Knowledge Harvest in Practice

Daniel Froste from Barnsley Hospital NHS Foundation Trust

[email protected]

Who asked

Vocational Training Manager

What did they say?

The trust now has over 100 apprentices across the organisation. The trust’s Vocational Training Manager approached the Library Lead as she was looking for ways to improve their experience, especially in relation to their induction and the level of support which is offered.

What did you do?

Inspired by a presentation at the Knowvember study day and the KM postcard on Knowledge Harvesting, a set of questions were developed which were designed to be “a structured approach to help an organisation understand and record the knowledge and experience of people, often before they leave or move roles” (KM Toolkit). Questions ask apprentices what skills and knowledge the job entails the specific tools or software which is required, who key contacts are etc… The questions were piloted with an apprentice who gave feedback and this exercise resulted in the development of the questions. These questions are sent to the apprentice towards the end of their placement, the apprentice completes the questions and the answers are discussed in the final review between the apprentice and the Vocational Training Manager. The answers go to the new apprentice in that department as part of their induction. The results of the knowledge harvest also go to the apprentice’s manager.

At time of writing (June 2019), Knowledge Harvests have occurred with 5 out of 6 apprentices who have started at Barnsley Hospital since this development as introduced. Apprentices and managers have spoken positively about the process and it is now embedded within the apprenticeship programme.

How did it help?

Initial feedback from apprentices said that it helped by giving that a better idea of what the role would intend when they started. It also gave the apprentice information about what knowledge and expertise they will need to develop for the role.

The knowledge harvest was also useful for the vocational training manager and the manager of the apprentice. One of the managers organised training for the new apprentice based on the results of the knowledge harvest.

June 2019