This Huddle case study is a textbook lesson in secure, cross-firewall collaboration.  The British Institute of Facilities Management (BIFM) is using Huddle to accelerate and streamline the examination process for professional qualifications. The home of facilities management in the UK benefits from a secure platform to mark assessment papers, return them safely and maintain an audit trail. Huddle gets top marks in every area.

BIFM needed support for examiners and eight centers

Founded in 1993, the BIFM provides information, education, training and networking services for more than 12,000 members – both individual professionals and organizations. Prior to the 2010 launch of a new flexible suite of professional qualifications in Facilities Management, accredited on the Qualifications and Credit Framework, BIFM ran traditional examinations.

Twice a year, candidates had the opportunity to write a three-hour narrative paper at an examination venue. The scripts were transported backwards and forwards by couriers between the venues, while BIFM and the examiners were responsible for keeping track of the paperwork in the event of any scripts going missing.

With the launch of the new qualifications, greater recognition has been given for work-based learning and learners that are combining study with a demanding job benefit from increased flexibility. Specific units, relevant to occupational roles and industry requirements, can be undertaken at recognized tuition centers nationwide and overseas. People can do units at their own pace and in their own time via face-to-face or distance learning. To successfully run the new program, BIFM has to securely collaborate with two key stakeholders: the examiners that mark the assessment papers and the eight recognized centers.

BIFM selects Huddle

Linda Hausmanis, Head of Qualifications, BIFM, explains: “Email is not a secure communication channel and we simply can’t have assessment papers and marking criteria to-ing and fro-ing through the ether. With eight examiners nationwide who have the required expertise and knowledge to mark assessment papers against the criteria, a secure platform was required to send them learners’ papers. Similarly, the marked documents needed to be returned safely and an audit trail kept.”

During the development of the new processes, a consultant hired by BIFM recommended Huddle to the IT manager. Keen to deploy a new document management system, BIFM has adopted huddle across all of BIFM’s teams.

“Huddle is secure, easy to access, and simple to use. The file structure is straightforward and working with the examiners and centers is now more efficient,” Linda continues. “All the required documentation is in a central place and we don’t have to worry about large attachments crashing our email systems or landing in our junk box. Managing nine qualifications across 57 units, all with different examiners, I can now set granular permissions and know that only the relevant people can view or amend certain documents.”

Impressed with BIFM’s use of Huddle, a number of centers are now using it to run distance learning packages and create online forums. With the number of BIFM-recognized tuition centres set to double, uptake of Huddle will continue to increase.

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