Esri Australia’s Learning and Services Credits Program offers organisations a flexible way to access to the company’s industry-leading GIS training courses and technical advisory services. The Australian Bureau of Statistics is one organisation to take advantage of the program. We asked their Spatial Data Manager Kate Waghorn, how the ABS uses Learning and Services Credits to assist with staff training.
Esri Australia: Hi Kate, thanks for speaking to us. Approximately how long has the ABS been using Learning and Services Credits (L&SC) for?
Kate: We have been using L&SC since April 2012.
EA: Do you predominately use the credits for training, or a mix of training and services? Why?
K: The credits have been used predominantly on scheduled courses, although we have also arranged for an in-house knowledge transfer with an Esri Australia trainer for a specific requirement, and have used the credits to undertake a Health Check to assist us with forward planning during our implementation.
EA: What are the main benefits for the ABS in using this program, compared to paying for one-off courses when needed?
K: It does make administration easier and simpler. Knowing the credits are available has made the decision of whether to send staff on training easier.
EA: How many staff within your team have utilised the credits?
K: We have sent staff from our Canberra Central Office and in a few of our regional offices. Some staff just require an understanding of the basic functionality of the program, whilst others are taking their learning further to understand more specialist subject matter, such as Python programming and the server courses.
EA: Do you find L&SC good value for money? If yes, why?
K: Yes. Because we have undertaken a number of ABS only courses, it has worked out cheaper than sending the same number of people on a scheduled course.
EA: Does the ABS have a formalised professional development program? If so, how does LS&C fit in with the program?
K: Because the ABS is not specifically a “spatial” organisation, our professional development program is more geared to the requirements of the agency – therefore a more statistical framework. Consequently L&SC runs parallel and is separate to the in-house training.
EA: Will you continue to purchase credits? If yes, why?
K: The bulk of our credits have been used to get staff up and running with Esri. Whilst there will always be some requirements to send staff on training courses, we envisage using our L&SC more on consultancy for the immediate future. We will assess our requirement for purchasing further credits at a later date.
EA: Do you have any other comments about the program?
K: As a convenient method of getting staff into training courses, it’s been very useful.
EA: Thanks very much Kate!