NIHE: VR Training for Maintenance Efficiency

NIHE adopts VR training for maintenance officers, enhancing efficiency and effectiveness

Training/ Education

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The Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) serves as the strategic housing authority for the region, striving for universal access to quality, affordable housing. With a staff of approximately 3000, NIHE emphasizes continuous training and development to maintain service standards amidst staff turnover.

In their Landlord Services Division, NIHE oversees the upkeep of around 86,500 dwellings, necessitating routine inspections and repairs. Historically, manual inspections were conducted, with reports then passed on to subcontractors for necessary repairs. Recognizing the need for standardized inspection procedures and staff training, NIHE sought a software training tool to prepare maintenance officers for property assessments.

To meet this need, Sentireal proposed an immersive learning software platform. This involved collaboration with NIHE to define learning objectives and provide content for the tool. Virtual reality content was developed, simulating common repair scenarios encountered by maintenance officers during inspections. This included capturing 360-degree footage at various locations and integrating it into the software platform, accessible via Samsung VR headgear. Trainees practice identifying and labeling faults in virtual settings, with progress monitored and reported.

The project's initial phase demonstrated the effectiveness of immersive learning in training maintenance officers. Benefits included the ability to train staff in virtual environments, reducing reliance on actual properties and facilitating quicker rehousing of tenants. Moreover, the project offers cost savings through efficient training and ongoing progress monitoring. With positive feedback and identified benefits, NIHE plans to expand the project into Phase II, enhancing learning scenarios and establishing a dedicated VR suite for maintenance officer training. This initiative aligns with the growing trend of immersive training across various industries, promising improved efficiency and effectiveness in staff development within NIHE.

Rrahul Sethi
June 4, 2024
5 min read