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Compliance Processes for School Standards Get Full Makeover With Nintex Solution from Devworkz

Challenges of Educational Compliance

Every five years, Australian principals and school administrators must complete a full compliance audit on their schools' compliance statuses to maintain registration, in addition to performing an annual a self- monitoring process. Running a school in New South Wales, Australia, requires an operating license that is contingent on meeting requirements laid down by the New South Wales Board of Studies, Teaching, and Educational Standards (BOSTES). Non-compliant schools can be put on provisional registration and even face possible de-registration.

The workload associated with responding to this audit placed significant pressure on teaching staff, administrators, and principals. Not only was it time-consuming to manually fill out spreadsheets and email them to the education office, but also compliance requirements are ambiguous and often interpreted differently. Observing this challenge, Tania Cairns, Compliance Officer for the Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP), sought a better alternative.

With 78 Catholic schools in the Diocese (56 primary and 22 secondary), four early learning centers, and a total student population of over 43,000, the business of managing schools and delivering student outcomes can be complex and expensive. CEDP needed a solution to reduce staff stress levels, save time, and improve accuracy.

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Exhibit A

Process Automation with a Clean, Flat, Modern User Experience

CEDP wanted to simplify the process in a contemporary way that supported staff engagement and responded to current and future compliance needs. The organization envisioned a new workflow/rules-based solution where collaboration, transparency, and shared leadership underpinned school-level tracking and automation of "24 by 7" compliance—not a once-every-5-years full on-site audit approach with self-monitoring process for other years.

To create an automated compliance management solution to fit this model, CEDP called on technology partner Devworkz to update its existing Microsoft SharePoint system. Devworkz brought in some proprietary technology — Appbuilder no-code-based application development solution and Uihiro — to further enhance the user experience. These tools all run on Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and build on Nintex Workflow Enterprise as part of the new solution, called 247Checklist.

All 247Checklist information is held in lists and libraries in a central site that supports master data sources and many relational data models. Data views and school and individual access are based on SharePoint security groups and Active Directory, surfaced through Appbuilder components.

CEDP wanted a modern, clean design for its solution. John Ackery, Director of Devworkz, says, "Appbuilder in combination with the easy-to-use Nintex Workflow provides a simple solution so users don't have to deal with the complexity of the underlying processes." As a finishing touch, the solution uses Uihiro to enhance the SharePoint UI with graphical icons, pop-up hover-overs, and a responsive design capability that deals with all common browsers and view ports, such as desktops and tablet access. "Nintex Workflow Enterprise manages the back-end processes and complex business logic, from notifications to service workflow, across systems to automate the compliance process," says Ackery. "You couldn't have this solution without Nintex. The business rules and logic are executed transparently, freeing the user to focus on doing just what's needed."

247Checklist runs complex, automated workflows behind the scenes to generate each school's audit every year. During the completion phase, one set of workflows provides current status and approval of each section as the staff move through the audit. This phase ends with the principal signing off his or her school as compliant. Another set of workflows advises the Compliance Team and the relevant Director in the education office that this school has completed the process, along with any required followup actions.

The solution will send an alert if a school hasn't started using 247Checklist by a certain date. A school can also choose to request assistance in the workflow itself if it needs support in achieving compliance in a certain area. Cairns adds, "There's potential to have reporting at the network level, with horizontal and vertical reporting on the status of individual items, categories, or an entire school. This analysis will provide insights and information on performance that we have never had before."

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Exhibit B

The solution handles the complex business logic of linking information from various systems and matching them to the right person, school, and location to provide notifications and alerts. These systems include those for information on:

  • Students (FACES)
  • Staff
  • Curriculum
  • Premises and Buildings
  • Facilities (medical clinics and first-aid staff)
  • Safe and Supportive Environment
  • Discipline
  • Attendance
  • Management and operation of the school

Because of this flexibility, CEDP is using these technologies in other domains, such as Workplace Health and Safety and Operational Risk. For example, CEDP has implemented a print request solution that interoperates with the financial system for automated billing, a Risk of Significant Harm solution with tracking and alerts to help protect at-risk students, and an HR Schools directory management solution (based on SQL data sets).

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Exhibit C

Nintex and Devworkz Technologies for Compliance Solutions and Beyond

With 247Checklist, staff can update compliance requirements centrally and push the changes out to all schools as they are released by BOSTES. Principals can distribute workload, assigning various parts of the audit for school staff to work on throughout the year for ongoing compliance. 247Checklist eliminates the repetitive work of collecting and maintaining evidence. Staff can link directly to supporting documents, so principals and compliance officers can verify compliance.

Thanks to centralized processes and document storage, the compliance team can look at 247Checklist at the education office instead of visiting each school. The solution also allows BOSTES Inspectors to view a sample of schools from the education office, to ensure the system is maintaining compliance records correctly. The solution is smart enough to show each staff member just the requirements that apply to his or her school, and generates email alerts when a compliance issue or deadline needs to be addressed. After principals sign off a school as compliant, the solution notifies the compliance team at the education office, and indicates whether any followup is required.

All 78 CEDP schools have been trained on the solution, which was deployed in late 2014 in pilot mode to 30 schools and will be fully rolled out in 2015. Anticipated solution benefits include:

  • Improved efficiency and greater oversight in compliance
  • Elimination of the repetitive work of collecting and maintaining evidence
  • Better reporting options, with accurate, measurable data on compliance status across all categories, by school or by network of schools
  • A central library for all compliance documents, for quick, easy access to compliance documentation
  • Reduced travel to schools for the compliance team thanks to centralized processes and document storage
  • An easy-to-use solution that will lead to a higher level of compliance across the diocese

Managing compliance within and across multiple school sites is challenging and requires great transparency and oversight. Now, the 247Checklist solution provides principals and administration staff with an online auditing solution that supports and streamlines how we meet our compliance objectives.

Tania Cairns
Compliance Officer
Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta
Company
Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta (CEDP) is a non-profit organization comprised of 78 Catholic schools (56 primary and 22 secondary) and four early learning centers. The Diocese has a student population of around 43,000, and 4,500 staff.
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Country
Australia
Industry
Education
Business Situation
Non-profit organization CEDP wanted to streamline the education-compliance full audit process its school staff underwent every five years and an annual self-monitoring process across its 78 schools.
Solution
IT partner Devworkz created an automated compliance management solution called 247Checklist, based on Microsoft SharePoint 2013, Nintex Workflow Enterprise, and proprietary technologies Appbuilder and Uihiro.

Devworkz

Benefits
  • Improved compliance transparency and efficiency
  • Better reporting
  • Centralized access to compliance documentation

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Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta Students


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