A digital solution to creating new healthcare leaders: Sponge drives power skills at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.


Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Sponge launched an admin and clerical people training programme (‘ACE’) to develop essential soft skills, such as leadership, time management and emotional intelligence.

The Trust wanted to increase the number of employees accessing non-mandatory training via elearning, bringing more efficiency and modernisation to NHS training programmes.

The Trust has over 14,000 employees and is comprised of five large hospital sites across North West London.


Prior to working with Sponge, the Trust had leadership and personal development training in place but this was usually delivered in a classroom-based setting with little flexibility on offer for employees to engage with the training in between shifts.

Employees either couldn’t access the training or were too busy, so there was a significant skills gap when it came to admin and clerical work.

There was also a cultural challenge. Many employees were used to classroom-based training, delivered via a presentation, and shifting this mindset was a key success measurement for the training.

Management Development Consultant, Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust

Claire Shimell

"The digital learning programme that Sponge developed has set the standard for what learning should look like within the Trust. People now expect this level of training, delivered in a modern and engaging way, which can fit around their day-to-day work. Our partnership with Sponge has been critical in helping to upskill our employees."


Sponge worked with the Trust to develop engaging Skill Pill microlearning modules, lasting no longer than 30 minutes with interactive quizzes to complete at the end of each module. Sponge mapped and delivered its Skill Pill learning library content to meet the learning needs of the Trust.

To drive internal engagement, Sponge produced a series of marketing initiatives to help promote the learning to the wider organisation, and used reports and insights to show learning trends that could then be used to course adjust, when appropriate.


Since partnering with Sponge, the Trust has seen a demonstrable cultural change when it comes to its internal training. There is now an expectation that digital learning experiences will match those from the ACE programme, and the flexibility of the digital learning has had a major time saving impact, for employees that are operating in a fast-paced environment.

Employees can now access the training on their tablets and phones, and is now being undertaken by employees from all disciplines within the Trust.

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