The Eurostar/Cognisco relationship:

Cognisco has been working with Eurostar since 2008 to help redesign Eurostar’s employee assessment and training programme, initially for train drivers in line with the UK’s Railway Group Standard for Train Driving.

At that time, Eurostar was updating and automating elements of its competency management system and it commissioned Cognisco to deliver an online assessment programme to measure the competency of its train drivers. 

Cognisco developed 10 assessment modules related to train drivers’ core competencies, which were highly successful. Since this time, assessments have been rolled out to 900 Eurostar employees, including train managers, control staff and train dispatchers. In 2013, Eurostar adopted Cognisco’s competency management and People Risk platform… Cognisco MyKnow.

The business challenges:

Eurostar was until 2010 operated jointly by the national railway companies of France and Belgium, SNCF and NMBS/SNCB, and Eurostar (UK) Ltd (EUKL), a subsidiary of London and Continental Railways (LCR), which also owned the high-speed infrastructure and stations on the British side.

Today, the company’s London terminus is based at St Pancreas International, with the other British calling points being Ebbsfleet International and Ashford International in Kent. The calling points in France are Calais-Fréthun and Lille-Europe, with trains to Paris terminating at Gare du Nord. Trains to Belgium terminate at Midi/Zuid station in Brussels.

When the new corporate structure for Eurostar International was announced on the 1st of September 2010, a key objective was to develop a single, uniform way for managing and reporting on competency and safety management globally. Previously, the three different companies had relied on separate systems and different methods and processes for managing competency, but this was inefficient. It became a priority to develop one system, as well as business processes that were fully aligned across the company. 

Having evaluated the different solutions used within Eurostar and those available on the market, the Company adopted Cognisco’s MyKnow People Risk and Competency Management Solution.

Cognisco MyKnow provides companies with a single solution for managing workforce competency, People Risk and compliance. MyKnow was implemented in March 2013 and is now being used to manage the competence and safety of the Company’s 900 train crew, drivers and train managers in the UK, France and Belgium. 

The system tracks the different assessment processes used by Eurostar including driver observations, simulations, as well as other kinds of assessments; Cognisco MyKnow documents the assessment processes and schedules for assessments, as well.

A key objective for the management team at Eurostar was to have complete visibility of the competence of drivers and front line staff whether they were in the UK, France or Belgium, as well as a simple way of reporting on their progress and assessments. 

What were the business outcomes?

MyKnow has given Eurostar uniform processes for managing competence across the company. For the first time, managers have complete visibility of the global workforce and accessible data about the individual competence levels 

The MyKnow System has also recently been adopted by other rail companies, including Network Rail for managing competence and compliance, which was also attractive to Eurostar. 

Eurostar’s management benefit from a continuously updating MyKnow platform to meet evolving customer needs. For example, the soon to be launched 3.5 version will include off-line functionality so users can access the system remotely from any location.

The robust reporting functionality of MyKnow makes it easy for managers to produce regular reports which can be used internally or externally for auditing and compliance purposes. Eurostar is looking forward to receiving the 3.5 version of MyKnow in June 2014, which will include an off-line functionality that will allow people to use the system when travelling.

The company is working on a new ‘Rules book’ and when this is published Cognisco will work with Eurostar to create online situational judgement assessments for different roles that are aligned with the Eurostar ‘Rules’.

Now Eurostar has a uniform competency management system, which is used across the Company, enabling all managers to assess employees in the same way regardless of their nationality or location.

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