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Learner's Corner Blog

Townsville's Learning Management System

Townsville, Australia, the largest urban center north of the Sunshine Coast, is a major government, community and business hub. Townsville’s City Council (TCC) operates in a highly regulated environment and each of their 1,600 staff members are required to complete annually mandated training courses. To increase the challenge of maintaining this training, each employee also has unique learning requirements that must be met, and the skills span ranges from veterinarians to botanists, engineers to gardeners, and accountants to lawyers.

The Problem

Townsville had been managing training through multiple vendors and an older HR database system. They manually uploaded learner and training data between the data warehouse and the content platform. This resulted in errors, problems with data integrity, and excessive lag time. In some cases, they were also paying per-use for their training content, which meant unsustainably high fees. This resulted in not renewing the content platform contract once it expired – leaving a gap for training process, function, and system.

Without an e-learning system to keep up with legislative mandates, they began offering face-to-face training. This added even more manual steps, including; handwritten attendance forms, the printing of and manually marking individual assessments, and a huge drain on resources facilitating and scheduling individual training sessions with learners. Both the business and the Learning and Development (L&D) Team were ready for a change.

The Solution

PlatCore was introduced late in the LMS procurement process and met 96% of Townsville's functional requirements. The next-best system met just 84%. The procurement committee immediately saw the benefits of a native ServiceNow Learning Management System. PlatCore was the only LMS capable of operating within their existing systems without a management of change required as ServiceNow was already being used and had been vetted for security, data integrity, reliability, and support. As a Certified Application, PlatCore was verified by ServiceNow for the same enterprise-grade standards. In addition, Townsville’s IT team would have the knowledge and skills to provide ongoing support.

"I am a Learning & Development Professional, so my weakness in this project was the IT architecture aspects, I had some nervousness around the risks of security and data integrity of other LMSs. It took a huge effort to understand how they would function within our current systems and data. When I found PlatCore, I was grateful to learn it integrates seamlessly with our existing systems, greatly reducing both our time and risk to deliver training." – Maree Jackson, TCC Project Manager

Consolidating Townsville’s training content system and data records platform led to other benefits. Processes such as requests, approvals, and scheduling were streamlined to automatic workflow approvals in the system from the existing directory and the L&D staff were empowered with the knowledge to proactively manage the training schedule.

"Using PlatCore, in conjunction with our Training Needs Analysis we are able to easily identify in advance the number of people needing what training each quarter (what training is expiring when) - so we know to run a first-aid course (for example) every second month with a capacity of 20 people. We are now able to proactively schedule those sessions well in advance before any training expires, which protects us legally from a compliance stance and allows staff to select a time that fits their schedule in advance ." - Maree Jackson, TCC Project Manager

Using PlatCore, the Townsville L&D staff can step out of administrative minutia and shift their focus back to the training itself. Not only has efficiency increased, but Townsville has also added useful training functionality such as Training Profiles.

Training Profiles

Townsville's Training Profiles tailor training to an individual's role. For example, Leigh, Townsville's delightful IT Development Manager has three Training Profiles that focus on his role; “IT Development Manager”, “Townsville City Council Corporate Compliance”, and "First Aider". Each of the profiles contains courses that have their own individual requirements and expirations, and profiles can be applied to anyone (multiple people or single incumbent) performing that role.



On Leigh’s dashboard, he sees a quick view of current, upcoming or overdue training. This makes it easy to complete relevant courses. In addition, if a staff member is promoted, the role can quickly be changed, and the necessary training list will update automatically (read more about this in our "BCS on our LMS" article).

While features like Training Profiles are incredibly useful, the starting point for any LMS is displaying the training, and PlatCore provides the freedom and flexibility to use any type of content, paid or unpaid. Using PlatCore, Townsville can create and deliver any type of training, from importing existing courses to purchasing and re-branding new SCORM packages, as well as outsourced ILT (instructor-led training) from third parties. Townsville has gained control over the courses they offer and can eliminate excessive training per-class costs.

Implementing a new LMS requires some work, even with PlatCore’s native application on the Now Platform. Through the entire process of data cleansing and integration, course creation and conversion, and planned launches, Townsville found the PlatCore team happy to help at all times.

“The support was amazing ...The engineers and the architects from PlatCore are so responsive and have a genuine care factor. My IT knowledge has increased immensely through our partnership with PlatCore and I have truly felt like a friend.” - Maree Jackson, TCC Project Manager

The Results

Of Townsville’s 1,600 staff, about 52% (846 people) completed a course within the first 12 days of implementing the PlatCore system. Training enrollment time has decreased by 70% from 670+ hours per month to approximately 200 hours. And manual entries per month will decrease from approximately 1,000+ to zero because PlatCore has provided a 100% automated process.

"When all our courses are fully implemented into PlatCore we will save 447 hours a month and we attribute 50% of these savings to the PlatCore system. The other 50%, we attribute to our new business-wide training process, in which a Training Needs Analysis outlines the needs of various roles and we are able to prearrange the necessary Instructor Led Training." - Maree Jackson, TCC Project Manager.

Townsville has also been freed from content that charges per-play. With the ability to create, and import they now own all content and there is no longer a cost associated per play, which along with the dollar saving to the business also supports their learning principals and integrity by allowing staff to refresh knowledge (re-visit content) on any course at any time.

Following the rollout, Townsville’s staff provided overwhelmingly positive feedback.

  • "If this is TCC’s first online course, I can't wait to see the others that will be developed. It was simple, user-friendly and quick to get through. Fantastic job team!"
  • "Very interactive and relevant to role"
  • "Finally, a great LMS course! Best one I’ve done in over 16 years!!! Well done team!!"

Not only are learners pleased, but the executive team has also applauded the move to PlatCore. David Harvey, Townsville Chief Information Officer presented their new LMS at the Annual Gold Coast Gartner Conference.

"ServiceNow is helping us transform our digital footprint – helping change the way IT works – and now helping digitally enable the business. The [PlatCore] LMS is part of the ServiceNow ecosystem of development partners that easily plug in and leverage the Now Platform – reducing time to deliver." - David Harvey, Townsville Chief Information Officer

Caption: David Harvey, Townsville Chief Information Officer at the Annual Gold Coast Gartner Conference

The Bottom Line

Townsville has dramatically improved its training efficiency through fewer systems to manage, streamlined business processes, and automated workflows. The L&D team is no longer mired in administrative tasks, which means a better quality of life, and the ability to better serve learners. Freed from content vendors, the agency is expanding its training capacity beyond mere compliance to on-demand, need-based education.

Overall, “we made the right choice,” says Maree Jackson, “we are very happy with the solution and our ongoing relationship with PlatCore. I recommend the PlatCore LMS as a solution to everyone I can!”

Want to learn more?

Hear from the Townville Implementation Team: 

Lauren Alweis
Post by Lauren Alweis
March 4, 2020