New User Trainings
Why are these changes being made now?
All Chicago is dedicated to empowering all service providers, the CoC, and our partners with high-quality, real-time data that can be used to monitor the needs and progress of every person experiencing homelessness, optimize project and agency performance, and achieve system-level improvements. In order to keep up with complex and nuanced changes to federal data standards, rules, and systems such as Coordinated Entry, and to promote best practices in ending homelessness, All Chicago has identified the following goals:
- Offer continuous and effective training to a fluctuating user base of approximately 900 people with varying degrees of computer experience;
- Ensure that HMIS training is tailored to specific project types;
- Educate the CoC on the latest privacy and data security practices as systems become more integrated; and
- Meet HUD-mandated annual recertification requirements for HMIS users.
To help make trainings more effective and efficient, All Chicago will be launching a HMIS online learning portal with a soft launch during the summer of 2018 and a mandated switch in October 2018.
As of October 2018, there will be a modest charge to help cover some of the increased administrative work and software needed to provide a better HMIS training experience.
What is the current training structure and what are its challenges?
Currently, a new user training is offered for any staff member who wishes to become a HMIS user. It is a 7-hour training that is offered about every two weeks, with a waiting list. Some of our users may have to wait a couple of months before they can gain access to the system.
The new user training covers basic privacy and security requirements along with general overview of the basic module with additional details and limited deep dives. After training, users are requested to access the HMIS helpdesk for additional tools and support.
The HMIS user base is constantly fluctuating between 900 to 1000 users. Additionally, we have to keep up with the complex and nuanced changes to federal data standards, rules and systems, such as Coordinated Entry.
This current training structure has presented two challenges:
- We need to train a constantly growing set of users with differing computer skill-sets and agency project model types.
- As our system needs become more interconnected and complex to better serve our clients, we need to ensure that the data entered is complete, timely, and accurate.
With those two major considerations, we found that the current training model does not fit our current needs and where we want to lead the homeless services community.
Will the new training program help improve the current training model?
Yes, the new training program will improve upon the previous training model in the following ways:
- More flexibility. Since much of the training is online, users can start their trainings based on their availability rather than a pre-set schedule. All online courses are self-paced. Progress can be saved, so users can start and complete their training at their convenience.
- Project-specific training. Data reporting requirements may vary by project type. With project-specific trainings, users will receive instructions most relevant to their everyday needs. For example, someone working at an emergency shelter will see only an emergency shelter workflow. This way, users can have more in-depth, comprehensive training to meet their specific project’s requirements.
- Better preparation. New users will be evaluated at the end of the online learning. This is the final step before receiving access to the live site.
How much are the new user trainings?
New user trainings will be $25 per person per track. Each track is defined by a project type.
For example, if you have a user that needs to be trained for both a Permanent Housing project and a PATH project, the cost for that user's training would be $50.
What is the structure of these trainings?
The training for most programs will have two online components and one in-person evaluation. Below is the structure of the training.
HMIS New User Training Courses
|No charge||I. Introduction to HMIS|
$25 per person per course, beginning October 2018
II. Project-specific Workflow
Choose at least one track:
Additional tracks and workflows may be added in the future.
|In-Person||No Charge||III. Evaluation|
Are these trainings available online only?
No, as you can see above, there will be an in-person evaluation.
How long will it take to complete a training?
The training is mostly self-paced. Users can complete the training as they complete the videos. The entire video series may take anywhere between 6 to 8 hours.
Users must complete the in-person evaluation before they can get access to the live HMIS site. In the new model, evaluations will be 2-3 hours long and will be hosted every week.
It is possible for a new user to complete their training and get access to the system within a week.
My agency has multiple project types and my staff members need access to each training track, how much should we expect to pay?
Example #1: Let's say an agency has a Permanent Supportive Housing program, and a PATH program. If you have a user that needs access to both of those programs, then the agency would need to pay $50 to train that client for both those projects since the requirements, workflows and expectations for both project types are so different.
Example #2: If you have an agency that has a Permanent Supportive Housing (disability required) program, and a Permanent Housing (no disability required) program, then the agency would only need to pay $25, as those two project types have the same similar reporting expectations and workflows.
Example #3: If your agency is HUD funded to do run an Emergency Shelter, and your case managers are also Skilled Assessors, then you will only need to pay $25 for the Emergency Shelter track. Since you are HUD funded, then you do not need to pay for the Skilled Assessor training.
Where can I view the course?
Users will take the course here: https://hmis-allchicago.talentlms.com/index
What are annual recertifications?
Recertifications will provide updates on compliance and reporting requirements, system enhancements, system security and any changes to the workflows. Every user with access to HMIS must go through a recertification annually starting in July 2019.
We never had to recertify to use HMIS before, so why now?
HUD requires that all HMIS users receive an annual training, but we did not have the capacity to do so in previous years
What is involved in the recertification process and how much will it cost?
Recertifications will be available online only, and will happen annually for every user starting in July 2019. We will notify users a month before their HMIS anniversary date (the date their profile was created in HMIS).
While it is a mandate, we do incur costs for the administration of the recertifications.
|No charge||General HMIS system enhancements, security and privacy refresher|
$25 per person/track
Choose at least one track:
Additional tracks and workflows may be added in the future
Non-HUD/CoC programs and entities $25 per person
General HMIS system enhancements, security and privacy refresher
Will these changes affect Coordinated Entry trainings?
There will be NO charges for all HUD-funded programs. The users are expected to complete an annual re certification for the coordinated entry track at no cost.
Can Chicago CoC membership dues funds be used towards HMIS training charges?
Unfortunately, since CoC membership dues are pooled resources, these funds cannot be used to pay for HMIS training charges.
Is there assistance for agencies that need financial support?
Yes, certain agencies may qualify for a scholarship or waiver. More information about scholarships, the application process, and deadlines will be shared in the coming months. Please reach out to All Chicago’s Vice President of Information Services Padma Thangaraj at firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.