Surrey Choices

Essential online training for a dedicated team supporting adults to live independently

I also want to highlight the brilliant support provided by the team at eLearning Marketplace. If I ever need anything whether it’s a question about a new course, a query with a learner, new enrolment pricing or advice on how to run a report someone in the team is always there to help.

Jo Smith – Surrey Choices Learning and Development Partner


Surrey Choices was launched in August 2014 as a Local Authority Trading Company (LATC). Working in partnership with council, Surrey Choices provide support for adults with learning disabilities, people with Autism, sensory disabilities and other vulnerable people to help them gain confidence and live independently.

Adults who would benefit from support are referred mainly by the councils learning disability and autism team, transition teams. Once assessed to confirm their suitability the Surrey Choices support team create a bespoke holistic support package. In all the team support over 1000 adults focusing on providing person centred support via day support; support to live independently at home; helping them build confidence, and providing techniques for young adults to travel independently on public transport as well as helping them find suitable employment.

The Challenge

As Surrey Choices grew Jo Smith their Head of Training, recognised that the organisation needed to review their current offer and concluded that they needed to upgrade to a system which took on board the needs of a developing and busy team.

This new package needed:

  • Online course modules which would run easily on mobile devices due to many of the team being field based. The content needed to cover a range of mandatory compliance topics safeguarding adults, health and safety, fire prevention and lone working, whilst needing the flexibility to add others as required.
  • With many learners having little or no IT experience any modules needed to have good audio and be visually engaging as well as simple to work through.

In addition to the modules themselves Jo wanted a simple system with manager function which would enable her to allocate training to learners as and when required. She also wanted to be able to see at a glance if learners had completed set training and send reminders if not, download certificates and have a real time record of the current training.

The Solution

We quickly recognised that having a simple to use system with access to a wide range of high-quality engaging content would provide the perfect solution for Jo and the team.

With over 3000 courses available we firstly reviewed the titles Jo wanted against our catalogue. We identified that our health and social care online course specialist, whose content is Skills for Care approved and is also a Centre for Excellence in e-learning, would provide just what Surrey Choices needed.  We set up some course trials so the content could be reviewed and the bundle was quickly approved.

In order to provide the most cost-effective way of purchasing training it was agreed to go with bundle enrolments. This enabled Surrey Choices to purchase batches of enrolments and use them across a range of titles therefore providing the maximum discounts available, whilst offering the flexibility to enrol learners on a range of courses. As the course publisher adds new courses these can be added to the bundle.

To complete the package, we set up a free Private group on the eLearning Marketplace Online Training Academy (the eLearning Marketplace free learning management system), which includes the eLearning Marketplace integrated Licence Manager app. Through this cloud software Jo and her team can easily invite learners to any of the Skills for Care Approved courses they have chosen. The automatic email with login details means staff can start their training within a few moments of being enrolled.

As a manager on the Online Training Academy, Jo can track progress via a series of easy to run management reports, send a reminder via the system to a learner who needs to complete their training, and download and print certificates. As the business needs change new training can be added from the same or new bundles and quotes can be sent directly via the system.

The Outcome

“We are very pleased with the system eLearning Marketplace has created for Surrey Choices. The platform is so easy to use enabling us to quickly add new learners to training as and when needed.

We love the online courses which provide the knowledge we need our team to have in a simple and very engaging way, complete with audio which is important for our team’s varied accessibility requirements.  The bundle offers a wide range of titles and if we need to add a new one to our bundle, we just ring or email the support team and it’s done.

Being part of a small team, I need to have systems which are simple to operate and the Training Academy is great.  The managers function provides me with the facility to run my monthly managers’ report, which shows where the team are with compliance training at the touch of a button. From here I can then easily invite learners to courses where they have gaps and send reminders to those who need a gentle nudge.

I also want to highlight the brilliant support provided by the team at eLearning Marketplace. If I ever need anything whether it’s a question about a new course, a query with a learner, new enrolment pricing or advice on how to run a report someone in the team is always there to help. If I send an email I never wait long for a response, and calling by telephone there’s always someone available who can help me straight away or gets someone to call me back. I was also so pleased to be advised about the bundle purchasing as this saves us a lot of money.

We are looking forward to continuing to work with the team going forward”

Jo Smith – Surrey Choices Learning and Development Partner.

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