How our managed learning services helped Shelter’s L&D department to increase the time spent with the business and improve the L&D brand.

An under resourced learning department

Shelter helps millions of people every year struggling with bad housing or homelessness through their advice, support and legal services.

Shelter is here so no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own and campaign to make sure that, one day, no one will have to turn to them for help.

The Learning and Development department were facing numerous problems when sourcing learning solutions for their employees such as:

  • Restricted budgets and financial constraints.
  • Obtaining value for money.
  • Ensuring their staff received quality training.
  • Lack of time and the burden of administering training.

A big challenge for their L&D was the geographic spread of the organisation, with employees spread all over England. Ensuring best quality local training, within budget, was something they had always struggled with.


We held in-depth discussions with the Learning and Development Manager to discuss and understand their current situation, their current process for sourcing and administering learning needs and what their challenges were.

We quickly identified that the L&D team were seasoned professionals who needed additional L&D resources, especially with sourcing, procurement and booking administration of external training. Their L&D department were keen to build the brand of L&D within the business, and ensure that their values were reflected in the training staff attended.

The focus would be on working with L&D directly with training requirements, to match suppliers who had experience of working in the charity sector and to provide advice and guidance to the L&D team when employees identified potential training solutions themselves.


As a result of these discussions, in October 2009, they asked us to provide the additional L&D resource services as part of a comprehensive managed learning services:

  • Training sourcing
  • Learning booking and administration
  • Supplier management

These services were supported by:

  • Agreed service levels 
  • Dedicated account manager and support team
  • Management reporting and tailored process for invoicing
  • Regular service review meetings


After the initial pilot period, the Learning and Development team were able to see the wider benefits of using managed learning services. They had more time to focus on strategy, were providing better learning solutions for their staff, had cut the cost of training by 22% and improved the overall process for their employees.

Optimus Learning Services has continued to work in partnership with the Learning & Development team to provide a high level of support and professional advice for their employees.

“Optimus Learning Services have been outstanding and supported us with sourcing high quality and affordable training for our staff.  They are a very professional organisation with excellent response times to our training queries. They also provide us with a variety of training options per query, so that we can make an informed decision on which training is most suitable.  They have developed an understanding of how we work, and I look forward to continuing to work with them.”
Gareth Gilleeney – Learning and Development Manager

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