Littlewood has taken the initiative to become an expert in implementing blended learning methods, and in turn, has helped develop many learning solutions and initiatives for the NCI Academy. Some of those initiatives made it possible to bring the NCI Academy online quicker during the COVID-19 pandemic, including supporting the introduction of the Academy's first paperless course.
Littlewood also spearheaded greater efficiency in resources and time management, as well as beginning the process of upgrading and replacing legacy systems. These steps will result in a more robust and agile NCI Academy for the future.
For his efforts and dedication to improving education and training throughout NATO, Littlewood has received NATO's highest honour, the Meritorious Service Medal from NATO's Secretary General.
We asked him a few questions to find out more.
What were the biggest challenges you faced when implementing new ways of learning at the NCI Academy during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The primary business of the NCI Academy is the delivery of training, and a considerable amount of that training is delivered face-to-face. This was severely impacted by the COVID crisis. We all utilized this time to start formulating methods to deliver training remotely. This was not easy with NATO's strict security needs[AM1] , but we successfully managed to roll out several remote courses. And this work has only just begun.
What is the most exciting thing about your role working for the NCI Agency?
The most exciting thing about working with NATO Allies is being trusted to come up with new ideas and think outside the box. The trust the management placed in my team this year allowed us to produce a completely new Training Management System (TMS) that will benefit the entire Academy for many years to come.[AM2] The TMS allows us to co-ordinate and track all aspects of the training workflow. It includes modules for student management, course management, risk analysis and much more. This allows managers, instructors, training coordinators and students to have up to the minute information about the entire course catalogue in one central repository.
Why is the work you are doing so important for the Alliance?
Training is a fundamental part of NATO. NATO deploys numerous complex systems, and without high quality training, the operational effectiveness of these systems would be seriously diminished. We make sure that we are delivering the appropriate level of training for those across the Alliance who need it.