Case Study

Smart Locker Triumph for Southern Regional College

Denise Crouch

Denise Crouch

LapSafe® met with Southern Regional College’s Project-Based Learning Manager, Lynne Ervine, to discuss their success story of implementing the Diplomat™ Pro Smart Locker.

Customer Profile

Southern Regional College is the largest college in Northern Ireland outside of Belfast and has six campus locations. After a £5m investment in their estates, the college opened two campuses in Armagh and Banbridge.

The college’s extensive range of courses with an array of study options and qualification levels sees approximately 32,000 students enter the college each year.

The college provides a dynamic approach of Project Based Learning (PBL) to teaching and learning, where students explore real-world industry-based problems and challenges. This helps better prepare students for the workplace of today and of the future.

The colleges Newry, Armagh, and Banbridge Campuses both have new state-of-the-art areas dedicated to this PBL approach. These purpose-built areas provide a unique space for students to work within their teams and with the PBL Officers. Students also have the opportunity to participate in workshops, listen to guest speakers and industry experts, and collaborate with small groups or 1:1 guidance and support.


The SOLVE Centre in the new Armagh Campus is a purpose-built area which provides a unique space for students to work individually, in small groups and as a whole class with the PBL Officers and their course team on their industry projects. The Centre consists of various zones which are designed to support and facilitate activities that the student should be undertaking at that stage and this is reflected in the design of the area, equipment and furniture deployed in that area. As well as mentoring and supporting students and delivering workshops, the PBL Officer has operational oversight of this area and that includes managing resources. All four zones of SOLVE are spread throughout the top floor of the new campus.

Zone 1 is the investigation zone and where the students work individually, in small groups or as a class at the start of their project. The room is open-planned and can accommodate large numbers of students working on their industry projects. The furniture can be easily moved to allow for the room to be configured for individual work or small groups and to allow for workshops to be facilitated by the PBL Officer as well as allowing for cross-curricular work. It has space for guest speakers to provide relevant information on projects.

It wasn’t appropriate to have traditional PCs due to the flexible nature of the space but it was clear that the students would need access to devices so the College purchased 20 SurfaceGo devices to be used in this area.

SOLVE Centre in the new Armagh Campus


The college implemented the Diplomat™ Pro Smart Locker into its flexible learning spaces to provide, a seamless, self-service loaning process.

Offering self-service device loans would enable students to quickly and easily access a fully charged device as and when required without staff intervention. This allowed the PBL Officers to be able to work with the students without interruptions for requests to borrow or return a device.

The Diplomat™ Pro also provides the college compact storage, increased device security, and advanced service management.

I found the whole process to be effortless and efficient. Ben our LapSafe® Account Manager and Matthew LapSafe® Support have been fantastic, always at the end of the phone or email. The installation team were great, they fitted the unit in a timely manner and with minimal disruption. Matthew needed to work with our IT Department to ensure the unit was fully operational and I was always informed of the progress. Throughout the process, Ben stayed in touch to check that things were going ok and I know that I can contact them if I have any questions.

Smart Locker in the Armagh Campus


The Diplomat Pro™ is a modular unit which means that should we purchase extra laptops in the future we can add extra locker bays. We also have other devices for students to borrow such as DSLR cameras which are available for short-term loans. The unit is versatile so it can be used for other devices and we are going to keep an eye on loans over the next academic year.

I would recommend the LapSafe® self-service solution, absolutely. LapSafe® seem to have thought of everything and has continually developed its product based on feedback from users. It’s a great piece of kit which we feel will only add to the facilities that we already have invested in to ensure our students have access to the best facilities and services as they work on industry projects.

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