The National Association of State Procurement Officials (NASPO), one of AMR’s clients, was charged with creating a professional development and ongoing learning platform for its members. They envisioned a multi-faceted education platform that would assist its members and other state government procurement professionals with resources to help advance public procurement, which includes helping states develop their own certification programs.
The development of this program was important because of its connection to certification; both national and state specific certifications are very important to the NASPO membership. This was also identified by the membership as an area where additional resources and support were needed. NASPO leadership came up with Procurement U as a name and challenged the staff with creating a resource for state’s developing or enhancing their own certification programs that could be delivered in a fun, interactive, online format that would be easy to use and easy to update.
The first step for NASPO staff in addressing this challenge was to brainstorm a way to present an entire education platform and an accompanying guide in a method that would be both fun and engaging for members. The content for this guide was curated by the certification work-group as part of the Professional Development Committee, and rather than present the information through a lengthy PDF document, an innovative idea to produce the guide as an “e-learning course” was agreed upon by the staff and work-group. However, the intention was not to create a typical e-learning course that attempts to instruct learners and then assess them on their learning. In addition to being engaging, the new e-learning platform also served as a vehicle in which to present the content in a creative way.
Working in tandem with AMR’s creative services team to accomplish this innovative approach, NASPO staff utilized Adobe Captivate 9, e-learning course development software, to create this non-traditional “course” that became known as the State Certification Toolkit, or Toolkit for short. The Toolkit underwent many development stages, as well as an extensive review process, but was ultimately made available to NASPO members online, and is provided free of charge to NASPO members that register for Procurement U’s Online Learning Management System.
This project resulted in an exciting, first-of-its-kind resource from Procurement U that has gone on to help lots of procurement professionals across the country develop or enhance their own certification programs. Launched in January of 2016, and later updated with a detailed case study, the Toolkit has been the most viewed online resource offered by Procurement U, and set the stage for an expanding curriculum of vital courses and professional development opportunities.
This innovative approach to a traditionally lackluster method of content delivery showcases AMR’s commitment to providing the best possible service to its clients, as well as the value in exploring new ways of delivering content to association members.
A sample of screenshots taken from the Toolkit can be below: