Making a Training Database the Easy Way by Tom Benjamin - CRD


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“Making a Training Database the Easy Way” - Tom Benjamin,
SharePoint Systems Officer at Capital Regional District (CRD),
Victoria, BC, Canada


“Making a Training Database the Easy Way”

The “training database” started its life as an Excel spreadsheet. We wanted to improve on it because there’s only so much you can do in Excel. On the wish list were a training course calendar, self-service registration, email reminders, and the ability to view “my” training records. That’s was pretty easy really: three lists and a workflow or two. And we could throw in an import of the spreadsheet to create the historical data, statistics on the amount of training that was being delivered, a course sign-in sheet, course/trainer feedback, and a manager’s view. And it could all be done within HR's $5,000 budget. It’s surprising what you can do without needing a “real” database or custom programming.

So far the training courses and records that have been included are all part of free corporate training provided by the HR department and rely on staff signing up if they are interested. Now we want to enhance this system to handle mandatory training, where we as an employer must be able to prove that staff were offered and took training that is required for the job – confined space entry, first aid, that kind of thing. And that sort of training is more controlled: administrators and managers need to plan training for their staff up to a year in advance, and to schedule classes and book staff on the training themselves. With SharePoint the answer is quite simple: add another list or two and write some more workflow.

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Making a Training Database the Easy Way by Tom Benjamin - CRD

  1. 1. Making a Training Database the Easy Way
  2. 2. 1. Create a calendar of scheduled classes 2. Make it easy for students to register 3. Send reminders to students 4. Collect course feedback 5. Keep a record of registrations 6. Make those records available to students Basic Requirements
  3. 3. Easy! • SharePoint calendar list • custom content type based on “event” • custom display form with “Register Me” button • modal display (popup) of “Confirm Registration” which creates new item in “Registrations” list • tools: UI and SharePoint Designer Calendar of Scheduled Classes
  4. 4. Student Registration Workflow • does the heavy lifting • copies details of course and instructor from calendar to registrations list • maintains seat count • looks up student’s manager • sends confirmation email to student (includes link to .ics event) List of Registrations (Upcoming)
  5. 5. • pauses until 10 days before class, sends first email reminder • pauses until 24 hours before class, sends second email reminder • pauses until class ends, sends link for feedback • moves (copies then deletes) item to past registrations list Attendee Registration Workflow
  6. 6. • Calendar • Upcoming Registrations • Past Registrations • Attendee Registration • Instructor Reminder Three Lists & Two Workflows Calendar Upcoming Registrations Past Registrations Instructor Reminder Attendee Registration
  7. 7. Provides calendar and list views. Easy to see: • scheduled classes • classes you are teaching Training Calendar
  8. 8. Provides list views that HR can group and filter Upcoming Registrations
  9. 9. Has custom class sign-in sheet (list filter and dataview web parts) Upcoming Registrations
  10. 10. Provides Training History for Me Past Registrations
  11. 11. And for My Manager Past Registrations
  12. 12. And Statistics for HR Past Registrations
  13. 13. Allow staff who manage required training (WCB, safety etc.) • to schedule classes and enroll students • to see what training must be renewed in the coming year • to confirm students actually attended classes and completed them Thinking Ahead
  14. 14. How Will We Do That? • another list of staff who must attend required training courses • populated by a workflow running on past registrations using a training expiry date • and by manual entry of new staff or previously untrained staff Thinking Ahead
  15. 15. Thinking Ahead Calendar Upcoming Registrations Past Registrations Required Training Proof of Training
  16. 16. Training managers will be able to: • see and approve upcoming training • schedule new classes • enroll students (select and register) • print sign-in sheets • confirm attendance before records are moved to past registrations Thinking Ahead