Standing now on this side of ready to launch with a website built and ready to go, the research and data part of the project built, with more data being collected than imagined, and all the partners I need to connect with happy, I stand in awe of your team... I will brag about this experience for the rest of my professional life and I am grateful beyond words that people’s lives will be transformed because of the efforts of your team. I am transformed too!


NLC CLIMB Centre - Case Study

About Northern Lights College

Northern Lights College is B.C.’s Energy College™, serving northern British Columbia in an area covering more than 324,000 square kilometers. NLC is a member of British Columbia Colleges (BC Colleges), a group of 11 colleges throughout the Province. BC Colleges has a unique regional advantage and a long history of collaboration with industry, employers, communities, and policymakers. This collaborative approach allows BC Colleges to graduate highly skilled workers who are equipped to support their families, build healthier communities, and power the economy in all regions of British Columbia.


Post-Secondary Education

Client Website:

Project Website:

Overview of Project

The Northern Lights College CLIMB (Continuous Learning for Mid-career Workers and Beyond) Centre is a project funded by the Government of Canada’s Future Skills Centre designed to understand how to support Mid-Career Workers.

For the past few decades (if not longer), technology has disrupted employment with 35% of workers worried about losing their jobs at the same time that robot jobs increase by 14% each year (Stats supplied by

Spearheaded by Tracy Donelly, Dean of Workforce Training and Continuing Education, the website project could not have come at a more noteworthy time. With robots, automation, and A.I. entering the workforce, the Northern Lights College CLIMB Centre is a highly interactive website built for users to learn how ‘at risk’ they are from technological advancement, as well as how their skill sets fit other professional careers.

The website masterfully guides users from learning how ‘at risk’ they are through a number of experiences. Each experience is called an “element” and includes selected curated content that educates users on re-training, skills they possess, returning to post-secondary education, and what new and exciting career paths may be a fit for them.

The Challenge

The Northern Lights College Continuing Education department needed to create a user-friendly microsite on WordPress for the CLIMB Centre. The site would primarily have users complete surveys and collect sensitive data that would be shared with BluePrint ADE (a non-profit research organization dedicated to improving the social and economic well-being of Canadians) and Future Skills Canada until 2021.

The experience for mid-career workers would help identify training and also include:

  • Risk Assessment (Custom Survey)

  • Opt into research consent form and into the portal

    • Users have the option to participate in the research or not

  • Individual Custom Surveys

    • RIASEC (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional)

    • Career Path

  • Mid-point Survey

  • Curated experiences in each element

  • Data: Capturing sensitive information

    • Following the requirements of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA)


Cheeky Monkey Media worked closely with Tracy and her team to outline the goals of the website, each assessment, and elements. Cheeky Monkey Media worked with the NLC CLIMB Centre team collaboratively throughout the project, from user experience and design to custom assessments and work data security.

First and foremost, to meet FIPPA requirements for the collection of sensitive data on the site, it was required that the site be hosted on the University of British Columbia’s (UBC) EduCloud server. EduCloud Server is a self-managed, private, higher education cloud server service that provides simple and secures virtual data center access to provision, manages, and utilizes servers at a fraction of the cost of implementing physical servers. Designed to provide functionality that allows self-management and self-deployment, EduCloud is intended to provide the same convenience and cost-effectiveness as other cloud services while meeting all provincial privacy requirements under the FIPPA legislation.

The NLC CLIMB Centre website is the first public-facing web interface to be hosted on EduCloud. To meet the federal requirements for the collection of sensitive data, Cheeky Monkey Media and the NLC I.T. department worked collaboratively to configure the site for EduCloud's unique server environment.

The risk assessment and career path fitting elements of the website required a fully custom survey and assessment solution. With custom plugins built from scratch, Cheeky Monkey Media was able to create several customizable surveys and assessment systems. This included the first WordPress based RIASEC test - a Holland Occupational Themes personality scoring system that groups people on the basis of their suitability for six different categories of occupations (Realistic, Investigative, Artistic, Social, Enterprising, Conventional). The custom module also included an easy-to-use administrative interface that allowed NLC CLIMB Centre to self-manage surveys and make adjustments at will without having to adjust the scoring system every time an edit was made.

To export and securely transfer sensitive data to BluePrint ADE, Cheeky Monkey Media created a custom database query and export solution that tracks users through the portal experience. This custom solution provides daily exports of various user data and indicates which point of the process users have reached.

The website also features:

  • A robust membership system to store user results, and provide users with a profile page to help them interpret their assessment/survey results.

  • Strong password enforcement and automated password recovery system.

  • User email authentication system.

  • Live chat/support.

  • User role-specific customizations.

  • Hardened frontend security

The website solution uses a child theme from the main Northern Lights College website, which was designed and created by Cheeky Monkey Media. The child theme boasts fluid responsiveness, wide browser compatibility, accessible design and coding, and a very clean and modern approach that keeps users focused on the informational aspects of the portal.