West Lothian Council

Handling sensitive topics with ease using TurningPoint

Case Study: TurningPoint’s real test within West Lothian Council was whether those delivering the training would use it and be happy doing so.


West Lothian was awarded the prestigious title “UK Council of the Year 2006,” a British award program that highlights and celebrates excellent work in local government. To win this highly sought after title, the Council had to demonstrate a high level of excellence, taking its work well beyond basic service provision. The award reflects the Council’s commitment to being one of the leading and most innovative councils in the country.

In accordance with The Race Relations Amendment Act 2000, the Council has a statutory duty to ensure all employees complete Race Equality Awareness training. With over 8,000 employees spread out over a large geographical area, West Lothian Council’s learning and development team (L&D) was presented with a real challenge. It was important that all workers benefit from the same training, and ensure the results of that training can be centrally recorded for audit purposes.

The L&D team had heard of response technology, so they reached out to request a demonstration of TurningPoint. “We wanted something we could use for training in general,” says Kerry McDaid, HR advisor for West Lothian Council. “But it quickly became apparent that TurningPoint would be an excellent tool to solve our race relations training challenge.”

“TurningPoint has not only helped us reach staff in a new and interesting way, it has helped us capture their interest and engage them, meeting our overall training success measures. It is also becoming a popular choice for trainers, and we are being asked more often if groups of people can borrow the keypads for their sessions. Both users and trainers are perfectly happy with it – what more can we ask for!”

—Kerry McDaid


One of the key benefits with TurningPoint is that learners can vote on topics and answer questions in total anonymity. The learners just press the relevant button and results can either be displayed on screen for the whole group to see, or hidden for the trainer to analyze when the session is over. The collection of anonymous feedback makes it easy for all learners to get involved without feeling embarrassed, awkward or shy.


“We started the roll-out by delivering training to a core group of managers and service trainers all tasked with cascading the training to the staff within their area,” says Kerry. “It has gone very well. The training has been delivered in the way we imagined, and staff have told us that they really enjoy it.”

The L&D team has been impressed by TurningPoint’s ability to connect with hard-to-reach employees. Kerry explains, “We have a lot of staff that can’t access our online training library. For example, those in kitchens, care homes or those only in their workplace for short periods of time that often need that time to spend on other pressing tasks. Using TurningPoint, we have now demonstrated our ability to reach even these people.”

Results from a session are stored in the TurningPoint software, making it easy for the training staff to analyze the data from several sessions. The collected data can be collated and fed into a central learning management system. TurningPoint’s integrations with major LMS providers and interactive office management tools, such as Microsoft PowerPoint, make it easy for the West Lothian L&D team to use keypads with minimal training.

TurningPoint also helps the trainers engage their audience, motivating them to get involved in the session. By using TurningPoint throughout a session, the trainers keep their learners interested, even when discussing difficult or sensitive subjects. The engagement of staff has certainly contributed to the L&D team meeting their overall objective. “We have received so much positive feedback from around the organization that we are convinced the use of TurningPoint has been a real success,” says Kerry.

West Lothian currently uses TurningPoint for race relations training, but they have ideas for further implementation. Kerry comments, “We can easily see how TurningPoint could be used within other training programs and business activities. For example, in Council Tenant meetings, to capture comments and opinions from all tenants, not just those confident about expressing themselves within a group. TurningPoint gives everyone a chance to have their say, even anonymously. We can get a true reflection of what the tenants think and that is extremely valuable.”