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Less Paper, More Time for Toronto Training Staff

Since initiating an automated records transfer system, the Toronto Police Service has saved an estimated 2.8 years in the administration of online training events.

In 2007, the Toronto Police Service (TPS) launched an online training portal on CPKN's learning management system (LMS). While this new approach streamlined the delivery of training events to the members of Canada's largest municipal police force, the administrative component of that training still represented significant challenges for staff in the Toronto Police College.

For some of the mandatory in-service training, staff at the Toronto Police College were tasked with inputting information into an internal tracking system which had to be reconciled with reports from the LMS. Given the vast volume of information involved, this process was not only convoluted and time consuming, but also resulted in transfer delays, occasional lost or misplaced certificates, and data input errors.

Recognizing that this system would not meet the requirements of a growing online catalogue, S/Sgt. Jon Schmidt and Sgt. Gordon Scott at the Toronto Police College consulted with Brian Fleming, CPKN's IT Systems and Support Manager to identify a new solution. One month later, in January 2010, a new customized automated system was launched. Now, on a weekly basis, CPKN downloads TPS training records from the LMS and sends the file on to TPS where it is directly imported into TPS's HR system.

Since the new system has been put in place, more than 65,000 records of successfully completed courses have been transferred. Using manual transfer procedures, a conservative estimate of 5,380 hours would have been required to process all of the records. Today, it is literally done in minutes, freeing up valuable working hours for Toronto Police College staff.

"Automated transfer not only frees up staff from data entry, but also expedites the records search process," says S/Sgt. Schmidt. "Today, records are updated within a week of training completion, allowing us to easily track and ensure compliance for mandatory training events."

Apart from the savings of time, money, and effort, Sgt. Scott has also seen significant benefits from the new system.

"This process was integrated into an HR system that training staff already know how to use," says Sgt. Scott. "I didn't have to educate 40 people on how to access records within the LMS."

"This has brought us to an entirely new level in records management, "says S/Sgt. Schmidt. "The efficiencies gained here will benefit the entire organization."