In December 2021, the NCOA first raised concerns that the Agency’s IT systems were not sufficiently reliable and therefore unable to provide definitive information on whether our members had, or had not, completed mandatory e-learning.
The consistent challenge from your Trade Union - including as recently as last week, has resulted in the Agency now ‘rolling back’ from a requirement that officers provide corroboration of course completion (where the Agency systems had not correctly recorded completion of courses).
Whilst this is welcome news, it will not rectify the wasted hours caused by members completing courses numerous times. Neither will it unpick the negative impact on the morale amongst some teams which were due to see as many as 30% of its officers unfairly branded as ‘underperforming’ after managers were directed against accepting the word of our members.
This most recent debacle again shows that the only real challenge to erroneous decision making by some senior leaders who appear aloof from the reality and pressures caused by the Agency’s out-dated IT systems, comes from the NCOA.
Going forward, we are seeking further engagement with the Agency to ensure that a fair balance is struck between ensuring that mandatory training is completed, whilst also treating NCOA members with the trust and respect that they deserve. The focus of the Agency PDS system must be the development of its officers.