Lately I have been getting quite a few enquiries from various organisations regarding training options. As they go through the process of preparing budgets for the next financial year, they are keen to explore their options. An option that I think many clients have found helpful in this process is the Esri Australia Learning and Services Credits Program – or “pre-paid” training if you like.
This program allows an organisation to purchase pre-paid credits in lots of 25, 50 or 100 and use them for a variety of training related activities throughout the year. Activities you can use the credits for include scheduled and client site courses as well as visits to your site from a Technical Specialist. Because Training Credits are offered in a special package, for many they provide better value than purchasing individual courses. Over the last 12 months quite a few clients that have been using credits are now re-purchasing as they have found them to be an efficient way to plan and budget for their training program.
Damian Woollcombe, from Environmental Resources Information Network, has leveraged the Learning and Services Credits Program to get better training value for his organisation. To shed some light on what it’s all about, we interviewed Damien to find out what he thinks of the credits and if he’d get them again.
What’s the value of Learning and Services Credits Program?
Learning and Service Credits allow the department and the broader portfolio the flexibility to easily access training across variety of delivery methods including in-house training, scheduled Esri Australia training courses, virtual campus and conferences. As the credits have been incorporated into our maintenance agreements with Esri Australia we are able to obtain up-front approval from our executive for GIS training.
What was the business case for the Credits in your organisation?
A fundamental component of our GIS capacity is our staff. To ensure that we maximise our investment in GIS technology we need to make sure they are adequately trained to effectively use the tools and data available to them.
What courses were undertaken as part of the program?
Since we have started using learning credits, across the portfolio we have held 11 in-house courses. These have covered ArcGIS Desktop (I, II and III), Python, Geoprocessing and ArcGIS Extensions. Staff have accessed similar courses through scheduled Esri Australia training but also attended courses in System Design, ArcGIS Server and ArcHydro.
How many staff were able to participate in courses?
The in-house training held has made up to 110 positions available for staff to attend and approximately 20 staff have taken advantage of learning credits to attend scheduled Esri Australia training courses.
How did it help with your planning and budgeting?
Learning and Service Credits provide us with a known initial training budget from which to plan and organise the training needs of staff within the department. It provides a base from which we can communicate our training commitment to staff and provides a known training budget to executive. It simplifies course charges, allows flexibility and provides some cost benefits.
Would you purchase Learning and Service Credits again in the future?
Considering how quickly the spatial industry is moving and the broader range of applications in which it is being applied; training and development is essential to the success of our GIS systems and infrastructure. We have found Learning Credits to be a useful mechanism to assist us in meeting this training need. We would consider further purchases of credits should they continue to deliver value for money, flexibility of use and lower administration costs.
If you are interested in learning more about this program please just give your account manager a call 🙂