Tower Hamlets Education Business Partnership (THEBP) runs a number of volunteer partnership programmes in conjunction with local businesses, delivers training and coaching services and acts as a broker of work experience placements. Each year, the charity works with more than 10,000 volunteers, 800 companies and over 100 schools.
It became clear to the team at THEBP that a new system was required for managing the administration of the various programme, so in 2014 they deployed Dynamics 365 to manage their volunteer programmes.
After the initial go-live and bedding in of the programme solution, Webcurl extended Dynamics 365 to incorporate work experience and deployed a new portal allowing real time access of this data to their partners.
At its core, information is stored for volunteers, schools, teachers, students, work experience providers, work experience jobs and all activities relating to the individual programme and work experience placement. Detailed below is a list of all the areas that make up all activities performed by THEBP.
Programme activities are activities for students within a school. Activities can include business mentoring, employability skills, literacy skills and practice interviews. An activity has many volunteers and each volunteer is assigned a student from a particular school.
Volunteers perform programme activities for individual students at a school. The key information required for volunteers is their DBS information. The DBS information against a volunteer is automatically gathered from data held in a third party system, the GB Group.
Another key area is to ensure they have read and acknowledged the safeguarding document. This was previously sent out by email and there was no way for volunteers to confirm that they had read the document. This request for confirmation is now sent out as a link in an email directly from the CRM and the user is automatically directed to our portal software to confirm they have understood and read the document.
The portal page automatically updates the volunteer record and removes them from a group which is chased for compliance every month.
The school section holds information on a particular school. It also records students and teachers related to the individual school.
The student section holds information about an individual student. It also records the programme activities and work placements that they have attended.
Students are provided by the schools in an Excel format and imported into the system automatically. Where possible we try to match on unique UPN numbers, but where one is not available we can use a combination of first name, last name and date of birth
Providers are companies which offer work placements to students. Details relating to health and safety risks, contacts, templates of jobs they offer and individual job placements are stored against a provider.
A job description contains the details of a specific job on offer. This includes an overview of the position, main contacts and supervisors and health and safety information.
A job placement is an instance of a job description for a particular provider. When a provider wants to offer a work placement, information from the job description is automatically populated in the placement record.
Additional information captured for the placement include a start/end date, the batch it belongs to and the actual student attending. Any survey completed by the employer for this particular Job Placement can also be viewed here.
A batch is a collection of Job placements assigned to a school for a given period. They contain information such as start/end dates, participating students and all available job placements. The portal software uses batches to display a list of students and available jobs to teachers within a given school. Teachers can they match and assign a particular student to an open job placement via the portal.
Email and feedback forms
Confirmation of placements are sent to providers via email where possible. An email template has been created to facilitate this and a word mail merge document is also available when this is not possible.
CRM ships with survey functionality similar to that which you would find in survey monkey. We have created a survey for Tower Hamlets, based on their original SurveyMonkey form, which is sent out to providers for completion after the placement period has ended.
As the survey is built into the CRM, we can now track an individual student or group of students' performances across multiple placements and feed this back to a school. We can also populate the survey with CRM data, avoiding this manual process for providers, i.e. School name, student name etc.
Work Placement Portal
The portal provides a gateway for teachers to allocate students against particular job placements in a batch. Teachers can see and switch between multiple batches for their schools, if granted permission.
Information regarding job placements and students allocated to placements is retrieved in real time. Updates are also made in real-time and available for instance viewing on the portal and within CRM.
The student section shows all students that belong to a particular batch and provides an overview to schools of the participants.
Open placements provide a list of all the available placements that are still available in a batch. The list can be searched by organisation or classification of job. Additional filters can be added to the list view very easily.
Teachers can see the full detail of an individual job and assign an available student to the job they are viewing. The job and student are then removed from the available choices and can be seen in the student allocation section.
The student allocations lists all the jobs which have been allocated to students. Job descriptions can be printed off in bulk and subsequently issued to the student. Bulk visit reports can also be produced during the course of the placement period.
The updating of student allocations is performed in real-time and is visible to internal EBP staff via the CRM system.
We provide many reports across the CRM to aid in the reporting to programme activity or work placement companies. These reports are very interactive and can be easily filtered and drilled-down into by non-technical EBP staff.
The programme activity reports are useful in reporting back to companies on their personnel volunteering activities.
The work experience team can produce reports based upon completed surveys relating to a whole batch of placements. This in turn can be given to the schools as an indication on how a particular group of students performed from an employer's perspective.