From education to employment


D2L (@D2L), a global learning technology leader, today announced that the Royal College of Psychiatrists (@rcpsych) has selected Brightspace as its new learning platform to deliver effective online learning for its members.

RCPsych is the UK professional medical body responsible for supporting psychiatrists throughout their careers from training through to retirement. It works to secure the best outcomes for people with mental illness, learning difficulties and developmental disorders by promoting excellent mental health services, training outstanding psychiatrists, promoting quality and research, setting standards and being the voice of psychiatry.

The Royal College has offered online learning content since 2006 through CPD Online, its purpose-built website, and its course structure historically had members gain up to half of their CPD points through online learning. However, the RCPsych felt that the existing solution was no longer fit for purpose, and its members needed a dedicated learning environment that could provide quick access to a variety of content when they needed it.  

As COVID-19 severely impacted the ability for face-to-face teaching in spring 2020, the need to find a better online learning solution became ever more pressing for the Royal College.

Following several months of research into the learning platforms available on the market, and taking into account recommendations from other royal colleges, the tender process began in April 2020, with a field of four providers. D2L’s Brightspace platform was chosen based on its ease of use for both learners and educators, its customised learning pathways functionality, and its partnership with integrated course registration storefront, Course Merchant.

“Our goal is to add value to our members in the Psychiatric profession and, ultimately, ensure that those with mental illnesses and developmental disorders are getting the highest quality treatment they can. The pandemic has impacted not only the ability for us to deliver our training, but also the mental health of the general population. The services of our members have never been in higher demand, and it’s essential that our members can access engaging learning materials to continue in their professional development,” said Sonia Walter, Director of Professional Standards at RCPsych.

RCPsych started migration of content immediately after the partnership began and has already uploaded most of its existing learning materials to Brightspace. The Royal College plans to upload additional training modules later this year and is developing new courses and formats based on the increased functionality of the Brightspace platform. 

As of August 2021, the Brightspace platform has been launched to 2,500 individual RCPsych members, with a further 3,000 institutional subscribers due to launch in the autumn. As lockdown restrictions ease even further, RCPsych will investigate hybrid learning approaches through Brightspace and, as its learner datasets become more robust, RCPsych plans to offer even more personalised and engaging learning pathways for its members.

“Demand for psychiatric services has been huge during the course of the pandemic, and will likely continue to be even as lockdowns end. We’re proud that the Royal College of Psychiatrists will be using Brightspace to further the professional development of its members so they’re equipped to provide the highest standard of care for their patients,” said Alan Hiddleston, Director of Corporate Learning, D2L.

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