About SkillsForge

Our mission

At SkillsForge, our mission is to “transform the Higher Education student journey through operational excellence”. We strive to provide you and your institution with the tools to get the best out of the student journey, through the following:

  • Improving the efficiency and effectiveness of processes
  • Increasing the level of user engagement with university systems and processes
  • Generating better oversight reporting, to inform all users in a more sophisticated and transparent manner
  • Ensuring compliance with internal and external regulations
  • Enhancing business continuity

Some of our clients have reported time efficiency savings of up to 75% and elapsed time efficiency savings of up to 85%. That equates to a process that used to take 2 hours to complete now taking 30 minutes and 13 weeks to elapsed time now only 2 weeks.

Our story

Our journey began over 15 years ago at the University of York, when SkillsForge was created by a group of research students to address the lack of effective progression monitoring and supervision for postgraduate research programmes. 24 universities worldwide now use our solution and we are the proud winners of a number of awards for innovation, operational excellence and user experience.

Our values

COMPASSION

The heart of what we do at SkillsForge is using our knowledge of Higher Education to strive to improve the student experience, making sure that students, staff and institutions have the tools they need to achieve their full potential.

The heart of what we do at SkillsForge is using our knowledge of Higher Education to strive to improve the student experience, making sure that students, staff and institutions have the tools they need to achieve their full potential.

SUPPORT

Our products were designed to make sure students can get the right support during their studies, and to facilitate supervisors and administrators in providing that support, by allowing for features such as automated follow-up and chasing, a dashboard showing a summary of students’ progress and digitally signed supervision meetings.

We understand that each institution is different and has its own structures in place, which is why we offer configurable products that fully integrate with existing student records and other systems. When you invest in SkillsForge, you receive both our products and the support of our excellent team who will be on hand to guide you through the implementation process and beyond.

AMBITION

Being one of the most established companies in our specialised area, we have a tried and tested knowledge of what does and doesn’t work for institutions. In other words: we’ve done the research, so you don’t have to. With our solid foundations and a service we believe in, we have the ambition to expand our solution even further to institutions all across the globe, keeping the user as the focus of everything we do.

We have high expectations and ambition for ourselves and we want that to be reflected in our service and products. We have a proven track record of delivery and have shown a measured impact in terms of efficiency and time saving, for which we are proud to have been awarded ‘Best Effect on Business Goals’ at the 2019 UXUK Awards. We were also delighted to be winners of both the Innovation Award and the University Entrepreneurs Challenge Award at the Educate North & UK Leadership Awards in 2017, and the Tech Northern Stars North East Region winner 2018.

Our product

Our software as a service solution offers a range of products that can be used by institutions and industries within Higher Education and beyond:

Our Student Journey, Progression Monitoring and Supervision, and Skills Assessment and Development products are implemented for the use of institutions involved in postgraduate research, including graduate schools and doctoral colleges.

Our Course Booking and Automated Administration product can support skills development not only for postgraduate researchers, but across your whole institution.

Our integrated BI reporting solution, YellowFin, is normally provided as standard functionality alongside any other product chosen. However, this reporting tool could be implemented as a stand-alone solution for any client in any industry where required.

More information on the various products offered by SkillsForge can be found on the Functionality page.

Our approach

Normally, on implementation, the solution is:

  • Integrated with your existing university systems (e.g. Student Records or Human Resources) on a 1 or 2-way basis, as required
  • Provided with Single Sign On authentication functionality
  • Branded to match the look of your institution’s branding guidelines
  • Configured, within the boundaries of the existing SkillsForge templates and methodology, to the desired look and feel of navigation, screens, forms, events, email notifications, workflows and roles access
  • Supplied with a number of reports, created for each individual institution utilising our integrated Business Intelligence reporting solution, as well as making the generally shared standard reports available

SkillsForge is currently hosted at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) London and Sydney data centres to serve our existing clients in the UK and Australia. Our software as a service (SaaS) solution is available through any modern browser on any device that supports the browser, anywhere in the world, subject to the availability of internet connectivity.

Our impact

SkillsForge realises significant benefits to students, staff and institutions themselves.

With SkillsForge, universities can achieve the following:

  • Significant improvements in efficiency and effectiveness
    • Time efficiency savings of up to 75%, i.e. a process that once took 2 hours, now takes 30 minutes
    • Elapsed time efficiency savings of up to 85%, i.e. a process that took 13 weeks, now takes 2 weeks
    • Helps to inform and develop institutional policies and processes
  • An increased level of user engagement with university systems and processes
    • One university’s PGR/HDR skills development course uptake more than tripled within a year of implementing SkillsForge
    • Supports the development of skills across the institution, not just HDR students
    • Compatible with the Researcher Development Concordat
  • Better oversight
    • Greater transparency of information and processes for all users
    • Information significantly improved in breadth, depth and sophistication
  • Compliance
    • Improved real time tracking of compliance with external and internal regulations
    • Protection against potential complaints and litigation