It would be difficult to overstate training’s importance to the modern first response industry. Besides its primary function—namely, providing a baseline of knowledge for firefighters, law enforcement officers, emergency medical professionals, and countless other roles—a comprehensive training regimen is a show of good faith to the community an agency serves. Training and relevant documentation also shield the department from reputational losses and legal liability when an individual employee’s conduct fails to meet the standards set forth by their education, provide proof of certification during audits and internal reviews, and make it easier to find qualified personnel when specialized posts need staffing.
For these reasons, organizations across the country have begun modernizing their training infrastructure, rethinking cumbersome manual processes and replacing outdated computer systems with specialized, highly functional training management systems (TMS). Enter Acadis®, Envisage’s flagship product and the leading solution in the law enforcement training market. A large-and-growing number of agencies at the state, local, and federal level have turned to Acadis to streamline unwieldy training processes, often realizing cost savings and increased productivity along the way. As the industry leader, Acadis is trusted to manage the records for more than 1.5 million first responders nationwide.
Here are a few of the ways Acadis streamlines training and recordkeeping—alongside related tasks, like logistics and inventory management—for organizations just like yours.
Exploring Acadis: A flexible, futureproof TMS for organizations everywhere
Their high-level services might be similar, but no two organizations go about their jobs exactly the same way. Processes, workplace cultures, state and local laws, and other granular factors may see huge variance from town to town and location to location. While this is a natural outcome in a country with a large diversity of state and local laws like the U.S., it can make it difficult to find the precise collection of tools and software solutions an organization needs to operate at its best. What works for one police department or firehouse may not meet the needs for the same service the next town over.
Of course, training is hardly immune to this phenomenon. At a high level, this is what makes Acadis such an attractive proposition for so many agencies around the country. Since it is impossible to build a singular tool that encompasses every training and recordkeeping need a given organization may present, the platform is built with modularity in mind, with available tools to suit any combination of needs. The police department that needs an online learning tool, typically called a Learning Management System (LMS), to cut back on travel and training costs can find exactly what they want via Acadis, for instance; so too can the academy requiring a tool that tracks training histories, attendance, housing management, scheduling, and numerous other interrelated factors.
Acadis is a powerful tool for digital learning and recordkeeping purposes, but it can handle much more than that. Envisage works closely with each agency and identifies specific needs. During this process, Envisage helps the agency identify the modules that best reflect their real-world practices. These modules remain an important aspect of the platform as the organization adapts and evolves. If a change in local law or leadership alters the department’s standard policies and practices, new modules can be added to match the changes.
The development methodology driving the platform helps make it even more flexible. In government offices of all roles, (over)reliance on “legacy” software programs—that is to say, software tools from previous eras of computing—is a constant reality, not to mention a frequent source of frustration for the people using them. Acadis is designed to allow for continual tweaks, improvements, and upgrades to be made even as consumers enjoy the current product in full functionality. Since government organizations tend to hold onto their software purchases for an extended period, and since these institutions are subject to changing needs like any entity, highly-flexible software is logically superior to code that effectively comes as-is and with little-to-no capacity for change.
Streamlining training, recordkeeping, and other functions with Acadis
Although the ability to futureproof one’s software purchases is a compelling feature in any major software platform, current-day functionality is an even larger concern. The above-mentioned modular approach makes building a pitch-perfect solution possible out of the gate. With the role training plays in response for agencies everywhere, this gives Acadis inherent value anywhere a TMS needs to be implemented or modernized.
Consider the sheer intricacy that goes into managing your current training program. Large or small, whatever need you fulfill within your community, a large number of processes undoubtedly feed into and stream out of your efforts to educate personnel. When you forecast a training budget, ensure educational compliance for a corps of firefighters, or confirm stock levels for upcoming sessions at the firing range, your work falls under the broader category of training management.
Here, Acadis meets your agency’s many needs by streamlining, centralizing, and automating training and all the related factors. On the learning side of training, it takes training courses with no need for physical presence—your state’s collection of annual mandatories, for instance, or re-certifications and knowledge checks—and puts them in a digital environment that’s far easier to access than an in-person training environment.
Administrators can dictate exactly which computers and account profiles can access a given training. This naturally increases the control stakeholders have over the learning process, and makes it easier to provide training to personnel without disrupting their day-to-day duties. Instead of driving across town to attend a lesson that’s only available at set times, an officer can take the course from any authorized computer, and do it any time within a set range of dates or times.
On the inverse, other trainings will always require a physical component, which can cause undue hassle with learning platforms that only account for digital training. Instead of working with a piecemeal set of score- and record-keeping solutions, agencies can utilize Acadis for both types of training activity. Simply configure the parameters, add the relevant fields, and instructors on the range or in the physical education facility can enter results and other assorted training notes directly from the field, using the Acadis mobile app.
The same benefits that make Acadis so strong for taking tests and recording results also give it a significant advantage when it comes to accessing the records they create. Say you are attempting to fill an opening for a post that requires a broad number of qualifications, such as security clearance, age, performance and disciplinary history. One digital system may house officers’ personal data, another may take into account training history, and a thick paper file might house job-performance information. Multiplied over the group of personnel you wish to check, simple qualification may take an inordinate amount of time and labor from a large pool of staff.
Acadis, meanwhile, simplifies tasks like these to the point that a single staffer could manage the work, all from a single computer. Since records attach to a responder’s file from the day they hire to the moment they leave the organization, even the long, complex histories that veteran employees generate do not create verification hurdles. As with lessons, this data can also be assigned to different accounts and computers, easing the process by which remote staff view remote records. Whether you are at the office or using an agency-provided laptop in the field, you can view the information you need to get your job done.
Finally, it is worth noting that these examples represent only a small slice of the functions Acadis and its various modules can perform—a testament to the platform’s power. Take Acadis Scheduling, a module designed to tackle a problem that scales in complexity as the corps of trainees grows in size. Where standard calendar and scheduling tools stop at digital entry, alerts, and other basic administrative functions, the Acadis module automatically handles complex course-scheduling tasks based on rules you create, searches for conflicts, and suggests ways to resolve them without affecting the overall flow of your training program. It even provides automated tools to help with the provisioning of trainers and equipment across courses, facilities, and classrooms.
Is a new TMS in your future?
If your agency operates like most others, you have been on a path of technological improvement for some time now. With so many internal- and field-use tools iterating and improving, there is a similarly good chance your officers and support staff alike are better prepared for their respective jobs than ever before.
All this change is undoubtedly a good thing, but it should not stop at fieldwork or specific jobs. Acadis provides a significant upgrade to one of the most important conceptual tasks your staff and management engage in, and offers a number of ways to manage, document, and administrate it. Combined with support for critical supporting needs—housing, inventory, readiness forecasting, and registration, just to name a few—the platform represents a perfect addition to the other upgrades your department has recently undergone: one that takes a holistic approach to the broad practice of training and provides a clear path to the future. And perhaps best of all, this is accomplished without forcing you to purchase features or modules you may not want or will not use. In terms of long-term benefits, it does not get better than that.