An email from Care and Health News dropped into my Inbox this week.  Amongst the weeks Care News was an offer for a European Computer Driving License (ECDL) CD-Rom.  ECDL is a recognised IT user qualification, covering:

• Basic concepts of IT
• Using the computer and managing files
• Word processing
• Spreadsheets
• Database
• Presentation
• Information and Communication

The marketing offered me “…over 50 hours of multimedia-based interactive training” for only £39.99.  A real bargain!

But is it?  50 hours of learning is a lot (well over half the learning hours of most level 2 qualifications) – will people really find time to complete that amount of learning?  But more than that, how many Support Workers need to know about Word processing, Spreadsheets, presentation tools and Databases – even Managers of a Care Home are unlikely to ever open MS Access.

No one is going to argue that the IT skills in the industry should be improved, but providing a programme that is not focused on needs is doomed to failure – regardless of how good or otherwise the programme is.

If you are looking at IT skills in your organisation and want to have a recognised qualification have a look at CLAIT – this gives you flexibility to deliver single or multiple sessions depending on individual requirements.

Beyond IT training, I would suggest that offers of “50 hours of training” may not always be the best option.