Bringing learning in-house at Onfido University

Written by
Sarah Wild

21 Nov 2019

21 Nov 2019 • by Sarah Wild

Onfido has created its own in-house University in a bid to instil a culture of continuous learning among employees.

Since March, software company Onfido has been harnessing the knowledge of its workforce by creating learning “for the people, by the people”.

“We’re full of super-smart humans, so we decided to create an infrastructure called Onfido University,” says VP People, Ruth Penfold. “It’s very hard in a scaling business to ensure you are developing the right learning opportunities for the people within it.”

She explains that the scheme represents “part of a commitment to developing people” and fits with the company’s core value of “learn things, share them”. All courses are open to everyone, and those who volunteer to teach receive training to ensure they provide interesting and engaging sessions (developing new skills in the process). Currently two-to-three courses run each week, covering topics such as machine learning, but “it’s more than a lunch and learn”, according to Penfold. “It takes a phenomenal amount of work to make it run,” she admits. “But it means we’re able to offer a platform for the sharing of ideas and wisdom beyond the realms of people’s day-to-day roles.”

Launched in 2012 (and now totalling around 270 employees), Onfido was founded seven years ago by three former Oxford University students who “wanted to create an organization that felt good for the people in it,” explains Penfold. “Employee number 12 was an HR person, which is incredibly rare in a start-up. L&D is a key engagement driver. We want people to have sight of where their career can go and to grow with us.”

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