For Barnardo’s to be a learning organisation, we rely on a number of interconnected elements. These include having leaders who support learning, managers who take responsibility for employee learning, and employees who demonstrate a growth mindset. We want to be an organisation that recruits and promotes learners and the organisational structures that support a learning culture. The BU bases its ambition to be more effective in knowledge management, capture and sharing of learning on these key elements for success.  

In sharing the learning In Barnardo’s, we're developing our learning culture, not only through the learning offer to all our people, but also through mechanisms and process to share what we learn across the organisation. This includes connecting with colleagues through networks, Workplace groups, in team meetings, at ‘lunch and learns’, regional events and many other ways to share with others.  

An important element of The BU is the concept of ‘learning together’: sharing what we know and learning from others, both when things go well and when they don’t. This will happen through the above channels, but also we will develop a range of ways in which we can learn together more strategically at an organisational level.

Barnardo’s has a wealth of knowledge. Applying a robust evidence base to our work is a central part of our efforts to maximise this and we have the Barnardo’s Evidence Hub in our research and information section. Here you can access evidence summaries and literature reviews produced by Barnardo’s strategic impact team. Our researchers look at evidence on a variety of topics and provide summaries that have clear relevance to your work. Evidence is presented in a range of formats including facts and statistics, reading lists and narrative summaries. We regularly share new research and learning events put together by other charities, universities and organisations that we're members of, such as Research in Practice.

You can also request evidence to support your work and get access to journals to keep abreast of emerging research. Our corporate audit and inspection unit produces an extensive range of reports on how we are doing our work. The BU can act as a central point of information and access to a series of syntheses of these reports in the near future, enabling a much wider sharing of knowledge and improvement across the organisation.  

The BU also sets out our ambition to learn from our people systems, recruitment and selection systems (particularly in relation to equality, diversity and inclusion), and to gather and share data that supports us doing better in all aspects of our work. This will be developed in the next stages of The BU. 

To better understand how we learn in Barnardo’s and where we need to improve, in June 2019 we undertook with colleagues a learner intelligence survey implemented by Towards Maturity. The survey was completed by over 1200 colleagues. The findings and analysis of this survey will help shape the ongoing development of The BU and a series of infographics will soon be available to share the findings with the whole organisation.