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How St John Ambulance skills up 70,000 students a year with JR Plus

St John Ambulance NSW is a registered charity and not-for-profit that has provided First Aid training for most of its 130-year history. With 70,000 students a year, its RTO training program plays a crucial part in funding its 3500-strong volunteer network so it can realise its community purpose in NSW.


St John provides training across the full scope of First Aid units of competency as well as a number of health-related topics, such as supporting mental health. ‘Provide First Aid’ and ‘Provide CPR’ are its two highest demand courses, currently accounting for about 80% of its training business.


The challenge


St John Ambulance has a long history of providing First Aid training in NSW and Australia. In fact, First Aid training has been in its DNA for 120 years and it was once the largest provider in Australia. Because it receives no government funding, St John relies on revenue from areas like its Registered Training Organisation to support its broader mission in NSW, which is all about saving lives through responsive healthcare and wellbeing support in the workplace and in the community.


In 2015, St John was using a legacy Student Management System that was unable to capture USI numbers or issue online certificates. Training thousands of students every month, St John needed to upgrade to support the scale of its high volume short-course training model with features like online student enrolments, automated certificate issuing and the ability to manage course roles and access live course data. It also needed to ensure it could meet all of its RTO compliance requirements.


The solution


St John Ambulance NSW chose and implemented the JR Plus Student Management System. One reason for this decision was that the software was designed in Australia for the needs of Australia’s vocational education and training market and local Registered Training Organisations, which meant it had a local support team with deep experience in areas like RTO compliance. As a not-for-profit charity, St John also found JR Plus to be competitively priced for the value it could provide.


It was JR Plus’ ability to support its high volume, short course model that proved critical for St John’s operations. At the time, many standard SMS products were unable to adequately support a high volume turnover of short courses, some of which are only two hours long. St John utilized JR Plus’ capacity to automate aspects of its short course student lifecycle, including enabling students to enrol themselves into courses online and receive automated certificates upon completion.


The result


St John Ambulance NSW has successfully streamlined its student lifecycle, putting things like enrolment forms in the past and allowing it to issue certificates automatically to students. It has noted improved processing efficiencies for its team in areas like compliance, where it now has the confidence that it is meeting all RTO requirements. It has also been impressed by the accuracy and reliability of student data in JR Plus, as well as the ability to access student and course data in real time and manage aspects of administration like course roles. As it looks to the future, St John is using reporting in JR Plus to support oversight and decision making in its training activities.



Automation: St John Ambulance NSW implemented online student enrolments and automated certificate issuing for a high-volume short course program.

Data insights: St John gained access to real time course data as well as reporting to support oversight and decision making.

Expertise: Benefitting from a locally designed Australian system, St John is working with a JR Plus team with experience in Australian VET.



What St John Ambulance NSW says


“Our training business is critical because it helps fund our social purpose in NSW, and we really need a system that matches our short course model. JR Plus is an Australian Student Management System that is compliant with local vocational education and training requirements. In addition, it has a local team to support it and can integrate well with other systems like an LMS. I think for anyone considering a new SMS today, you would have to consider JR Plus as one of the top options.”


Martin Thomas, General Manager – Training and Development, St John Ambulance (NSW)



Interested in learning more about how we help education providers with next generation student management technology? Learn more about JR Plus here.