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Hampshire County Council builds a scalable blended learning solution

Hampshire County Council (HCC) is the county council that governs the majority of the county of Hampshire in England. It provides the upper tier of local government, below which are district councils, and town and parish councils. HCC has a dedicated Adults’ Health and Care department that deliver vital training to local care providers in the Hampshire area and beyond.

The Challenge

Traditionally, Hampshire County Council had provided face-to-face training to care provider partners and the COVID-19 pandemic had stopped that training taking place. However, the need for training had not diminished, and they needed an online platform to continue delivering training via online e-learning.

HCC required a flexible solution that would allow them to service many businesses of varying sizes and individual practitioners wishing to develop their knowledge and skills, thus appealing to both B2B and B2C markets. The solution also needed the functionality of delivering face-to-face events to enable the gradual reintroduction of face-to-face training to complement the newly available online training.

The Solution


Following a tender process, HCC concluded that a Totara platform delivered by Cortexa would meet their requirements. The solution consisted of two core elements: the Totara Learn LMS, and an integrated WordPress site.

Totara Learn gave HCC a professional and easy-to-use LMS which was key to ensure that the system was credible to potential customers, learner friendly and enabled administrators to easily update content and manage the onboarding of new customers effectively. HCC could also deliver blended learning to their customers in the longer term, including classroom events, webinars, online modules and resource sharing. Through consultancy with Cortexa, HCC developed scalable product options for their customers, which extended to the option of creating branded tenanted areas of the site and the choice of learning bundles that could be allocated by organization.

As well as providing a class-leading solution to new and established B2B customers, HCC also wanted to attract B2C customers to their Totara system. It was critical for individuals to be able to find the system via search engines and other channels. This could be best delivered by showcasing their offer through a WordPress site which integrated with Totara, acting as a “marketing bridge” into the secure LMS. Individual learners could browse the course catalog and pay for courses via a PCI-compliant payment gateway within the WordPress site and after payment, the learner would then be directed through to their automatically created Totara profile.

The integration between the systems involved customized plugins and a consultative collaboration between Cortexa and HCC to compress a non-standard LMS brief into a simple and easy-to-use solution for multiple customer types.

The Results

HCC has already realized several key benefits from the implementation of Totara Learn, including easier course booking and enrollment, the ability to host e-learning built in-house and the ability for customer organizations to enroll their own teams with customized learning experiences.

Additionally, HCC has opened up learning to a new audience through the essential link between their LMS and WordPress site. The user-friendly setup makes it easy for individual learners to search and pay for courses, creating a new revenue stream for HCC.

Their Totara Learn solution will enable HCC to expand their offering in the years to come, making this a truly futureproof solution for their learners.

“Throughout the project, the team at Cortexa have been on hand to ensure the solution meets our technical requirements and regulatory obligations. We now have the capability of delivering custom training packages to our partners and the ability to market our content to individuals who need access to Adult Care training.”
– Paul Castle, Learning & Development, Adults’ Health and Care, Hampshire County Council

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