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The Australian Maritime Safety Authority cut manual tasks by 95% with streamlined LMS integration

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is Australia’s national agency responsible for maritime safety, protection of the marine environment and maritime aviation search and rescue. As a Commonwealth Government Authority, they provide the infrastructure for safety of navigation in Australian waters, and maintain a national search and rescue service for the maritime and aviation sectors.

The Challenge

AMSA is a geographically dispersed organization with 21 offices located across Australia in both metro and regional areas. Due to the dispersed nature of AMSA’s workforce, e-learning has become an increasingly essential tool that provides learning and development opportunities for its employees. AMSA also provides training services for external stakeholders in the maritime and search and rescue industry.

The existing LMS technology was outdated, required costly manual processes and did not support did not support the continued growth in demand for learning and AMSA’s capability to develop and deliver e-learning courses into the future.

AMSA sought a solution to provide a modern learning management system (LMS), integration with newly introduced HR and payroll systems and to support key strategic goals.

The Solution

AMSA partnered with Androgogic to implement a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution to address AMSA’s LMS requirements.

The LMS design needed to satisfy key criteria for technical flexibility and cater for a broad range of user experience:

  • Personalized user experience for each audience to allow different collections of resources and other collateral to be presented according to need
  • Provide a platform for the delivery of blended courses, resources, assessments, tracking, and automated notifications to support annual accreditation
  • Enable user-friendly site navigation and ease of use
  • Provide secure access dependent on user organization, position and role
  • Allow self-registration for external stakeholders
  • Reduce manual administration by automating user upload from AMSA HR and payroll systems
  • Support Registered Training Organization (RTO) status and responsibilities

Two separate learning instances were required: one for AMSA employees and one for external stakeholders in the maritime and search and rescue industry. This required two LMS instances under a secure multitenancy model.

AMSA Totara Learn dashboard

Androgogic provided full end-to-end implementation services including design, configuration, integration, unit testing, system testing, user acceptance testing support, training and materials, data migration, go-live and post go-live support. 
AMSA liked the open-source foundation of Totara Learn that enabled the Androgogic Totara Plus plug-in suite of products that combined to provide all the features required to support the AMSA objectives. In particular, trainers and administrators are able to easily and efficiently:

  • Create and manage courses, assessment items, related content, configure workflows and set completion criteria for assessments
  • Create, coordinate and track attendance to seminars, which were essential training methods during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Create dashboards to display training completion data and graphs to specific audience members, such as senior managers
  • Use the integrated messaging subsystem to enable automated messages, notifications and reminders via alerts and emails
  • Deploy a range of social and group-based learning activities including forums, chat, messaging, blogs, wikis, peer assessment, collaborative glossaries, and databases
  • Use the Androgogic custom catalog to create catalog entries with rich information about courses, programs or events in which the learner might choose to enroll

The Results

The project delivered key strategic outcomes:

  • Seamless change management, with no downtime, from the legacy system to the new Totara Learn platform
  • Cost savings through automation and a 95% reduction in manual tasks
  • Automated integration with upstream HR and payroll systems databases
  • Single sign-on (SSO) for internal staff
  • Secure authentication and account management for external stakeholders in the maritime and search and rescue industry
  • Management of courses, resources and workflows to support audience-based learning pathways and annual accreditation
  • Secure access dependent on user role
  • Personalized dashboards for each audience
  • A self-service collaborative environment to put learning management at the core of the business

During the pandemic, the new LMS was integral in the continuation of training at AMSA. In addition to the e-learning content provided, employees were able to attend live seminars on new accounting systems, the use of SharePoint, float-free EPIRB and passenger vessel campaigns and mental health first aid.  In response to the stress of the pandemic and social isolation of lockdown, AMSA also hosted 18 mental health awareness sessions using Totara. These sessions were integral in providing our employees the tools to cope and build resilience. 

AMSA’s dispersed workforce now has access to many more online development opportunities available to all parts of the organization. Staff can now track and manage their own learning and progress through compliance requirements. Managers and their teams can share data and discuss learning and development opportunities and monitor mandatory training requirements. 

“The Androgogic team were able to deliver on my learning management system wish list. They have a focus on innovation and continuous improvement; and were quick to respond to any of my questions.” 

Michaelee Thornton, Human Resources Business Partner, AMSA