Shared services –                      Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 1    2/16/12 5:17 PM
Contents                        03     West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges                               Led by Calderda...
West Yorkshire                Consortium of                Colleges                The Partners4548_AoC_Case studies_Phase...
Areas of Focus       There is a strong                         The project took as its starting point a review of the     ...
Objective                                      • Develop a business case that outlines the                                ...
A project officer has been recruited to                           the project to assist in the developing                 ...
Savings                                           Enablers                           The partners project that the from la...
Critical Factors                            Factor             Barrier                                      Solution      ...
Developing Soft                Federation Services                The Partners                This project is led by Eppin...
Areas of Focus     [the project aims] to                        The project is a feasibility study focused on exploring   ...
Objectives                                          Communication                           The project sought to identify...
Shared Services Model                           Outcomes and the Future                           There is no one definite...
Enablers                                      commitment by the                           Key factors in the project’s dev...
Critical Factors                            Factor        Barrier                Solution                                 ...
College Qualification                Project                The Partners4548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 15   2/16/12 ...
Areas of Focus     collaborating                                                 The project aimed to develop new qualific...
(OCR) are…                                   Activities                               assessment experts and              ...
product design. Whilst this partnership        Savings                           was originally developed outside of      ...
Outcomes and the Future                        Enablers                           As noted above, the position of each    ...
Critical Factors                            Factor          Barrier                                        Solution       ...
Efficiency in                Recruitment in Colleges                (ERIC) National                The Partners           ...
Areas of Focus     a focused project                          This project is focused on developing shared software       ...
Vision                                          Activities                           The project’s vision can be summarise...
Savings                                            Outcomes and the Future                           The ERIC National Fea...
there is interest in the                   funding has been                               approach from beyond            ...
Critical Factors                            Factor          Barrier         Solution                                      ...
BUSYNESS – Building a                South Yorkshire Network                to Enable Shared Services                The P...
Areas of Focus     [the project] represents                   This project is focused on ICT to support business          ...
Vision                                            • improved disaster recovery and business                               ...
Initial                                          Information                        exploration                           ...
The project builds on                      there is a history                               existing collaborative        ...
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
Case Studies Phase 2
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Case Studies Phase 2

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  1. 1. Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 1 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  2. 2. Contents 03 West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges Led by Calderdale College 09 Developing Soft Federation Services Led by Epping Forest College 15 College Qualification Project Led by North Herts College 21 Efficiency in Recruitment in Colleges (ERIC) National Led by Plumpton College 27 BUSYNESS – Building a South Yorkshire Network to Enable Shared Services Led by Rotherham College 33 Federation of Essex Colleges (FEDEC) Shared Services Led by South Essex College 39 Shire Shared Services Led by Worcester College of Technology 45 Wessex Colleges Federation Led by Yeovil College4548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 2 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  3. 3. West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges The Partners4548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 3 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  4. 4. Areas of Focus There is a strong The project took as its starting point a review of the activities of West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges (belief) that this will (WYCC), with a view to identifying collaborative ways forward. This led to the development of two focus areas, create… efficiency in arising from an initial scoping exercise undertaken by the Leeds region external consultants. These are: • Joint exam procurement; and • The development of a strategic working relationship with Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP). Rationale WYCC was established 10 years ago as a sub-regional network of Colleges. This partnership has been retained, and its focus has developed to working collectively with partners to improve the skills and training offer in the Leeds City Region in order to drive up the economy of the region. The project has been used to develop models and agreements which build upon the good practice and shared working developed through WYCC in order to respond efficiently and effectively to the needs of the City Region. Need to bring employers and providers together Vision Specifically, the project aimed to identify: • Quick wins – through which the advantages of shared service activities could be demonstrated; and • Strategic interventions – through which WYCC can work with regional partners in delivering effective services to learners and employers within its locality. These collaborations aim to support WYCC members in meeting current and future demands in terms of skill need across the Leeds City Region and offer opportunities for more cost-effective working. 4 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 4 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  5. 5. Objective • Develop a business case that outlines the commercial rationale, collaborative model This project assists the Colleges in West merits and high level plan to implement Yorkshire to further develop their existing the next stages of the preferred partnership and explore models of collaborative option(s). formalisation of good practice to secure efficiencies and service improvements for This process led to the identification of the Colleges and the Leeds City Region LEP. two activity areas which were carried From the point of view of LEP forward to Phase 2: collaboration, it aims to develop practical 1. A strategic, medium/long term approach, and relevant solutions to improve the offer looking at the framework to intervene and delivery of skills through framework in a number of areas, developing the development. These options will then be existing WYCC structure to engage with developed into delivery models which the emerging LEP network, with the aim will scope the structure of the organisation needed for delivery, examine the financial of developing larger scale interventions. implications and determine the legal and 2. Focusing on short term benefits on areas governance issues. of commonality, starting with exam The exam procurement strand builds procurement. on work that has been undertaken by Phase 2 the AoC Finance Directors’ network, which includes participation by WYCC LEP engagement: This has now become member Colleges. the primary focus for the project. All WYCC member Colleges have signed a Activities Partnership Agreement with the LEP’s Employment and Skills Board (ESB), The project included two phases: as part of the Leeds City Region Skills Phase 1 Network, with WYCC’s chair sitting on the ESB. Phase 1 was contracted to external consultants, who were asked to: The objectives of the agreement are to: • Confirm the scope and outline of the • drive up skills and employment levels WYCC ambition for future potential in Leeds City Region particularly in collaborations; those sectors critical to the growth of the economy; • Test the feasibility of potential collaborations against a number of factors • increase employer and individuals’ including: governance, finance, corporate engagement and investment in skills; structure, competitive advantage and • support individuals to gain sustainable market penetration/growth, legal employment by improving employability, implications, costs and benefits; basic skills (especially maths, English and • Confirm the range and nature of possible ESOL) and enterprising attitudes; and options for WYCC collaborations, both • strengthen joint working between now and for the future; employers, the LEP/ESB, skills • Test the possible options and engage networks, Colleges and other skills WYCC and Colleges to confirm the providers to improve the effectiveness preferred option(s); and of skills investment. Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 54548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 5 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  6. 6. A project officer has been recruited to the project to assist in the developing great example of joint sustainable working relationships working that I hope between the partner Colleges as well as supporting emerging developments with other LEPS will follow the LEP. Activities have included building relationships with employers, running events to promote opportunities in Geoff Russell, Chief Executive of the growth areas, such as a “Green Jobs” Skills Funding Agency event and setting up sector focus groups. Exam procurement: Work has been undertaken on looking at joint awarding bodies’ aggregation and price/service negotiation, linked with national work I am pleased to being co-ordinated by AoC, and an Exam Officers’ group has now been established report that further for the City Region. education Colleges In addition, other areas of sharing are still being explored by members of the group are already playing including finance and human resources. a role with local enterprise partnerships Model WYCC have a pre-existing collaborative in the north-east model as a company limited by guarantee and elsewhere. In with each College Principal being a company director. There is a company Yorkshire, the Leeds secretary appointed by one of the city region held its first member Colleges and the accounts are audited by external auditors each year. skills conference with There is a member of staff who works for the West Yorkshire the consortium to manage and oversee its affairs, the Consortium Manager Consortium of Colleges reports directly to the WYCC board. The formation of the Skills Network and it is now setting has attracted positive recognition and up its own skills publicity from a number of key figures. network The project is being used to examine whether the existing structure can be used more effectively in the interests Mark Prisk, Minister of State, of its member Colleges. Department for Business, Innovation and Skills 6 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 6 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  7. 7. Savings Enablers The partners project that the from late The following factors have been 2012, annual savings will be made in important in taking forward the project: the following areas, although detailed • The existing long-term relationship quantification is not available: between the Colleges as members • Marketing £50,000; of WYCC; • Procurement £70,000; and • Initial analysis by an external consultant • Efficiency gains in LEP £100,000. assisted WYCC members to focus on potential developments; • Having the resources to engage with Outcomes and the Future strategic partners at a regional level is The project has been used to position enabling the co-ordination of the further WYCC for future shared opportunities, education offer in an effective manner; and shared information and intelligence for • National level work on exam the City Region, capturing the economic procurement has underpinned the skills and related data and providing a local activities in this area of work. shared strategic perspective to inform joint planning and College-specific planning. Further work is being undertaken on collaboration with the LEP Employment and Skills Board to strengthen the offer …positive on employer engagement activity, through closer working arrangements relationships have with other skills providers and developed (between identifying good practice. ESB and Colleges) WYCC is also establishing self-sustaining Exam Officers’ Network to help drive forward common approaches. WYCC was instrumental in establishing the Skills Network Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 74548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 7 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  8. 8. Critical Factors Factor Barrier Solution Importance Leadership & Leadership Teams need to own this agenda Need to spend time with Principals Medium Governance for it to have impact and leadership teams to get buy in Establishing a common understanding An incremental approach and time High of the aims and benefits and resources are needed Culture & Managing expectations over the potential Feeding in information on what has Medium Climate for efficiency gains and savings worked elsewhere, including use of case studies and practical examples Process The complexities of examination Need to find out about what others High procurement, as there are important issues are doing, and what had been of value for money and where resources achieved. Activities need to be are expended integrated with national work and other local and regional networks Summary The project has assisted a pre-existing partnership of Colleges to focus on All being done with key collaborative areas. The resources available have made a significant impact minimal central on the extent to which the Colleges resources collectively engage with strategic economic developments in the City Region for mutual benefit. At another level, the project has also illustrated the difficulties of addressing shared service development (in this case over exam procurement) with a large Need a co-ordinated number of partners in a complex area. approach at all times In this case, it is clear that not all wins are quick. 8 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 8 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  9. 9. Developing Soft Federation Services The Partners This project is led by Epping Forest College with all partners involved in the project having a significant history of collaboration through ACER (the Association of Colleges in the Eastern Region). The responsibility for managing and facilitating this project was given to ACER who has considerable experience of facilitating collaboration among Colleges through a range of activities, including procurement. Partner Colleges involved in the project are of a relatively similar size and are geographically spread across the Eastern region. Therefore key meetings were held at different Colleges within the group on a monthly basis.4548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 9 2/16/12 5:17 PM
  10. 10. Areas of Focus [the project aims] to The project is a feasibility study focused on exploring the potential for developing shared service models demonstrate that this within the following areas: [efficiency savings • Human Resources (HR); • Procurement; through sharing] • Finance; should be achievable • Payroll and recruitment; without jeopardising • Timetabling; individual • Health & Safety; and organisational • Sharing expertise. independence Rationale In the current climate Colleges involved in the partnership were keen to build on collaborative activity undertaken in the Eastern Region and explore opportunities for generating efficiency savings and drive service improvement through sharing. Therefore the project is essentially part of the evolution of collaborative activity among Colleges. ACER are focused on driving improvement and efficiency among its members and this project provided the group with the opportunity to undertake a feasibility study to explore the potential for sharing a wide range of service areas in order to reduce costs and improve service delivery, thereby enhancing the resilience of partners. [the project] builds on a successful history of collaboration within the Eastern Region Vision Project documentation outlines the following vision: “That the project can achieve efficiency savings beyond the scope of the individual Colleges participating. We hope to demonstrate that the benefits transform services through a higher quality customer experience from these functions... that this should be achievable without jeopardising individual organisational independence but also to provide a platform for future partnership models that can be adopted elsewhere in the sector”. 10 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 10 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  11. 11. Objectives Communication The project sought to identify the feasibility of Colleges in the project group of the project needs sharing the various service areas outlined to be disseminated above in order to achieve the following objectives: effectively, so that • Achieving financial efficiencies not staff are aware of the possible as individual Colleges; project and the possible • Retaining organisational independence, regardless of the chosen business model; benefits • Providing organisational resilience; • Implementation and activity planning • Delivering improved systems; – a series of workshops and meetings • Freeing up time for the participating to explore the ideas generated further, Colleges to focus on teaching and including an assessment of potential learning outcomes; and collaborative models and share identified areas of good practice in service design, • Develop a shared business model across delivery and process. the six Colleges and to deliver a scalable model based on shared services for back Partners found the functions analysis office functions. and benchmarking and comparative analysis processes particularly beneficial as it enabled them to gain a real Activities understanding of where they are as an The project has incorporated the organisation, in terms of what they are following activities. doing well and where improvements could be made, as well as providing • Functions analysis – mapping, clear examples of good practice from analysis and benchmarking of current across the partnership. This has enabled responsibilities and processes involved in some partners to identify and act on each service function within each College. “quick wins” by making relatively This included analysis of staff resources, minor and inexpensive adjustments IT processes, costs and utilisation, thereby to their processes. enabling a transparent and accurate assessment of each service function across “the aims of this project was to share each College; business models...the toolkits are the • Comparative analysis – comparison of backbone of the models, they look at each College’s current approaches to each where a College is now and how service area; they can improve their services” • Identifying efficiencies – based on the findings of the earlier activities this involved collaborative activity to identify service areas with the greatest potential to generate efficiencies for partner Colleges through the adoption of best practice from other partners or the development of shared services; and Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 114548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 11 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  12. 12. Shared Services Model Outcomes and the Future There is no one definite business model As mentioned above partners are for taking forward shared services looking to take forward different sharing between partners. There is appetite to activities over the short, medium and take forward activity in some of the areas longer term. Examples of this range of scoped, with different partners interested activity, include: in taking forward different approaches in • partners are looking to share HR different service areas. Therefore the ways procedures with a view to ensuring all in which these are taken forward will are delivering these in accordance with differ and will be dependent on partners the most efficient and effective practice; having resources to do so. In some case this will simply involve a partner • one partner leading on developing a College adopting the best College model collaborative agreement on sharing identified from across the partnership. occupational health services; • pooled recruitment advertising budgets Savings have been agreed between a number Project documentation suggests that of partners; approximately £500,000 of potential • following the lead of one of the partners savings have been identified across the a College is planning to outsource its areas of focus for this project, over three procurement service; years to 2014. Examples of potential savings include an estimated saving of • a number of Colleges are looking to £240,000 over two years on the contract jointly procure legal services; value of recruitment advertising budgets • two Colleges are looking to share payroll through sharing between eight Colleges. services; and Other potential, but as yet unquantified, savings could be generated through • one College is re-tendering its outsourced the range of activity that may be taken absence management contract in March forward by partner Colleges. 2012 and has invited other Colleges to collaborate in this exercise. Partners estimate that project costs were recouped through savings generated by A key outcome from the project to date the end of 2011. has been the development of Shared Services Toolkits for HR, Finance and Procurement which are essentially “how the approach has to guides” which include generic analysis tools for College looking to review enabled a number of services in the context of developing quick wins through a shared service. Though the project focused on specific Colleges in the region knowledge and practice the decision was made to extend this to other Colleges in the region. To date exchange between three toolkits have been shared with 21 partners Colleges in the Eastern region and there are plans to share these more widely. 12 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 12 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  13. 13. Enablers commitment by the Key factors in the project’s development partners to meet the have been: expectations placed • Partnership dynamics – the Colleges involved in the project are of a similar upon them is crucial size and are geographically spread across the Eastern region. As a result issues relating to competition and fear of the motives of larger providers are not an roles and issue for this project; responsibilities need • Additionality of FE Efficiency to be clearly defined Innovation Fund – this has provided the project with the resources and capacity and assigned from the to enable partners to fully explore the outset feasibility of sharing a range of services, something they could not have done without this support; • History of collaboration – having worked together through ACER for a number of years there already was a culture of trust between partners and with ACER; • Existing independent collaborative infrastructure – the project benefitted from an established and trusted collaborative infrastructure with a track record in facilitating collaborative working across Colleges in the region. • Preliminary work to ensure buy-in – ACER undertook a considerable amount of work up-front to ensure that those participating in the project were committed to exploring the potential for shared services across a range of College functions, thereby minimising the likelihood of divergence over this in the future. Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 134548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 13 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  14. 14. Critical Factors Factor Barrier Solution Importance Culture & Differing priorities Each College has their own individual priorities in terms of High Climate service areas. As a consequence the project provided partners with the flexibility to opt-in or out of activity around different service areas Process Timescales and Process mapping and scoping the feasibility of shared service High time commitments options is a time consuming and complex process which requires considerable commitment from all partners. Fulfilling these time commitments can be challenging to partners. Consequently partners needed an independent dedicated resource to drive the project and a flexible approach. Planning delivery so that it avoids peak times of year or holiday periods is also important Staff reticence Some staff below senior level posses some reservations High over the shared services agenda. Raising awareness, staff engagement and communication are central to addressing this challenge Summary This project highlights the importance Colleges are of a of a history of collaboration and a lack of competition between partners. It similar size and also highlights the importance of an established “independent broker” to share a similar offer drive the project while encouraging open with learners. They debate and discussion. The processes involved have enabled partners to gain are geographically the intelligence that will enable them diverse with no direct to drive improvement and generate efficiencies in their operations. As a result competition which numerous plans for implementation are removes one of the being developed across various service areas and partner Colleges. barriers of shared Resources received through the service projects Innovation Fund have acted as a driver of the project, enabling partners to explore the feasibility of shared service solutions in a range of service areas, benchmark their approaches and also to develop and strengthen relationships between participants, resulting in a variety of different potential collaborative activity being taken forward. 14 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 14 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  15. 15. College Qualification Project The Partners4548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 15 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  16. 16. Areas of Focus collaborating The project aimed to develop new qualifications within the three pilot areas of: with College(s) • Security (North Hertfordshire); right through • Hospitality and Catering (Westminster Kingsway); and the qualifications • Product Design (Walsall). development and These are being developed by an awarding body, OCR, launch process in partnership with Colleges that are subject leaders within these sectors. There are seven stages to the qualification development process and this project specifically focuses on: concept; design; and development; leaving the establishment of any qualification to be developed commercially. The processes involved are summarised in the figure below: Concept Design Development Accreditation Launch Delivery Review EIF funded process Commercialisation/Implementation Rationale As a pilot, this project explores the opportunities presented by the Qualifications and Credits Framework (QCF) for the further education (FE) sector to work with awarding bodies to develop not just new qualifications and units but to use and improve existing ones. One of the objectives of the project is to explore this potential and note both the barriers and solutions to this development and inform future policy. The project also explores alternative models to either those FE Colleges considering becoming an awarding organisation or those who already are, in exploring partnership models with larger awarding organisations. 16 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 16 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  17. 17. (OCR) are… Activities assessment experts and The project is built on three strands, one of which (Walsall College) was the Colleges involved included in the project shortly after bid submission. The projects are: are the subject experts Security: North Hertfordshire is one of the founders of Bridging the Gap (BtG), an Olympics Legacy project that aims to Vision address the ongoing skills shortage in The project aims to develop and pilot an the security industry by guaranteeing innovative way of working to produce a an interview for paid security work at qualifications offer for vocational learning the Games to all participating full time involving the leading Colleges within students who are 18 years or older in each sector subject area in partnership July 2012. with a well established awarding body. The development of this strand was stopped, due to complications over Objective negotiations between BtG, OCR, and the Security Industry Authority (SIA). Major The project identified “partnership complicating factors have been the issues points” in the qualification development and challenges of operating within this process where the FE sector can sector, primarily regarding malpractice, contribute directly, with the aim of: and OCR subsequently concluded that • keeping costs down with resultant the risk associated in validating potential lower fees; centres was too great. • creating opportunities for re-investment Hospitality and Catering: It was in the sector by making payments to the originally intended that a full sector rather than other third parties; and qualification (10 units) was to be developed within this strand and a • developing better qualifications in the new learning programme, but this has spirit of “by the sector, for the sector ”. subsequently been limited to four units following discussions with the Sector Skills Council. The remaining units supported by the College for development are: • Sustainability at Levels 1 and 2; and • Procurement at Levels 1 and 2. These are expected to be developed in early 2012. Product Design: OCR have a history of previous involvement with Walsall College and its associated awarding organisation Accredited Skills for Industry (ASFI) through the collaborative development of a new qualification for Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 174548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 17 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  18. 18. product design. Whilst this partnership Savings was originally developed outside of The project focuses on income generation the College Qualifications Project, this as well as savings in the form of engaging was brought into the project due to the FE sector in the qualification its close alignment with its aims and development process and rewarding their objectives. This alignment is not just in efforts through direct payment or other terms of the collaborative development financial incentives. of a new qualification; but also the joint working between a relatively These benefits are expected to be realised small local FE awarding organisation later in the project. with a national awarding organisation leading to organisational synergy. This is seen as having the potential for a new partnership model with other FE sector awarding organisations with potential efficiency savings. (The project is) The new qualification has now been about ensuring… fully designed and accredited and is ready to use. qualifications are entirely fit for purpose Model There is no formal structure to the project. Individual agreements are developed as appropriate between the participating Colleges and OCR for development of the qualifications. 18 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 18 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  19. 19. Outcomes and the Future Enablers As noted above, the position of each The following factors have enabled of the strands at present are: project development: • Security: not developed due to OCR • Recent encouragement by the concerns over centre validation; Department of Business Innovation and Skills for Colleges to become awarding • Hospitality and Catering: it is envisaged bodies; that the four units will be accredited by Spring 2012; and • The shift from qualifications towards programmes of learning; • Product Design: full qualification now ready to use. This process has been • The recognised need for industry accelerated since development work had engagement in developing the QCF; already been undertaken, and Walsall • Restructuring of the role of Sector Skills College has its own awarding body. Councils (SSCs) who will have less of a Where there has been limited focus on qualifications development; development, participating Colleges have • The Colleges involved were recognised reported an insight into working with leaders within the sectors that were industry and accreditation bodies. targeted; and • The College that had an existing relationship with the awarding body, and we will do more work which had a small awarding body itself, is furthest ahead in implementation. with SIA after the Olympics we are creating new opportunities Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 194548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 19 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  20. 20. Critical Factors Factor Barrier Solution Importance Culture & The restructuring of SSC responsibilities The role of external bodies needs High Climate over the project period introduced to be understood and built into the delays, as they still had a significant role planning process in qualifications development over the initial period of the project Process Limited partner resource availability Decide very early on the resource Medium and consequent slippage requirements and plan more than one slot in advance Externalities Industry regulation (e.g. SIA) Need for clear understanding over High the nature of, and influences over, the industries that are targeted Summary The project sought to demonstrate ways in which Colleges can become more directly involved in the accreditation we’ve learned how to process – “by the sector for the sector”. mix and match QCF The project highlighted the complexities of the relationships and engagements between providers; accrediting bodies; and industry representation in achieving this. Replicability of the approach will therefore be contingent on the engagement of the relevant Colleges with specific industry expertise and collaboration with an existing accreditation body. 20 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 20 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  21. 21. Efficiency in Recruitment in Colleges (ERIC) National The Partners Led by Plumpton College and delivered by FE Sussex (the consortium of Sussex Colleges), this project builds on a substantial history of collaboration between the Sussex based Colleges.4548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 21 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  22. 22. Areas of Focus a focused project This project is focused on developing shared software that will enable participating Colleges to manage the with a single recruitment of part-time or temporary teaching and support staff in accordance with their requirements, objective thereby removing their reliance on recruitment agencies to carry out this function. Rationale Presently any Colleges using agencies to recruit temporary teaching staff are required to pay for a minimum of half a day of time, regardless of the length of teaching requirement, which may often be for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Furthermore the agency retention fee for a member of staff required to teach for 1 hour can account for 77% of the fee paid. Consequently removing partner Colleges’ reliance on agencies can generate significant savings for these organisations. The software developed through the project will also place the onus on potential temporary staff to drive their own calendar of availability which Colleges can then check against their needs, thereby reducing the administrative burden on partners. The direct sourcing of temporary staff by partner Colleges will also serve to ensure the quality of teaching as will require staff to comply with the Quality Assurance arrangements of any particular College, something which is not guaranteed through agency based recruitment. [ERIC] is about developing a more responsive and efficient system with reduced costs 22 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 22 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  23. 23. Vision Activities The project’s vision can be summarised as: The project has been designed as a 2 phase process involving the following stages before full implementation: using new technology 1. System scoping and design – establishing partners requirements; agreeing and to transform part- establishing system requirements, time recruitment content, parameters and processes; designing screen formats; and reviewing practice...providing and refining all of the above in sustained efficiency collaboration. savings and value for 2. System Pilot – piloting the system with four partner Colleges over 1 year to money improvement ensure that it is entirely fit for purpose by removing all fees before roll out across Sussex and the wider FE sector and beyond in the paid to agency staffing academic year 2012-2013. organisations. Shared Services Model Once established partners plan to roll The current proposed model is that out the system nationally by offering it of a not for profit company limited to Colleges from across the FE sector. by guarantee. Objectives Key project objectives can be summarised as: • Removing the use of expensive external specialist agencies to supply part-time staff; • Establish a responsive solution for the recruitment of part-time staff; • Reduced expenditure, administration time and procedures. Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 234548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 23 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  24. 24. Savings Outcomes and the Future The ERIC National Feasibility Report All partners are committed to the project outlines the following projected annual and intend to implement the system cost savings for the four pilot Colleges. following its piloting and refinement. ERIC has clear potential to drive College Annual post-project savings improvement while reducing costs and enabling the development of a pool of A £ 31,936 part-time staff ready for deployment B £ 49,871 within any locality or sub-region in which Colleges sign up to the service. C £ 12,500 Once finalised the system will be D £ 50,601 able to be rolled out nationally across the FE sector and possibly beyond, and Total savings £ 144,959 project leads are developing plans to drive this process. The baseline for calculating the projected savings is the additional cost of using recruitment agencies in the year 2010/11, compared to direct recruitment by the participating Colleges through the use of ERIC in 2012/13. Therefore if the [ERIC] is specifically shared service costs remain below this benchmark, they have the potential to geared to enable sector generate year on year savings. wide replication and It should be noted that the distribution implementation of projected savings differs significantly between partners depending on their use of temporary staff. 24 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 24 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  25. 25. there is interest in the funding has been approach from beyond crucial to the project... the [FE] sector enabled us to extend the scope of the project Enablers beyond the local Key factors in the project’s development have been: • The nature of the shared service being developed – is non-threatening to any partners or their staff and as such cultural and personal barriers have been the project has had considerably less of an issue than in other to deal with a lot shared service projects; • Strategic commitment and regular less issues than engagement of Principals and staff – this other shared service has ensured that the project has been focused, driven and remained on target; projects...challenges • Additionality of FE Efficiency have largely focused Innovation Fund – has provided on design practicalities additional resources and capacity to enable partners to build on their existing rather than other collaborative activity and take this project issues forward to drive efficiencies and roll out the project nationally; • History of collaboration – as a result of the long term relationship between partners there is a strong culture of trust and a degree of consensus in terms of the direction of travel for the institutions involved; • Existing collaborative infrastructure – the presence of FE Sussex provided an existing collaborative organisation with a track record of collectively working with and on behalf of partner Colleges. Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 254548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 25 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  26. 26. Critical Factors Factor Barrier Solution Importance Culture & Strategic Establish partner buy-in well in advance to enable cultural Medium/ Climate commitment embedding of cooperation and commitment to the project High Process Timescales Developing the system and ensuring that it is entirely fit for Medium purpose for all partners is a time intensive process. Sufficient time and feedback processes must be incorporated within the process Systems It is essential that a clear system specification is agreed before High specification commissioning software as post-design modifications are costly Intellectual Intellectual property ownership cannot be taken for granted and High property must be written into procurement documentation and contracts Externalities Legal Costs Considerable legal advice is required when developing any new Medium/ shared service or system. Where possible this advice should be High shared across the sector Summary An innovative project that clearly has the potential to be rolled out across the FE sector and beyond, thereby changing the practice and costs associated with recruiting temporary and part-time staff. This project illustrates the importance of both a history of collaboration and an all partners have existing collaborative infrastructure in identifying and driving shared service expressed their opportunities. This is a project that poses intention to implement no perceived threat to organisational independence or sovereignty and as [ERIC] fully such it has encountered less personal and cultural challenges and barriers to implementation. 26 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 26 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  27. 27. BUSYNESS – Building a South Yorkshire Network to Enable Shared Services The Partners Partners involved in this project have a common history with South Yorkshire Colleges having collaborated together for over 15 years. Through such collaboration partners share regional bandwidth through a common ICT network (the Yorkshire and Humber Metropolitan Area Network) which this project is seeking to utilise.4548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 27 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  28. 28. Areas of Focus [the project] represents This project is focused on ICT to support business continuity and disaster recovery. a cost saving for the BUSYNESS aims to develop the first Further Education sector and creates a led private cloud capable of delivering disaster recovery and business continuity services across collaborative approach a number of Colleges. which institutions Rationale both large and small The project builds and extends the scope of on an existing can benefit from project which had secured funding from the Learning and Skills Improvement Service to explore the potential for a consolidated disaster recovery service across South Yorkshire Colleges involved in this partnership. Overall the project seeks to ensure that partners have disaster recovery and back up services that are entirely fit for purpose and to reduce the financial investment required to develop and maintain these services through collaboration. By sharing cloud storage, licences and skills sets, maintenance and support it is anticipated that the approach will significantly reduce the costs for each member institution. Partners feel they are particularly well placed to develop the first approach of this kind within FE due to the prior existence of an existing shared infrastructure through the shared Metropolitan Area Network. The Network has been operational for over 10 years and network managers and each partner College have collaboratively developed its capabilities and resilience over this period. This is an emerging technology, which partners see as a crucial step which could ultimately facilitate greater sharing of services, should partners wish to proceed further with this agenda. The project will enable data to be expediently stored and available for retrieval anywhere within South Yorkshire 28 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 28 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  29. 29. Vision • improved disaster recovery and business continuity services for smaller Colleges; Partners identify the project vision as: • enabling data to be available for retrieval “Creating the first Further Education anywhere within South Yorkshire. private cloud delivering shared disaster recovery and business continuity services. Through building Activities knowledge and experience, there will Partners initially sought to build on be significant benefits for large and existing collaborative agreements and small Colleges having equality of previous discussions driven through access to disaster recovery services, joint working on the Metropolitan Area and will act as a unique exemplar to Network, by jointly exploring and other institutions in the collaborative identifying how software licences and use of cloud services. It will provide hardware can be jointly procured across a transferable footprint that AoC several organisations and the likely and partners can showcase to all barriers they would encounter. Following Colleges and educational institutions this process partners undertook a detailed beyond the life of the project... [it will] information gathering and process enable data to be expediently stored mapping exercise which identified and available for retrieval anywhere each College’s existing approaches to within South Yorkshire, crucially disaster recovery and business continuity. paving the way for future innovations Partners then mapped these approaches in location independent learning and against their requirements of the new shared education initiatives using system before holding initial discussions cloud computing”. with market leading suppliers in the field of cloud computing and disaster recovery services in order to facilitate honest Objectives open and transparent discussions on the Key project objectives, include: possibilities of developing the desired • the design and re-engineering service and the likely cost implications. of existing practices; Following these discussions partners undertook a procurement exercise to • the creation of transferable skill sets purchase the necessary hardware and at strategic and operational levels; this is now in place with connectivity • less overall power requirements across established between two Colleges. partners Colleges, contributing to Partners hope to begin piloting the sustainability targets; system in February and March 2012. This process is summarised in the • lower cost for disaster recovery diagram on the next page. and business continuity services will be reduced; Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 294548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 29 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  30. 30. Initial Information exploration Cost gathering Requirements Supplier Piloting the of issues benefit Procurement and process scoping discussions System and analysis mapping barriers Shared Services Model At present partners face a particular challenge in partitioning each instructions Partners have not yet finalised the shared data while simultaneously allowing services model having decided to focus on the full connectivity which is necessary. ensuring the system is fully functioning However, partners are aiming to have in practice before dealing with formally this issue resolved and the service fully clarifying issues of ownership. piloted and ready for full operational by the end of June 2012. At present another Savings of the partner Colleges already has the The project has already generated necessary infrastructure in place to join £5,000 of savings through the joint the service once it goes live, whereas purchasing of the necessary hardware. the remaining five partners would be required to purchase the necessary Partners hope to achieve 20% savings hardware. Partners also have ambitions on disaster recovery and business to roll out the service more widely continuity spend in year one following in the future. the full implementation of the service, with the ability to release additional savings in year two onwards by utilising the private cloud to provide additional services. Partners need to pilot the The project seeks system and undertake further cost analysis work before more detailed to resolve the cost savings can be developed. well recognised Outcomes and the Future institutional problem The initial system is in place between of disaster recovery two Colleges and the next step will be to and backup services prove it works in practice and to refine the system to ensure that it is entirely without increasing fit for purpose. To that end the project the required financial will continue to test the transfer of data between two institutions and the ability investment to restore data. 30 | Shared services – Case studies 20124548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 30 2/16/12 5:18 PM
  31. 31. The project builds on there is a history existing collaborative of collaboration in agreements and developing systems for identifies how shared the partnership procurement of licences and hardware across The project builds on multiple organisations existing collaborative can be addressed agreements and Enablers identifies how shared Key factors in the project’s development procurement of licences have been: and hardware across • History of collaboration – as a result multiple organisations of the long term relationship between partners there is a strong culture of trust can be addressed and a degree of consensus in terms of the direction of travel for the institutions involved. Partners also have specific partners trust each experience of working together around shared ICT solutions; other, that’s very • Existing collaborative infrastructure important – the presence of the Metropolitan Area Network means that partners have an existing shared infrastructure on which the project can build; • Evolution of the project – this project sought to build on a pre-existing direction of travel for collaboration between the partners involved. As a consequence partners had already taken those important first steps in their shared services journey before securing AoC funding. Shared services – Case studies 2012 | 314548_AoC_Case studies_Phase2_AW.indd 31 2/16/12 5:18 PM

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