Gen-Probe Incorporated Puts SilkRoad’s Learning Management System in Motion

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Gen-Probe Incorporated, a global leader in the development, manufacture and marketing of rapid, accurate, and cost-effective nucleic acid tests (NATs) – used primarily to diagnose human diseases and screen donated human blood – is a perfect example of a company working within a regulated environment. For years, they managed and tracked employee training manually using a paper-based system. As they grew, a better solution was needed – one that would allow them to track learning across multiple facilities and their entire global workforce.

Being in such a high-stakes business, Gen-Probe must ensure its workers comply with operating practices and safety regulations to ensure the safety of all workers and customers. Many of these regulatory practices are necessary procedures implemented by the company, but others are imposed on the company by external regulatory organizations. Audits are conducted by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other regulatory bodies to ensure the company continues to follow internal and external regulations. The company is regularly audited for product compliance and safety, and for compliance across all of its manufacturing processes, customer interactions, production and shipping.

The Challenge

Regular audits assure government agencies that all Gen-Probe employees are up-to-date on the latest information and training, and confirm for Gen-Probe that all its employees know the latest vital information pertinent to performing their jobs correctly and safely.

Implementing a learning management system introduced some huge automation advantages for Gen-Probe as it allowed them to deliver training and to more easily track the courses each employee completed. As part of the implementation, Gen-Probe validated the LMS for 21 CFR Part 11 Compliance. With the launch of SilkRoad Learning, the company shortened the time required to compile reports and historical data for external audits. Today Gen-Probe has the ability to print full reports showing employee training history at a moment’s notice.

Gen-Probe wanted e-learning in place for several course areas including, business skills, desktop skills and managerial training. The company also uses SilkRoad Learning as a system of record for all training (procedural, classroom, conferences, webcasts, etc.), and to track the courses (both classroom and web-based) each employee completes. This allows the company to generate and print full reports on demand, showing employee training history, and to sort information by topic, employee, course, type of training, and much more.

Timely generation and ease of producing training records on demand is a big advantage when using an LMS. “When our regulating bodies walk in the door they will often walk around our facility, select employees and ask to see their training records. With SilkRoad Learning we can easily pull those records and have them in the auditors’ hands within 60 seconds. The auditors then may follow-up with those employees on the items and procedures in which the reports show they are trained,” said Tina Asher, Associate Director, Organizational Development & Learning for Gen-Probe.


Before implementing SilkRoad, Gen-Probe used a mix of e-learning, access databases and spreadsheets to handle learning management and report tracking. The paper-based method was time-consuming, inefficient and lacked the immediate visibility to training compliance the company needed.

We had an unbelievable number of paper training records. SilkRoad Learning has allowed us to move from a paper records system to electronic records and has given us immediate visibility into training that we have never had before. It’s also allowed us to better manage our training from the global perspective since we are all using the same system.
– Tina Asher, Associate Director, Organizational Development & Learning for Gen-Probe

The Company Benefits Globally From LMS

Prior to adding SilkRoad to manage the learning process, Gen-Probe had more than 50 employees who devoted a portion of their time to help track and manage the company’s training records. With the launch of SilkRoad Learning, these people have turned their attention to more critical tasks, and Gen-Probe now has only one LMS administrator.

Since implementing SilkRoad Learning, Gen-Probe has saved an estimated 2900 hours that were previously spent administering and tracking training on paper. In addition, the deployment of eLearning courses has saved the company 400 instructor hours, and an 80 percent reduction in time spent by managers reviewing and approving training records, all of which translate into real time and money savings for the company.

As an added bonus, the system has also resulted in a reduction in “no shows” for classroom training. With SilkRoad Learning, Gen-Probe can now send email notifications to employees to remind them of courses that need to be completed. Notifications are also sent to alert employees when new eCourses are added to learning plans, and when learning due dates are thirty days away, just 5 days away, and when the time frame to complete the courses has expired.

“We attribute our decrease in no shows for classroom training to the fact that employees receive an Outlook meeting invite that puts the learning reminder right on their calendars,” said Asher.

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