MOD Defence Learning Portal: Transforming Ministry of Defence training

MOD Defence Learning Portal: Transforming Ministry of Defence training



The MOD wanted to deliver training in a way that would reduce cost and the impact on frontline duties


Provided by BT, the Defence Learning Portal is the MOD’s primary source of distance learning


The on-line training system enables training to be delivered where people are posted at whatever time is convenient


Training to keep defence teams up-to-date with all the latest regulations is vital, but it is a continuous draw on budgets and time taken away from frontline duties.

For example, when electricians from the Royal Engineers needed training on new Institution of Engineering and Technology wiring regulations, every electrician had to travel to Chatham for a one week course. It took more than 18 months for everyone to complete the training.

When the regulations were updated in 2009, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) was determined things would be different, by transforming the way the training was delivered.


BT is a partner of the Defence Centre for Training Support (DCTS). Building on its close relationship with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and extensive experience of training transformation, BT worked with DCTS to create a new on-line training system.

The training was delivered through the MOD’s Defence Learning Portal (DLP), its primary source of distance learning provided by BT. The electricians could complete the course wherever they were posted and at whatever time was convenient to them. As well as the financial savings, it meant much less time was spent away from frontline duties.

Integrating the package with the existing DLP system ensures trainees have ease of access, a record of their progress and achievements, and a lifelong record of their training activities. It cuts administrative costs through tracking and online reporting and automatically maintains an audit trail of mandatory training completion for compliance purposes.

In the area of compliance training, e-learning is now very much the gold standard. It is proven to reduce the cost of training and to fit well around other staff responsibilities. BT recently used e-learning to condense six months’ worth of training for 200 new recruits into 10 weeks.

BT’s training transformation solutions are developed through a combination of strong research and solid practical experience, which ensures reduced training costs and time, as well as a better-trained team. They deliver quick payback with measurable benefits, and make continual learning an everyday reality.


Delivering the course through the DLP saved the Royal Engineers more than £1 million on updating electricians’ training. It also significantly reduced their time away from frontline duties.

The DLP is a continually evolving service that now has more than 210,000 users, making it one of the largest resources of its kind in Europe. It is the main source of distance learning for many defence courses, providing swift and simple access to training that helps military personnel keep up-to-date with the latest information.

BT provides the DLP platform and application suites as a managed service. Content is sourced by the MOD both internally and through third parties.

The reach and value of the DLP are increasing on a daily basis. Traditional e-learning is supplemented by immersive games and emulations – capabilities that will ensure it remains as a key enabler of the MOD’s blended learning strategy.

Group Captain Mark Shackleton, Commanding Officer of the MOD Defence Centre for Training Support, says: “In the current challenging economic climate there are significant pressures within the MOD to reduce costs whilst protecting or enhancing capability. BT has provided proactive and innovative input in support of this aspiration through recent partnership work on the Defence Learning Portal. Our relationship with BT is now stronger than ever and together we remain committed to improving the experience for our learners.”

The BT Differentiators

  • BT’s long term, in-depth experience supporting the UK’s National defences in a close working relationship with the MOD
  • BT has implemented training transformation internally on a large scale, delivering 85 per cent of training online to more than 100,000 employees
  • Capability to host enterprise-scale solutions, including IT and network infrastructure
  • BT Professional Services help maximise investment in e-learning

Core BT Services

  • BT Learning Solutions
  • The Defence Learning Portal, a tailored and fully managed BT training transformation solution
  • Application hosting at a BT data centre, including learning management, web content management, learning assessment, and management reporting


Case study