours reading about the theory of teaching. It’s bite-sized information that has a huge impact.”
Turning Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) into Teaching Experts
Another unique challenge facing Team Fisher stemmed from the fact that a large proportion of military trainers are SMEs returning from frontline operations or warships, so despite being experts in their respective fields, they are new to teaching.
According to Scott-Munden, the HOW2 Platform’s 160+ visually depicted teaching techniques that lend themselves easily to instant transfer to the classroom or workshop, have been hugely successful in empowering SMEs to grow and develop as expert, adaptive dual professionals and deliver successful student outcomes from the outset.
Embedding the HOW2 Platform into core training modules
The HOW2 Platform has been firmly embedded as part of the Navy’s level three qualification in education and training, a course that all defence trainers are required to successfully complete before entering the classroom.
Rebecca Wallar-Brown, Senior Defence Trainer at HMS Collingwood (Team Fisher) said; “I think the platform is fantastic. I’ve used a lot of digital platforms before but the HOW2s are so quick and easy to use. I’ve been using them as part of my course delivery and had some great feedback from trainers. They love the Barriers to Learning Questionnaire which helps them to pinpoint the problems they are facing and find the solution that will help them solve those problems.”
One of the key aspirations of the HOW2 Platform that appealed to experienced trainers at Team Fisher, was its ability to encourage educators not only to drive their own learning but to share their expertise and learn with and from each other.
Using the app’s core skills exchange and notes features, the platform allows users to capture their learning and share this with colleagues from across the Navy’s entire network of teaching institutions.
Houlihan said: “There’s a reason that the Navy has allowed 12 years for this project to come to fruition. Changing the culture of an entire organisation takes time. But the culture is already starting to move, and behaviours are already changing. Collaboration is starting to happen outside of the core developmental process. We’re really excited about working with TeachingHOW2s and look forward to watching the collaborative future unfold across the Team Fisher training cadre.”