Turner & Townsend

Synopsis: Turner & Townsend, the global programme management and construction consultancy has been investing in a project management e-learning programme to enable it’s project management professionals to achieve internationally recognised status with Association for Project Management (APM) qualifications whilst ensuring that the company continues to consistently deliver high-quality project management across a wide range of industries.

The leading global programme management and construction consultancy Turner & Townsend embarked on a project management e-learning programme in 2012 to enable it’s project management professionals to achieve internationally recognised status with Association for Project Management (APM) qualifications. The aim being to raise the qualification levels of all project managers to help ensure that the company continues to consistently deliver the high-quality project management for which it is known both in the UK and overseas. The learning programme has so far trained 150 project managers in the UK who have achieved a prodigious 95% pass rate in the APMP examination.

With high-profile projects in London including The Shard, the Battersea Power Station Redevelopment and infrastructure projects such as CrossRail, Turner & Townsend are recognised in the UK for their excellence in the construction industry. At the prestigious Building Awards 2014 they were awarded the Construction Consultant / Surveyor of the Year for the second year in a row as well as being awarded CEO of the Year. They also received the Queens Award for International Trade 2014 and two Turner & Townsend projects received awards from the British Council for Offices (BCO) at their regional event for London and the South East.

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Around 45% of the company’s employees and projects are UK based and their excellence in construction project management is combined with other specialist areas both nationally and globally, including mining, oil & gas and alternative energy projects in countries such as Australia, South Africa, China and Brazil, which give the company its wide breadth of expertise. Their highly skilled project teams are responsible for delivering some of the world’s largest and most complex projects and programmes and are striving to continuously improve their project delivery capabilities through the use of more effective procedures, tools and reports, and through more efficient project tracking.

The project management training programme was devised and is being delivered by, Parallel Project Training and as the programme approaches it’s second anniversary it is proving to be both cost-effective, popular and highly successful. The e-learning approach takes the form of a 1 day introductory session followed by a 6 week period of independent study supported by traditional printed study guides, e-learning resources, phone support and an active online community. A second 1-day session is then used to address any concerns and provide clarification, where needed. This final session is typically followed a couple of days later by the APMP examination. The training is predominantly targeted at the entire range of project managers from the less-experienced to those with extensive experience (but with no formal qualifications).

For professional project management accreditation Turner & Townsend choose the APM qualifications because of the in-depth, knowledge-based approach to project management, and the APM’s commitment to achieving chartered status for the project management profession. In the coming months Turner & Townsend plan to seek APM Registered Project Professional (RPP) accreditation for some of its more experienced project managers, an accreditation widely recognised as the precursor of future chartered status. And the infrastructure side of the organisation has recently had their competency framework accredited by the APM.

Adrian Maguire, Learning and Development Co-ordinator at Turner & Townsend commented,

“Parallel Project Training had already been delivering ad-hoc courses for us, but the implementation of the organised e-learning programme in April 2012 focussed the training in a way that suited our requirements better and has proved very successful. The model is a practical one for our project managers, allowing them to spend minimal time away from their day-to-day roles and offering the flexibility to learn when it suits them. The success of the programme is evident by our impressive pass rate of 95% on the APMP exam. This success has been reflected in the increasing amount of work that we are winning by being able to display that we have better qualified project managers and also in the improved quality of the work they deliver.”

John Bolton, Programmes Director at Parallel Project Training, who delivers the majority of the training sessions, remarked,

“At Parallel we have a genuine desire to fully understand an organisation’s training goals and are flexible enough to offer training programmes to suit a company’s specific requirements. Combining standard e-learning practices with printed study material has proved to be highly successful for Turner & Townsend, allowing delegates to work in a way that fits more readily around their on-going work commitments, whilst still being supported via phone and the online community. The e-learning model also offers participants the opportunity to re-visit particular topics at any time, if needed. Our use of realistic projects has proved to be highly effective in helping their project managers not only achieve formal qualifications but also to continuously improve the way in which they deliver projects in a range of industries and areas of expertise.”

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