Delivering Compliance-Related Assessments to a Global Workforce
Computacenter is one of Europe's leading independent providers of IT infrastructure services, advising organisations on IT strategy, implementing technology and managing customers’ infrastructures. With around 13,000 employees spread globally, the organisation maintains Infrastructure Operations Centers and Group Service Desks across Europe, South Africa and Asia.
Employee training has been a longtime priority at Computacenter, driving the company to implement Questionmark in early 2005 for post-training tests and course-evaluation surveys. The increased need for compliance-related assessments in recent years called for the expansion of the organisation’s assessment programme.
At the start of 2012, Computacenter switched to Questionmark OnDemand software-as-a-service as a way for the company to grow its use of assessments while reducing its reliance on internal resources. Users of this service don’t need to worry about software upgrades and other technicalities, since these are Questionmark’s responsibility.
“Moving to OnDemand has enabled us to purchase assessments as needed", comments John Elliott, online learning resource manager at Computacenter. “Also, we no longer have to purchase or maintain servers, freeing up resources for our IT department”.
Today, Computacenter continues to run training-related quizzes and tests, but the vast majority of assessments relate to compliance—checking employees’ knowledge of standard operating procedures and ensuring that all employees understand security requirements.
“These assessments enable us to keep an audit trail, and they play a key role in maintaining a high standard of service for our customers”, Elliott explains.
Computacenter has a centralised authoring pool for developing all of its assessments. A project manager scopes the questions and outcomes of each assessment with the relevant subject matter experts (SMEs), who then write items that meet those requirements. Most questions are multiple choice, but the company also uses fill-in-the-blank and matrix question types for some tests. The Questionmark specialist at Computacenter then inputs the questions, assembles item banks from which questions are randomly drawn to create assessments,
Scheduling is generally carried out by local administrators. After employees complete their training, they are sent login details to take an assessment. They log in to the Computacenter delivery portal and take any assessments scheduled. Pass marks are set in the assessment, with users having three attempts to pass. If they fail three times, the area responsible for the delivery of the training is engaged.
Computacenter uses Questionmark’s standard reports as part of its ongoing improvement process. The Coaching Reports and Gap Analysis Reports indicate how participants are performing and provide direction for future training. Item Analysis Reports provide high-level views of each item’s performance as well as detailed performance data that helps identify problematic questions. Such reports can even hint at potential issues with the training that led up to the assessment. The Transcript Report is used to track an employee’s record over several assessments. Using these various measurement reports enables test developers at Computacenter to continuously improve the company’s training and development programme.
Switching to cloud-based assessment management has given Computacenter more flexibility, with Questionmark OnDemand being quickly able to meet increased assessment delivery needs as and when needed. The company no longer requires internal IT resources for maintaining servers and upgrading software. Automatic monthly software updates include additional features and functionality, fixes and improvements, leaving Computacenter staff free to concentrate on learning and assessment. “Upgrading to Questionmark OnDemand has been a positive experience for us,” says Elliott. “For the most part, OnDemand runs itself, so our assessment process is a lot simpler now.”