How Safran Achieved 136,000 Hours of Online Training in Only One Year with Collaborative Learning

> 40K

active users on the platform


courses created in 2020


SMEs creating courses

Safran is a French high-technology group. With over 79,000 employees, Safran plays a leading role—alone or in partnership—in the global and European aviation, defense, and space markets. 

By defining training as, “the power to co-create, share, and transmit knowledge,” Safran strives to transform training by allowing each employee to become a creator and transmitter of knowledge.

The team

Jean-Roch Houllier | Safran
Jean-Roch Houllier
Head of Learning & Digital at Safran University
Étienne Delpit | Safran
Étienne Delpit
Training Operations Manager
Catherine Buche-Andrieux | Safran
Catherine Buche-Andrieux
Global Learning & Safran University Director

The challenge

The challenges related to training have evolved in the wake of COVID-19. Safran’s employees need better learning experiences in order to face the new developments in their changing markets. In addition, a large portion of the group’s personnel is retiring, meaning Safran is also facing a generational transformation. Lastly, widespread digitalization requires a shift in the way the group organizes work and supports its employees.

Safran employees are adjusting to new working and management methods, which means the group needs to upskill, regardless of seniority level. This is why the Learning and Development (L&D) team proposes tools that enable proactivity and agility, so that training validation processes can be improved, and so the group’s transformation challenges can be addressed more quickly. The goal is to put the learners and their managers at the heart of the training process.

“Learning together is more important than ever.” - Étienne Delpit, Training Operations Manager at Safran

Training should serve as a way of transforming and supporting employees, to ensure they develop their skills. Now, the main challenge for the L&D team is to design and deliver learning journeys accessible anywhere, anytime, on any device. To increase their trainers’ proficiency, they also need to ensure pedagogical consistency and enable them to easily share teaching best practices.

Finally, training should align with employees’ growing expectation that they should be able to pick and choose the training that’s relevant to their on-the-ground experiences, to enable them to deal with a variety of scenarios they encounter in the field.

Several areas of improvement were identified that could help support learning in the group, including significantly rethinking their instructional design by using an online platform. The goal? To make Safran University best-in-class when it comes to learning practices. 

The solution

A university to bring employees together

Safran University’s mission is to encourage learning and support the group’s growth. It has made knowledge sharing one of the key ways the group maintains its competitive edge, and puts them on the path to becoming a Learning Organization.

In April 2020, Safran University launched an innovative project to scale their blended learning training:

An online platform at the heart of training strategy 

Safran’s L&D teams decided to choose the 360Learning platform, centered on Collaborative Learning, and which met all the demands of their training challenges.

These challenges were linked to a disparity in:

• Skill set

• Profession

• Language

• Learning Needs

• Time available for training 

The 360Learning platform is centered on collaborative Learning, and is available in 14 languages. It allows Safran’s employees to enjoy a comprehensive training offer from a single place, and enables them to go on ‘a learning journey’.

One of the platform’s advantages is that it supports off-the-shelf content integration, as well as content developed in-house, thanks to its authoring tool. It also includes the ability to mix the two types for a blended learning approach. Collaborative features facilitate iteration to training courses, which encourages continuous peer teamwork and learning.

“360Learning puts the learners at the heart of the learning process: the learner has a truly social experience, and a plays a role in their own learning journey.” - Étienne Delpit, Training Operations Manager at Safran

The setup of the platform, designed specifically for the group, perfectly reflects Safran’s organization—Safran Corporate, Safran Affiliates, and its Business Units—as well as its business needs. Administrators can manage users directly from the platform, by creating groups, sub-groups, and by assigning roles to everybody. It’s easier this way for the Safran group to do follow-up and assign courses.

The 360Learning platform offers learners a smooth and comprehensive training experience, both synchronous and asynchronous. For example, trainers use the platform to build virtual classes, and can get the best of both the long-distance and synchronous worlds. Mobile learning lets you learn wherever and whenever you want. Throughout the entire learner journey, learners can comment, react, and ask questions. 

In order to offer learners a true learning journey, the group also adjusted their processes to align internal governance with their partners (Cimes for external training, SAP for HR management, etc.). This reorganization made it easier for everyone to access information on the 360Learning platform. 

Safran University can also, thanks to an internal video creation studio, directly integrate rich media into their modules during the instructional design process. 

Finally, personalized dashboards were built in 360Learning to more closely follow each employee’s results, as well as those of the groups they’re part of on the platform. Monthly meetings are organized to put ad-hoc action plans in place, thanks to the well-defined KPIs that were set up. 

“360Learning is one of the key tools we use to place the employee at the heart of their learning process, by simplifying access to training tools.”- Catherine Buche Andrieux, Global Learning & Safran University Director

Working closely with 360Learning enables Safran University to: 

1) Refocus their training offer on key, strategic issues for the group, while also addressing challenges linked to internationalization and the “all-digital” reality

2) Place employees at the heart of the learning process, thanks in large part to the social and collaborative features in 360Learning

3) Transform Safran into a Learning Organization through continuous knowledge sharing

 “Safran’s employees are really taken with the 360Learning platform.” - Jean-Roch Houlier, Head of Learning & Digital at Safran University


In 2020, on Safran’s 360Learning platform: 

• 5,000 courses were published

• Courses were created on the platform by over 300 subject-matter experts

• There were over 40,000 active users 

• 136,000 hours of digital training were completed

Decentralize knowledge and skill with collaborative Learning 

Thanks to the peer-to-peer approach enabled by Collaborative Learning, internal experts as well as L&D teams use the 360Learning platform’s authoring tools to create learning Paths in-house, to quickly share knowledge. 

Through Collaborative Learning, Safran embraced a decentralized approach to its training programs. With social interactions (commenting, sharing, reacting), employees use the 360Learning platform to continuously create, share, and iterate courses based on their subject-matter expertise.

“Training through collaboration is the idea that you can co-create and share knowledge (...) we’re going from a centralized organization to a decentralized one.” - Jean-Roch Houlier, Head of Learning & Digital at Safran University

Collaborative learning: a new frontier for training at Safran

With Safran University—and 360Learning as one of its pillars—Safran can achieve the main training objectives set out in its transformation program. The 360Learning platform is key, since it allows employees to access training tools any time, directly online. This accessibility is perfectly in line with current training trends. 

For Safran, 360Learning made the way for digital training and is now at the heart of the group’s digital training strategy. The platform has proven to be essential, especially during challenging times, in allowing the group to stay competitive, propose training solutions, and put them on a path to becoming a Learning Organization.