e-learning the e-asy way Maria Nicholls joined the All Seasons team in 2005 working the out of hours shift and providing emergency cover for care users and workers. She progressed swiftly up through the ranks to become Area Supervisor and in 2007 took on the role of managing the mentoring process and inductions for new care workers. Having joined All Seasons with ample qualifications, Maria was approached to do a continuous professional development course with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) as part of her appraisal. Learn to Care provided the course through e-learning, that is working remotely via the internet in your own time and learning with and being mentored by a virtual assessor. The ILM course includes three mandatory units and then the choice of 3 others. Maria chose Project Management, Leadership and Managing Change. Tasked to complete each unit in relation to her work in terms of how she would manage and lead a project in a management role, Maria found e-learning to be a very positive process. The virtual mentor is ever present and supportive, “as if they’re in the same room with you, and because you are working at your own pace there is time to write things down and think them through, making you feel comfortable and confident in the process”. Maria was nervous of tackling one of the new Health and Safety directives but by working through it with the e-Learning process and the support of her mentor, she gained all the confidence she needed to overcome her concerns and complete the task. She said, “e-learning is focused and streamlined and enables you to achieve much more than you thought you could”. Having achieved ILM Level 3 in Project Management, Maria has found many practical applications at work for what she has learned. She has created all the procedures for the staff mentoring process and the Common Induction Standards Workbook. Maria also oversees all new staff inductions and is currently busy with the training processes for All Seasons Staff. Maria was not thinking of doing Level 4, which is effectively a degree level qualification, but said “the beauty of the process is that it allows you to build evidence/credit towards the next level with what you are doing for work anyway. This makes it much less daunting to continue as I have already achieved 50% of the level requirements and it will be easy to complete Level 4 within my normal work schedule and with no added stress.” The way that social care is managed moving into the future there is no doubt that care providers like All Seasons will need to expand and adapt to these changes in a progressive and innovative way. There needs to be more awareness of managing that change and supporting staff through the process with confidence and experience gained from on the job training. E-Learning not only supports this process but enables specific training to be achieved within the relevant remit and schedule of work.