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Chris21 Learning and Development Process Improvements

If you use the Chris21 Learning and Development (or training) module and you maintain Skills (SKL) records then this article might be of interest to you.

I have helped many clients to configure learning and development in Chris21 and one of the biggest complaints is that the Next Refresh Date isn’t automatically updated. So even after using the Skills Update (SKU) process to automatically create Skills records, you still have to go back to each record to update the Next Refresh Date.

You can automate this process so that Next Refresh Dates are updated much more efficiently and with minimal manual input required by the Chris21 user.

You can take this approach by making use of the available tools in Chris21 and then use a simple Excel macro to automate the update process. I have provided an insight into the power of macros in my blog Chris21 Reporting – a Client Success Story.

I have implemented this for clients in four steps. This is what I did:

  1. Record the skill expiry term for each skill you have recorded in Chris21. This is necessary because the macro needs to know what date to assign to the Next Refresh Date. To be able to do this requires a straightforward customisation to add the Skill Expiry Term field to the Skill Code (SKI) form in Chris21. I explain how to add a field in my blogs Customising Chris21 The Right Way and Customising Chris21 Forms – How to Place a Field onto a Form.
  2. Add the Skill Expiry Term to each skill on the Skill Code form.
  3. Create a report designer report that displays all Skills records that don’t have a Next Refresh Date along with the Skill Expiry Term.
  4. Create the macro to add the Skill Expiry Term to the Last Refresh Date field and insert the new date into the Next Refresh Date column in your report output. The macro that I have developed also generates a text file in the required format so that you can process it via the GTR form in Chris21.

Once you have set your system up this way, you will have a method for updating the Next Refresh Date on the Skills form. The process will be:

  1. Run the Skills Update process to assign skills attained in training courses to attendees.
  2. Run the report to identify Skills records that do not have a Next Refresh Date.
  3. Run the macro to create the GTR text file.
  4. Run the GTR process in Chris21 to update Skills records.

The macro can be run anytime, it doesn’t necessarily have to be each time the Skills Update process is run. You could, for instance, run the macro at the end of each fortnight to ensure your learning and development data is kept up to date.

To complete the process, you might want to consider setting up reminders to alert employees and managers when skill refreshers are becoming due. You could set this up so that a reminder is sent three months (this is arbitrary and can be whatever timeframe you choose) before the skill expires.

This article provides an example of how solutions can be found when the system won’t do what you need it to do. Follow these steps and you will have a much more efficient way of managing your Chris21 learning and development process.

Please contact me if you would like more information about how to do this or if you need some help implementing this solution.