Rail Professional Development (RPD) -  I am a Freelance Microsoft Access Database and WEB Systems Developer/Programmer specialising in Database Development, Access, SQL, Foxpro. Design, Programming and Development of both local network and Internet based applications. +44 (0)20 8123 0528  

E-mail: admin@dennismcdermott.co.uk  
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Clients and Projects

These are a few of the companies I have worked with recently.
 
  Clients and Projects
121 Fundraising Ltd.
301 Design
Abbey Storage
ABS Wastewater Technology Ltd
Acacia Conservatories
Advice North Lincolnshire
Air Heating (Southern) Ltd.
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
Almond Art
Alpha Impact Ltd.
Anitox
Art du Midi
Barconn Limited
Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals
Blairgowrie Guest House
Brentwood Communications
Broadway Records
Bruce Burlington & Co. Ltd.
Cachet (London) Ltd.
Camping La Corconne
Canon Consumer Imaging
Careys Private Hire
Dartford Council
Disabled Living Foundation
Dellcourt House
ESAB
Excel IT Ltd.
Fleetwood Building and Maintenance
GAP Photos
Gites in the Languedoc
Haymarket Publishing
Hiltongrove Audio Bank
Hiltongrove Business Space
Lansbury International
Le Palais des Roses
Lynwood Lodge
Marie-Louise von Motesiczky
Metacosm
Metal Cleaning UK Ltd
Midaye Somali Development Network
Moving Ahead Online Ltd.
MSL Medical
Pepperneck
Pro-Talk
Regent Carriage Services
Rail Professional
Rail Professional Development
Sea Containers
South Essex Gymnastics Club
South & East Essex Training Group
Standish Metal Treatment Ltd
Sunnyseek
The Gifted Goat
The Lamp Company
Thompson and Morgan
Total Crane Services
Virtual BM
Wasteking
Weatherbys
Rail Professional Development

RPD Assure - Online Competence Assessment System

RPD Assure With its vast experience in the industry RPD knew that there are a lot of disjointed systems and databases in use to undertake competence assessment recording and reporting, RPD approached me to discuss the possibility of an internet based system to fulfil their needs.

Although I had developed many database driven websites in the past, this project had additional challenges. I wanted to present a database ‘system’ rather than a website, with this in mind I decided to develop a HTA (Hypertext Application) this has many advantages over a full browser.

  • The user cannot see or alter the URLs

  • The user does not have a back button so cannot jump back a page whilst in the middle of a database update

  • The system has been written to verify the user has invoked it via a relevant HTA file (wrapped as an exe file) for added security

RPD Assure Logon Screen

This system has been developed to achieve the goals of RPD

  • Easy to use
    Simple interface using colour-coding

  • Designed for end-users
    Benefits assessors, managers, verifiers & auditors

  • Use anywhere
    Any PC with internet access

  • Simple to tailor
    Easy to set up, modify & update internally

  • Save time and space:
    Improves effectiveness of assessors & significantly reduces paper storage<

  • Secure with backup
    Controllable access to data with two levels of on and off-site backup

  • Dozens of useful facilities...Monitor staff improvement, the quality of assessors, flexibility of reports, etc.

The system uses the latest web development techniques, such as data tables that can be searched, filtered, sorted by multiple columns and provide the end user with display options, popup tooltips to inform the user what information is expected in every field.

Example Data Table
RPD Aassure Data Table

Example Popup Tooltip
RPD Assure Popup Tooltip

Popup screens are available whilst entering data to display relevant criteria based on assessment standards, this alleviates the need for assessors to carry standards booklets.

Popup calendars for date entry thereby minimising date validation, these popup calendars are tailored to only offer dates in an appropriate range on a field by field basis. Extensive data validation using regular expressions and Ajax for real time lookup verification.

Example Popup Calendar
RPD Assure Popup Calendar

The system also utilises a HTML WYSIWYG editor to enable administrators to edit front page assessor briefs and news/hints/tips without need to contact the developer.
RPD HTML WYSIWYG Editor

The system uses multi-level access validation and users are only presented with options inline with their job functions.

Updates and changes are prohibited after certain events have taken place, thereby maintaining data integrity.

Benefits of using the system as identified by RPD

Cost benefits
  • No investment needed for new hardware or software – secure access by any computer with an internet connection

  • Allows planning and recording systems to be rationalised – a single system can be used for all staff functions (e.g. train drivers, fleet maintenance)

  • Simple system setup (input of your own risk-based performance criteria, locations, assessment cycles and people)

  • Simplification of processes to plan, monitor and audit competence assessments

  • Rapid planning and monitoring of assessments; simple colour-coding allows quick identification of assessment status

  • Reduction in the time taken to record assessments (all undertaken on a single screen) thereby improving assessor productivity

  • Significant reduction in time needed for audit, verification and inspection of competence records; physical files do not need to be viewed, records can be filtered and reviewed remotely.

Performance benefits
  • Increased effectiveness of assessors; judgements made by assessors are easily visible to managers, auditors and inspectors

  • Gives assessors, managers and verifiers all the information they need instantly

  • Improves visibility of required events, allowing action to be taken in plenty of time

  • Allows online coaching to develop the skills of assessors and auditors

  • Allows remote audit, inspection and monitoring of what assessors are recording, at any time

  • Assessment outcomes can be reviewed quickly (again using simple colour coding); enables, encourages and records a focus of continuous staff development

  • Allows different cycles and events to be created for training, newly qualified, experienced staff

Technologies used
  • AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML)
  • ASP (Active Server Pages)
  • CSS (Cascading Style Sheets)
  • Datatables (Plug-in for the jQuery Javascript library)
  • Highslide (An image, media and gallery viewer written in JavaScript
  • HTA (Hypertext Application)
  • HTML (Hypertext Markup Language)
  • JavaScript (Scripting language)
  • JQuery (JavaScript Library)
  • Regex (Regular expression matching)

Delegate tracking database

I was approached by Rail Professional Development, a company involved in rail safety to provide training to their staff, this training took the form of undertaking the development of this system alongside RDP staff. This enabled the training to be focussed and at the end of the training the customer had a useful working system.

Rail Professional Development

The system was written in Access 2002, and runs on a server to provide centralised access to the data throughout the organisation.

  • Features multi logon levels to allow different functionality for different users.

  • As part of the training the following topics were covered.

    • Table design
    • Form design
    • Basic query writing
    • Menu customisation
    • VBA programming
      • Functions and Procedures
      • Naming conventions
      • Properties, Events and Methods
      • Defensive programming
      • Control structures

Time tracking database

Following on from the Delegate tracking database system, Rail Professional Development asked me to develop a Time tracking system for them.

This system allows each project the company undertakes to be entered into a database, storing many details about the project, but most importantly the available time to completion.

The system provides facilities to store working hours per consultant against the various projects monitored, and provides extremely flexible reporting facilities. For example reports can be produced that show tasks undertaken by each consultant on each project for a particular client or across all clients, within a selected date range. The system also produces productivity reports against each consultant, this again can be produced to cover a specific period.

Key Features

  • Recording of time against, tasks, projects and clients.
  • Dynamic highlighting of any project overruns.
  • Productivity reporting down to consultant level.
  • Fast feedback reporting to clients.

RPD Time Tracking System


See examples of some of my Microsoft Access Development and VBA Programming Projects here...

Client Comments:
I can give you details of how Dennis listened to our requirements, built 2 very different databases (one for tracking people that we have trained and the other to track each of our consultants work activity, expenses etc. against our client projects) but rather than comment on the details of these systems I would like to say:

Dennis is a very good listener, seeking simple solutions to complex problems. I highly recommend Dennis to any company wishing to create or expand their database requirements. It's not just all computer/database coding talk with Dennis, it's regular vocabulary that we can all understand.

David Graves
Office Manager/Quality Manager
Rail Professional Development
 
© Dennis McDermott 2001-2017  -:-  Dennis McDermott is a Freelance Access Developer at Bespoke Software Development Limited