iStock_000013485370SmallVM Learning will soon be celebrating its 25th birthday. Where did the time go?! The VM Group began in 1989 with a six-month mentoring program for Indigenous youth at risk. It was a unique program exposing participants to a variety of activities from filmmaking to dance. Many participants credited the program with sparking their interest in these areas, a large number of who moved onto study and work in associated fields. It was certainly one of the most meaningful projects that we have had the pleasure of being involved with.

VM quickly grew to become a major player in the VET market, offering many accredited programs, including the first Certificate IV in Aboriginal Arts and Crafts Enterprise, to 40 communities across Australia. I have so many fond memories from this time. It felt like every week we’d be off to a new destination. Packing my bags before a trip, I’d often find myself humming the tune “I’ve been everywhere man”, by Lucky Star. An oldie but a goldy!

Corporate Professional Development & aXcelerate

In the 90s, VM started delivering transformational leadership programs to corporations around Australia. These programs were considered ahead of their time and were based on Australian and US research in the fields of Neuropsychology and Emotional Intelligence. These programs have been and remain the hallmark of VM Learning.

One of our other flagship projects, The Women as Leaders Program has been delivered nationally to over 4000 women including hundreds of Indigenous women. Since its inception in 1994 the program has been honoured with numerous awards, the most recent of which being the 2013 ACLW International Women’s Day Award and the 2013 Sustaining Women’s Empowerment in Communities and the Organisations Award (Gold Winner).

Now an established leader in the people development industry, VM Learning has provided an innovative, holistic approach to personal and professional development of over 50,000 people, their organisations, and their communities.

Over the last 13 years, VM has focused on creating a cutting-edge digital system, with the aim of streamlining critical business functions.  Thanks to Reay Mackay’s experience (formerly of IBM) and passion for technology, we successfully implemented our own cloud-based management system in 2000.

In 2010, the VM team recognised that the system had commercial potential for registered training organisations and enterprises. With the whole team moving in this new direction we created aXcelerate. With over 200 companies now implementing our system, we have achieved our goal of providing a comprehensive, user-friendly system that, like our training programs, is founded upon our core principles of H.E.A.R.T.

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After 25 years of delivering training programs, VM wants to share what makes our programs unique and successful, that is high quality facilitation and training processes. We believe this is a time when we need the input of our most valuable resources, our human capital. The ability to work together and involve all key stakeholders is imperative to success.

Facilitation Skills

One of the most important skill-sets for leaders and team members is facilitation skills. These are the “process” skills we use to guide and direct our work with groups of people, like in training, meetings and planning sessions.

For groups to be truly successful, we need to spend time focusing on the skills that enable us to optimise different mindsets and views. We need the ability to listen with empathy, ask challenging questions, and create meaningful and beneficial connections.

The Training Leader

Our new Training Leader program provides further development for facilitators who wish to transform their behaviour to influence others and maximise learning outcomes. Participants will develop effective facilitation skills via a multi-dimensional approach. The program will take participants beyond the theory and concepts of trainer effectiveness and provide them with an interactive forum for developing greater self-awareness, confidence, and the personal power to effectively lead others. A key component of training focuses on honing communication skills of participants in order to build team cohesion and trust, conditions critical to a flourishing workspace.

Watch out for the 2014 schedule of programs due to be released shortly!

aXcelerate

Loads of new features are in the works but most importantly,our new super-dooper Workflow Engine. This highly comprehensive and some even say ‘life-changing’ feature will provide the following automation functionality:

  • Users can create their own tasks with a reminder for a certain date.
  • Multi-step automated – A single trigger can launch one, two or more steps to be executed such as an enquiry that is created for a course on the website sends an email to the website visitor, sends an email to the course owner or BD rep, creates a follow up tasks against that contact record to be completed by the allocated representative along with a reminder.
  • Simple flow control for task steps based on the outcome of the previous step – e.g. Does the enrollee wish to apply for RPL for one or more units: Yes or No – depending on this response, the workflow will take the appropriate path.
  • Scheduling multi-step tasks to be executed based on time (Daily, Weekly, Monthly) including multiple times per day on scheduled days – e.g. automatically send a pre-saved report once a month (with updated values from the previous <month>, <week>, etc.)
  • Executing multi-step tasks based on certain program events or statuses occurring within aXcelerate to execute an automated task or workflow – e.g. A unit of competency status is changed in a student’s record and it triggers an email to the assigned trainer for notification; A course has not reached the set minimum number of enrolments within one week of the course start date and an auto email is sent to the course owner or BD rep notifying them of the course(s) that have low numbers.
  • Fine-grained control over task execution based on meta data attached to an event An event might use additional parameters in order to execute e.g. contractID or studentID
  • Executing multi-step, automated tasks based on the completion of manual tasks (Classic Workflow) You have the ability to ‘pause’ a step to wait for a ‘resume’ message as a result of a manual task being completed.

The Workflow Engine will change the way you can do business – ask for a demonstration!