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New Zealand's Ministry of Justice increases LMS usage by 100%

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) works across all three arms of the government: the executive, the legislature, and the independent judiciary. Protecting individuals' rights, freedoms and ensuring a safe and just society through people-centred justice services. Delivering a wide range of justice services requires a thorough training programme for over 3,500 employees, located across the country, and comprised of five generations of learners. Moreover, MoJ needed a platform that supported their Learning and Development strategy within an industry that is on a steep trajectory of business and system improvement.

The New Zealand Ministry of Justice LMS

The Challenge 

Previously MoJ were using an outdated and restricted system with poor usability. It contained a large volume of content, which lacked organisation and structure, and employees would struggle to locate or miss training due to limited accessibility.

Additionally, this system was not able to be used effectively in monitoring compliance, training needs or progression.

As a result, MoJ experienced lack of clarity amongst the workforce, low training motivation and engagement, alongside difficulty in measuring compliance.

The Ministry of Justice were looking for a solution that would:

  • Offer a custom branded theme and a consistent experience on multiple devices across 103 locations.
  • Provide a blended onboarding experience to new recruits.
  • Support high levels of traffic.
  • Integrate with current HR systems to streamline onboarding and reporting, whilst offering employees learning relevant to their current role.
  • Be able to handle customised plug-ins.

The Solution

Totara Partner Catalyst built a highly customised and configured all-encompassing Totara Learn called Thrive. This learning management system hosts MoJ’s complete Skills Matrix, training modules, and can generate reports of compliance.

Thrive automatically connects the skills matrix with technical training to generate employee learning plans.

Thrive Totara LMS

Thrive is remotely accessible, allowing employees to train when they have the time – regardless of physical location.

Thrive provides team managers with comprehensive data so they can accurately identify skill gaps, and then monitor development. Thrive data feeds into regional and national training needs analysis, providing a clear picture of ‘real-time’ trending skill gaps that can be met with national solutions instead of multiple local options. Thrive provides managers with the opportunity to save hours of time and make sure their team training is maximised with the result of that training having immediate impact on the services they provide.

Thrive Totara

Catalyst was able to collaborate with the Ministry of Justice to understand their learning culture, and from there it was possible to build a customised Totara that not only met complex requirements, but also supported and encouraged professional growth.

“Catalyst took the time to understand what we wanted, it had to be intuitive, accessible, future-proofed and engaging, with the ability to push the boundaries of online learning, whilst complimenting and enhancing our large body of blended learning materials. Catalyst can always be counted on to enthusiastically work alongside us to build creative, technical solutions,” said Tania Hawkins, People Capability Manager at Ministry of Justice.

The Ministry of Justice and the Catalyst Totara team continue to innovate with Thrive’s functionality. As the needs for this platform grow, so does open source technology, allowing Catalyst to deliver an advanced solution continually.

“We are constantly challenging Catalyst, and pushing Thrives’ functionality and they are continually providing the solution and helping us to grow our learning experiences and opportunities, we couldn’t have done this without Catalyst,” Tania said.

The Results 

Thrive was launched in July 2015 and so far use of the LMS has increased by over 100%. User feedback has been extremely positive.

Some Business groups are now regularly promoting specific courses to their employees on a monthly basis, while others are looking at developing tailored learning plans for their staff.

The accessibility of courses on Thrive has broken down a lot of the silos created by distance and a lack of access to training.

Almost 80% of Ministry employees have accessed Thrive since its launch, with 64% of those people coming back to do more than one course.

"We are delighted with how easily Thrive has integrated into the Ministry. Our business groups are really embracing the chance to promote learning within their teams, and now that the initial launch is over, they are starting to explore the extensive reporting options available. It’s been exciting talking with the different business groups, and being able to tailor reports and learning programmes specific to their requirements. We can really see the difference we are making to the Ministry" - Andrea Lambell, Senior Solutions Advisor - Systems, Ministry of Justice New Zealand

The Skills Matrix’s open source code has also been adopted by other New Zealand-based Government agencies.

“This development has now been shared with two other agencies and is a prime example of how the New Zealand government is saving the New Zealand taxpayer thousands of dollars by using open source software,” said Paul Stevens, Catalyst's Open Knowledge General Manager


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