Transforming Training at The Priory Group
Case Study - The Priory Group

The Priory Group is the leading independent provider of behavioural care in the UK. Dedicated to helping people improve their health and wellbeing, the Group provides a multitude of services from Private Mental Health Care and Addiction Rehab to Young People’s Services. Due to the sensitive and critical nature of their work, The Priory Group places the utmost importance in employee development and partnered with Knights Absorb to ensure exceptional training was consistently delivered across the board.

Consistent, engaging and impactful learning isn’t too much to ask for, is it?

The Priory Group had recently undergone an organisational merger before partnering with Knights Absorb. And the truth is, a merger can be a messy time for L&D. They bring together multiple L&D teams, mindsets and approaches to training, all of which need to be whittled down to one consistent strategy. But for The Priory Group, their merger left them with over 600 training providers, who gave varying levels of quality, impact and reporting. These inconsistencies were a blocker to budgeting and forecasting, so something had to change.

Due to the nature of their work, training is of paramount importance to The Priory Group. So the overhaul of their training offering meant more than axing 599 suppliers and choosing their favourite. They needed a training supplier who could tailor learning content to the unique, real-life experiences of those working at the Priory, whilst also achieving the highest quality and reporting standards.

So, instead of jumping in head-first, the Group trialled a handful of suppliers to find the right partner for them. And we’re proud to say, we came out on top.

Say goodbye to boring training

Aside from their goal to provide consistent training to people in each of their 450+ locations, The Priory Group also wanted to use the new partnership as an opportunity to transform their learning culture. Before partnering with Knights Absorb, the Group faced a problem that many L&D and training practitioners will be familiar with: their learners did not want to learn. Instead of seeing learning as an opportunity to excel in their roles and provide exceptional service to patients, learners saw training as a tick-box exercise that they were forced to do. For this reason, the Group had two key objectives for their new partnership:

  1. Boost training attendance
  2. Improve their compliance stats

And of course, here at Knights Absorb we knew that meant it was time to tear up the rulebook, and create a training experience that went against the status quo.

Why did The Priory Group choose Knights Absorb?

●     A wealth of experience providing high-quality and attention grabbing training to healthcare providers across the UK.

●     Specialist instructors and subject matter experts allow us to tailor each topic to the needs of our clients.

●     Standardised pricing at one consistent rate, regardless of topic or location (great for budgeting and forecasting!)

●     We take control of all admin and coordination, taking a weight off the shoulders of L&D teams.


Achieving The Priory Group’s objectives was no mean feat. We had to devise a solution that overcame inconsistency issues, encouraged learner engagement and participation, AND ensured long-term behavioural change.

We designed training sessions which were interactive, used examples tailored to real-life situations experienced by employees of the group, and most of all, made sure attendees had fun. This created a shift in mindset of learners: training was no longer something they were forced to do, instead, it was something they wanted to do.

To overcome the inconsistencies behind the scenes, we created a training programme that was easy to manage for the Group’s L&D team. We achieved this by creating a single portfolio of training and learning content, for trainers to refer back to at any time. And to ensure version control was taken care of, we delivered this portfolio through an online platform – making sure every trainer had the right resources, every time.

Five steps to success

We worked closely with The Priory Group throughout this project to ensure we were delivering a solution that solved their unique needs. And the process looked like this:

1. Discover:

We sat down with The Priory Group’s stakeholders and discussed their unique needs. We learnt about their inconsistency problems and discussed the use of a variety of tools and tech to overcome these issues in the future.

2. Design:

After the discovery session, we sat down with our Subject Matter Experts and designed a unique, engaging portfolio of content which was entirely bespoke to The Priory Group.

3. Test:

We then trialled the courses and gathered feedback from pilot groups and stakeholders. This ensured that we’d hit the right mark and eliminated the need for changes after roll-out.

4. Develop:

Change control had been an issue at The Priory Group previously, with different members of the training team using different resources. To ensure this never happened again – Knights Absorb developed an online portal of all training resources (meaning change control was in the hands of the L&D team!)

5. Deliver:

The project was rolled-out and teams in each regional location were trained by our Subject Matter Experts.

The result

In one year we have trained over 27,000 people on behalf of The Priory Group, and have taken steps to transform their learning culture. Learners now see learning as an enjoyable experience that they want to participate in, and The Priory Group are benefiting from this experience, as the increased compliance rates prove. Most notably, since partnering with us, The Priory Group have achieved:

Increase in
compliance rates
Increase in
Decrease in


So if you want to experience the Knights Absorb difference for yourself, get in touch, we’d love to hear from you and discuss your organisation’s training needs.

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Four Seasons Healthcare Group

We had an urgent need to provide training in Emergency First Aid at Work (EFAW) across our business as a result of the challenges experienced during the first critical months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Knights Absorb worked with us to define a training solution that could be delivered in a ‘Covid-Safe’ manner that would enable us to reach our teams at our target sites within a tight time frame. They trained 277 of our team members across a 6 week period, providing the reassurance we needed to keep our teams and residents safe as well ensuring we were meeting regulatory requirements. The trainers were professional and sensitive to the needs of our homes at all times, and the feedback from everyone who attended the training has been fantastic.

United Response

Knights are now our preferred provider. The quality of training that Knights provides is exceptional. When it comes to Customer Service, Knights excel, in the many years of partnering with multiple companies, Knights are head and shoulders above the rest. Never phased by challenges that clients provide, Knights naturally deal with the issues, assess the need and make the correct decision for the customer. This is not to say they bend over or wilt when challenged, quite the opposite, they seem to scope issues and resolve them efficiently, a customer service ethic that is quite rare. Keep up the good work guys, it is noticed and appreciated.


Knights don’t use generic trainers but find the best trainer for the course and client. The trainers are specialists in their fields and have practitioner experience which I feel is always important when delivering to staff. Trainers discuss our needs before attending training and revise training to meet specific needs.


Knights have personalised courses to meet our learning and development needs. As predominately a learning disability/Autism provider we require trainers and courses that reflect these specific needs and Knights have delivered on this. All courses have met our requirements fully

Modus Care

Knights Training are an organisation that are easy to work with, reliable, operate a competitive straight forward pricing structure, offer an impressive range of courses and employ good quality trainers who have expert subject knowledge, certainly an organisation that I would recommend.