Client: Koninklijke Marechaussee: Brigade Objectbeveiliging
The Brigade Object Beveiliging in The Hague secures government buildings, institutions and other objects in the Netherlands with an increased risk of attacks. It is therefore essential that employees are prepared for countless different situations and must always remain practised and trained in the areas of jurisdiction, official instructions, criminal law and procedures. It is important to allow employees to practice with these matters and to coach them in their work. The aim of the Training & Education bureau is therefore to keep employees’ knowledge and skills up to date and even raise them to a higher level.
“Our target group is really a digital generation. As a result, education is changing and our brigade has to change with this new demand.”
– Doron, Head Training & Education within the Brigade Object Security.
Both the functions Marechaussee Security Officer and Watchman operate in a broad and diverse field of tasks and must be able to anticipate many different scenarios. During their training, followed at the OTC (Training and Education Centre), future employees are trained in all these situations and are taught standard operating procedures. However, after the new colleague graduates from the OTC and enters the brigade, he does not have any practical experience. For this reason, all new employees must complete an Onboarding trajectory of 5-8 weeks before they are allowed to work independently. During this time the colleague is linked to an experienced colleague, lessons are followed and several test moments need to be completed.
However, it quickly became apparent that physical training and education did not suit everyone equally well. Especially the relatively younger colleagues (18-25 years old) had to be reached and stimulated in a different way. After consulting various educational institutions in the Netherlands, the use of GPAL and video instructions emerged as the solution. Instructional videos, it is shown, can support the curriculum and reach the target group more effectively.
The challenge is clear: to use video instructions as a supportive educational learning tool in order to effectively reach new employees and improve the Onboarding programme.
Earlier this year GPAL was (partly) deployed within the Brigade Object Beveiliging. 181 video’s were already made with the aim to make new colleagues more familiar with the brigade. However, GPAL is now used to film all trainings and procedures. The instructional videos are shared easily with all employees via the mobile app.
“For example, I can film a firearms procedure and upload it into the GPAL App in just a few minutes. New colleagues can then watch this instructional video on their mobile device before they have to demonstrate such a procedure.”
Recently, a temporary team was appointed to check the quality of the videos that were already made and to add videos where necessary. Soon the GPAL film crew will help the staff to record the new videos. Furthermore, employees are encouraged to make their own instructional videos. The fact that employees are directly involved with GPAL, immediately leads to more support for the project.
“The ultimate goal is that every colleague will feel involved in making the videos. We, at Bureau T&V, will always first check the content and quality of the video before it will be published in the App. However, in this manner, the initiative really lies with the employee.”
GPAL will soon be used as a supporting teaching/learning tool.
What is next?
Apart from filming procedures, other projects will soon be started at the Brigade Object Beveiliging. For example, the brigade wants to use GPAL in the 5-star model. As mentioned earlier, a starting ‘new’ employee has to go through an Onboarding process and complete various test moments. These test moments consist of online tests and Real-Life Training (RLT), to which, for each level the colleague achieves, different knowledge and skills are required. With the use of the GPAL app, the procedures and working methods can be explained audio-visually. This makes it easier for the new colleague to absorb the material and the procedures are also easier to understand.
Another goal is to digitise function-oriented workbooks in GPAL. For each position, from Marechaussee Beveiliger to Lieutenant, procedures with the corresponding QR code are placed in an Onboarding workbook. By scanning the QR code with the GPAL app, the correct instructional video will come up and the new colleague can watch the videos to learn the procedures. This allows the colleague to go through the Onboarding process more independently and faster.
“Because the workbooks are function-oriented, everyone in the brigade has something to gain from GPAL, both the Marechaussee beveiliger, Wachtmeester and the Lieutenant. Once GPAL has been fully deployed, it can be used as a ‘digital buddy’ that helps colleagues to train for their function more effectively and efficient.”
Positive reactions & healthy competition
GPAL is particularly well received by the new colleagues. They believe GPAL is a pleasant way of learning and many times faster than when explanations are given in person. The more experienced colleagues are a bit more difficult to reach, but this is a challenge the Brigade is happy to take on. However, useful communication is already seen in the App, especially when the questions of younger colleagues are answered by more experienced colleagues. In this manner, everyone becomes more way connected.
“The moment GPAL was included in the introduction week, it was seen more as a ‘fixed method of working’ and as a result it was picked up more quickly. The new colleagues continue to use it. I believe that the more experienced colleagues will eventually join by themselves when they see the benefits”.
Another interesting phenomenon resulting from the use of GPAL is a healthy competition between the different teams. Each team wants to make the best videos, get the most likes and watch the most. Of course this is very positive for the organisation itself. In this way everyone becomes more enthusiastic about GPAL, the instructions are watched more often, better videos are made and knowledge is better preserved and learned.
The use of video instructions in the Onboarding trajectory receives a lot of positive reactions, however, can also lead to better results. Colleagues have easier access to the right information and the materials are more easily learnt. New colleagues can also learn at their own pace or look back at the videos on the mobile app. In this way GPAL really is a supportive educational tool. It can help the new employee to prepare for the theoretical and social aspects of his work, which are then tested in practice.
“The greatest value of GPAL is, in my opinion, the enthusiasm for the videos, the greater reach, the fact that the student can study independently in his own time and visually see and hear the procedures.”
In the future, GPAL can also support the team leaders. The best thing would be to make the team leaders responsible for keeping the level of knowledge within their team up to date. Via the GPAL management console it can be observed which colleagues are proactively working on the substance and which are not. They can also refer to certain videos if something is not completely clear yet.
The biggest advantage, Doron explains, is the range of the app. Apart from the fact that watching instructional videos is more appealing to the target group, there is also more opportunity to provide everyone with the same information and create more involvement. Especially in times of COVID-19, where a lot of people are working from home. These colleagues can still be reached via GPAL by watching videos, where previously this was not possible.
“The fact that we can really reach the target group faster and more effectively is really a big advantage of GPAL. In the field of innovation, that is a big catch-up. Also with COVID-19 in mind, colleagues can still be included while working at home.”
Using GPAL in prior education
In the future, the Brigade Objectbeveiliging also wants to deploy GPAL at the KMAR’s Training and Education centre (OTC). The instructors at the OTC will be able to use the practical videos made in GPAL and incorporate them into the teaching material in order to prepare the students for their future workplace. As a result, the prior education is more in line with the workplace and the new colleagues are more prepared for their function.
“We have noticed that the training courses do not always align well with practice. If we can use GPAL in the preliminary training, our future colleagues will already know more about what is going on in the Brigade during their training. In this way we ensure that there is a better transfer between the OTC and the operational Brigade”
The Koninklijke Marechaussee Objectbeveiliging is already experiencing many positive results in the use of GPAL, but there are still plenty of interesting projects on the agenda. We are looking forward to the future! To be continued…
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