Case Study University of York
Case Study

Case Study University of York

November 1, 2021

Learning Excellence by name and by nature

When it first opened its doors in 1963, the University of York had just 230 students and a handful of staff. It has since gone on to become one of the world’s leading universities with a reputation as an academic powerhouse.

The success of the University of York means its staff numbers have swelled. Today, it employs more than 4,000 staff ‒ a number that continues to grow. In order to invest in their ongoing education and development, the HR team needed to focus on critical safety and compliance training to keep staff, students and the public safe across the University estate.

It also needed a system that allowed them to monitor staff training and development continuously to ensure all staff was learning the correct procedures to comply with their roles. With every employee able to realise their potential, the University lives and breathes its mantra of learning excellence.

Why Cornerstone

Allan Aikman, Learning and Development Manager, University of York invoked the spirit of Machiavelli to describe the challenge of changing training systems. “There is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things,” he said.

For the University, Cornerstone demonstrated its understanding of the higher education sector. Participating in the G-Cloud framework and acting as a Strategic Leader in the latest Fosway Group 9-Grid for Learning Management Systems Report, all helped in the process.

Aikman said: “We needed to work with a provider that was both a safe pair of hands and an industry leader. Every one of our 4,000 staff contributes to the overall success of the University and we are very pleased Cornerstone helped ensure their excellence and in turn, the continuing excellence of our academic institution.”

The Results

Keep staff, students and the public safe. Cornerstone Learning supports the University of York’s reputation for learning excellence amongst its teaching and support staff whilst still maintaining its commercial edge. By using Cornerstone Learning, the University has provided access to ongoing development opportunities, safety and compliance training ‒ which keeps staff, students and the public safe across the University estate.

Increase efficiency through eLearning. Staff development and learning is becoming increasingly efficient and effective too. Allan Aikman has noticed an increased uptake of eLearning to master the theory, followed by offline training to put it into practice. The feedback from staff is that the entire learning process has been enhanced as a result.

Engage staff with an easy-to-use system. A key requirement for the University was to have a user-friendly system. An anonymous exit interview recommended changes to the University’s systems, but was unreservedly complimentary about Cornerstone Learning, saying: “HR’s new training system is a refreshing change, as it works beautifully. Well-designed, easy to use and does what it says on the tin.”

Decrease the admin burden. The Health & Safety team has also reported a significant decrease in the administration needed to ensure compliance with the systems. By using this software, the Health & Safety team now has a complete view of the staff’s compliance needs and can easily feedback and determine who needs training and when. The pressure and administration burden experienced under the previous system has been removed.

Accelerate progression and growth. The Human Resources team at the University of York can now identify and target specific training schemes in order to accelerate a person’s progression and career development. This visibility across 4,000 employees means the University’s world-class staff continues to grow as they help develop some of the leading minds of the next generation.