- The British Association for Supported Employment (BASE) is a prominent national charity in the UK, established in 2006 through the merger of the National Association of Supported Employment and Association for Supported Employment. Both associations have been instrumental in the field of supported employment since the early 1990s, with a unified purpose of advocating for industry interests.
- BASE represents over 300 organisations dedicated to supporting disabled, neurodivergent, and disadvantaged individuals in their careers.
- Operating throughout the United Kingdom, BASE is renowned as a leading advocate for the evidence-based model of Supported Employment. This approach is characterised by its emphasis on individualised support, active employer engagement, and precise job matching to cater to the unique needs of each individual they assist.
- As a charitable organisation, BASE’s operations are primarily funded through membership subscriptions. Additionally, being a charity, they rely significantly on donations to further their mission and impact.
- One of the critical challenges faced by BASE was the need to modernise their operational systems. They recognised the necessity to expand their influence and effectiveness by providing high-quality training to front-line workers specialising in accessibility and Supported Employment.
- To address this challenge and enhance their capabilities, BASE applied for and was selected as one of Microsoft’s non-profit tech accelerator partners. This prestigious partnership provided BASE with not only crucial funding but also access to a wealth of expertise and advanced technology from Microsoft.
- Microsoft Community Training Platform: A new, mobile-friendly platform for global training, allowing learners to access and engage with content from any device, anywhere. This platform supports the addition of custom content and assessments, features automated learner management, communication, and measurement, and is powered by Microsoft Azure, ensuring affordability, security, and ease of management.
- Tailored CRM System: This system is based on Dynamics 365 Sales and Dynamics 365 Fundraising & Engagement. It’s a cloud-based learning management system that enables BASE to efficiently create and deliver online courses, streamlining their operations and data management.
“To ensure the success of this program, we recognise the importance of combining human and technological resources to create sustainable models that empower individuals, employers, and communities. We have committed to train at least 10,000 front line workers who will be able to assist job seekers with accessible tech solutions. Hector Minto, the Director of Accessibility and Lead Technology Evangelist at Microsoft, delivered a keynote speech at the BASE conference on the 15th November 2023, where he inspired and motivated 300 front line workers to embrace this exciting opportunity to bridge the worlds of accessible technology and learning. We are grateful for the partnership with Microsoft, which we believe will have a positive impact on how Supported Employment integrates accessible tech and sets a standard of excellence across the UK, Europe, and the World. We are looking forward to launching the new training platform in February 2024 and working with Microsoft and mhance to continue to develop the training offer and promote this amazing opportunity across the UK, Europe and beyond.”
Laura Davies, Chief Executive at BASE
- BASE has significantly expanded its offerings by providing two online courses to 10,000 front-line workers. In addition to this, they have collaborated with The Oaks Specialist College to produce five videos, highlighting accessible technology tools for these workers.
- This initiative not only improves BASE’s efficiency and effectiveness but also contributes to a more inclusive and diverse workforce. It aligns with the Department of Work and Pensions’ Universal Support programme, which aims to support 100,000 disabled, neurodivergent, and disadvantaged individuals in gaining employment and helping businesses to diversify their workforce.
- BASE has implemented a Dynamics CRM solution to streamline training and data management. This solution replaces spreadsheets and manages the entire course lifecycle, including a custom online portal for various user roles, registration, approval workflows, feedback surveys, and certification records. BASE also plans to use Dynamics Marketing for email campaigns, integrating further with Microsoft’s suite.
- Additionally, BASE will use Power BI reporting integrated with Dynamics CRM to provide interactive dashboards and reports, facilitating performance monitoring and improvement. This tool also enables self-service analytics, allowing the team to fully leverage data for informed decision-making in their training courses.