17 April 2020

Matthew O'Connor

Marketing Manager

Synergy Learning have created a learning platform to aid in the fight against COVID-19 for the NHS University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Trust.

We’ve been working with UHB since 2010, providing support with the delivery of its online, blended and face-to-face training programmes. UHB requested urgent support to build a learning platform that could support the induction and course delivery for up to 60,000 healthcare workers and volunteers.

The platform is designed to offer accessible courses to NHS staff so they can upskill and learn more about COVID-19. The programme contains over 50 courses with five different learning pathways, tailored for each user.

The platform is ready for access to all doctors, registered nurses, allied health professionals, healthcare support workers, facilities staff and administration staff. The learning platform is also available to members of the general public who have volunteered in a caring role.

Due to the quick turnaround of this project, our team worked around-the-clock to build and test a Moodle Workplace platform providing bespoke development, UX Design and hosting for over 60 courses.

Utilising Moodle Workplace, we pinpointed a number of key features that the platform provided to aid in the delivery of the project:

Enhanced design and layout

Moodle Workplace has some major enhancements to the main theme and course layout. As a MOOC we looked carefully at the overall user journey and experience and customised each page to make it as easy and simple as possible. This applies to the home page, login page, self-registration, personalised dashboard and course layout.

Dynamic rules

With a large amount of users accessing the site, and more important areas to focus on than administration of a site, grouping users together by creating sets of triggers and actions was a crucial part of this project. With self-registration enabled and asking users to select from a range of options we were able to automatically assign users to the relevant courses they need to access.


Existing courses were migrated over and we worked with UHB in structuring a set of programmes that would include the relevant courses for each of the five user types. This meant, after registration of their account, they were presented with a programme of courses when they login. For some user types courses were mandatory and others were open access. With a range of courses available to access openly, it was essential to present the right courses, in the recommended sequence to all users.


By creating a certificate and associating it with the completion of a programme, using dynamic rules the site can automatically deliver a unique certificate to each user to use as evidence of their learning or share as part of their development. No manual checks or issuing of certificates. It’s all automated through Moodle Workplace.


Where courses are mandatory to complete and insight is required with large volumes of users, to understand what has been done or is still required, the report builder has been a massive help to look at completion status of programmes and courses across the site, with search tools and filters available to refine the data.

Tracey Starkey-Moore, Deputy Director of Education from UHB commented on the delivery of the project:

“We would like to thank Synergy Learning for turning this project around so quickly. UHB is one of the largest teaching hospital trusts in England and we are at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19, along with our colleagues across the rest of the UK. We are very proud to be launching this platform in the West Midlands and hope it helps alleviate some of the worries I know many colleagues have.

“With a wide range of skills required at this time, it is important that all staff and volunteers are confident in their knowledge. The focus of the learning platform is to ensure that all staff and volunteers are equipped with the most recent information available to them and have the most up to date skills to enable them to be competent and confident in caring for their patients.”

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