At the end of last year SCVO ran its first pilot to test out our new innovative e-learning platform that we’ve developed with organisations from four other European countries – Ireland, Finland, Latvia and Estonia. The Project – SCOPE, is funded by ERASMUS+, the European Commission’s programme for education, training, youth and sport, with the e-learning targeted specifically at small voluntary organisations to help them become more effective. During the pilot, we worked with 25 participants from voluntary organisations across Scotland to see what trustees, staff and volunteers thought about the learning materials.

We were delighted with the feedback! Learners found the content engaging and accessible, and the platform easy to use. They thought the modules would be great for the induction of new trustees, volunteers and staff, to develop their knowledge and understanding of the voluntary sector. In addition, some of the pilot participants suggested that the e-learning could also be used by more established organisations to refresh and reassess the way they do things.

There are five modules covering the basics of the following key topics: Governance, Fundraising, Financial Management, Risk Management and Communications. Learners loved how they could do the training where and when it suited them, at home or at work, or even on their commute on a mobile device. Each of the modules took about an hour to complete and Financial Management Basics and Risk Management Basics were the most highly rated. Learners praised the lack of jargon, and the practical examples and case studies.

An innovative feature of the e-learning is the opportunity to gain validation through a digital badge system on completion of the modules. This was new to many of our pilot participants, but feedback showed us that they appreciated the opportunity to share their achievements with their peers and potential employers and could see where it would prove useful on social networks that focus on professional networking and career development.

SCVO and our European partners are now busy looking at the ideas and suggestions we’ve received from pilot participants. We’ll be hosting our European partners in Edinburgh in May for two days, which will be a great opportunity to catch up and find out more about how the pilots have been carried out in other countries.

We’re then going to run a second pilot with 25 new participants starting in March, and we’ll be able to launch the free e-learning platform for all voluntary organisations to use across Scotland (and across Europe too!) later this year. This will help build organisational capacity across the sector, and fill skills gap for trustees, volunteers and staff. Watch this space for our further European adventures…