HFL Education generates seven figures of revenue directly through their Totara platform within first 10 months

Totara | Learning Platform | Customised Plugins | eCommerce

Customised Totara site featuring our award-winning Accipio Training Management System (TMS) and Accipio Shop plugins, enabling enhanced user management and eCommerce features.

HFL Education logo

HFL Education (formerly Herts for Learning) are a leading national provider of school improvement and business support services, training, and resources – helping schools, settings, and trusts to deliver a great education for their children.

Operating as a social enterprise on a not-for-profit basis, HFL Education support over 34,000 organisations, including more than 500 schools, 30,000 school staff members, 202,000 pupils and 5,000 governors, helping them to overcome current and future challenges within the education sector.

Each year, they schedule over 2,500 educational training events, conferences, and seminars. They also provide digital technology and e-learning resources to support their mission to ensure that every child can reach their potential.

HFL Education multi-devices
HFl Education Mobile Welcome

The Challenge

HFL approached Accipio with a dynamic challenge.

They had enormous ambitions and goals for sustained growth throughout 2023. This included a rebranding exercise and a completely new learning platform. A system that could unlock digital learning and training for a nationwide audience.

HFL’s existing platform – 'CPD Hub' – had significant limitations, having been built pre-pandemic when training was mainly delivered face-to-face. This made it difficult to modernise and innovate. They needed a superior platform to improve internal processes and enhance the customer experience.

HFL were struggling with limited reporting. For example, trainers had zero visibility of course attendee details, which meant emailing the Events team to find out. Trainers couldn’t mark course attendance or automatically issue certifications.

‘CPD Hub’ only allowed a single format content to be uploaded, which negatively impacted the learning experience.

HFL also had an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) System, NetSuite, storing client information and driving invoicing. ‘CPD Hub’ and NetSuite weren't working together which created a significant admin burden and unmatching records.

They had high ambitions for growth. They wanted to transform their identity to capture a nationwide audience. They needed a modern world-class platform to underpin their strategy.

HFL Education iPad Hub Shop

What we did

After a competitive tending process, HFL selected Totara and Accipio to bring their vision to life.

They were impressed by Totara’s comprehensive functionality and the ability to work with partners to customise the site to work for their processes at scale.

HFL partnered with Accipio for their extended enterprise expertise and wanted to gain access to the Accipio One Totara integration, namely Accipio Shop and Accipio Training Management System (TMS).

After considerable consultation and discovery with HFL to better understand their unique challenges, a migration and implementation plan was developed to replace the creaking 'CPD Hub'.

Accipio's multi-award-winning team began work to build a world-class solution, with integrations such as:

  • NetSuite – an ERP system - to achieve end-to-end automation from purchasing to account reconciliation and billing regular clients by direct debit for in-month purchases.
  • Accipio Shop - the world’s most advanced native shop for Totara - to sell online courses and events to individuals and organisations, and take recurring payments at scale; and
  • Accipio TMS – a training management system – to enable client admins to allocate purchases/licenses to their users and tap into the wider Totara multi-tenancy features such as managing users and accessing reporting. This enabled new end user clients, such as schools, to register and on-board themselves, alleviating the need for any manual intervention from HFL employees.

The solution makes considerable use of Totara course and seminar functionality.

The migration to the new Totara site included developing scripts to sync NetSuite data to setup organisations and users and pull through other records.

HFL Education Mobile Help Centre

The results

Within the first ten months of operation, the new site has:

  • Generated seven figures of revenue directly through the Totara site which will be reinvested back into further educational initiatives to help young people across the country, as HFL are not-for-profit.
  • Sold 30,000 licenses for workshops, events, and training courses. Over 14,000 transactions have taken place
  • Over 34,000 organisations, including 500 schools, all synced with NetSuite
  • 4,000 organisation admins managing the learning experience of just under 20,000 registered learners. Admins have their own tenanted setup to facilitate user management and licence allocation.
  • Over 1,000 courses delivered, as well as 80 separate e-learning opportunities.
  • Over 22,000 seminar event bookings on 1,300+ seminar events.
  • Increased sales outside of Hertfordshire by 40%, meaning the new platform is delivering on the strategy to reach customers nationwide.
  • Combined five learning resources and booking platforms into one. The site is being used by other brands for internal training and on-boarding and enables bookings and payments for national conferences. Thus, providing great value for money and reducing complexity.
  • Delivered considerable time savings and improved user and booking data accuracy. They only need to manage one platform now and learning can be uploaded rapidly (previously videos would have to go into a SCORM file). Booking teams can upload resources themselves and view live booking data (rather than having to ask the events team to generate a report). Emails are now validated through NetSuite rather than being unverified which was hugely problematic. The old system had to match customers with transactions and there was a significant number of transactions that could not be attributed to a customer through Stripe.
  • Improved the learning experience for customers as HFL can now extend beyond SCORM-only digital learning experiences into a wider range of learning activities, including videos and quizzes.

The platform has been so successful that HFL are looking to move more of their brands from other LMS and assessment platforms to the HFL Hub which will generate further income and savings.

The NetSuite integrations have allowed HFL to continue billing regular clients by direct debit for in-month purchases, as well as enabling credit card transactions for new or existing clients. They can better understand what their customers want and need, because their sales data is now finally all in one place and can be exported easily. New users are passed into NetSuite ensuring all HFL contacts are visible on one platform.

Client quotes

“The close working partnership we have enjoyed with Accipio has been a testament to their approach of listening, testing, evaluating, and adapting – building from the initial specification and customising the provision to adjust to our external clients’ needs; as well as giving us a huge way forward for our internal colleague LMS provision.

“The progress that has been made since the project’s inception reflects how far we’ve come already. The system’s prospective capabilities encourage us to be more forward-looking in our approach both to our clients’ evolving expectations, and our own organisational requirements.”

David Windridge, People & Organisational Development Director, HFL Education