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Making Training & Competence (T&C) Work For You Post Certification

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Julie Pardy

Julie Pardy

With more than 30 years service in the Financial Services industry Julie has spent many years at the coal face undertaking a wide variety of roles in banking from Compliance to Sales, Operations to Training.

In response to significant customer interest, the Worksmart team ran a webinar on Tuesday 24th November entitled ‘Making T&C Work For You Post Certification”. The webinar was very well attended and, gauging by the number of questions and comments throughout the event, the discussion stimulated a lot thought.

During the webinar, we posed three questions to webinar attendees aimed at how T&C was being used in their firm and the challenges they faced. Before I talk about what we can learn, firstly the questions and results:

Worksmart Webinar T&C Polling Result

The first question was about how T&C was being used. Interestingly, the largest group of webinar attendees, 42%, stated they used the disciplines of T&C with communities beyond that required by the TC Rulebook. Also, the second largest group, 31%, saw the benefits of T&C in supporting wider cultural change. Together this means almost ¾ of webinar attendees used T&C widely and identified it being beneficial to culture change.

However, results to the second question raised concerns.

Worksmart Webinar T&C Polling Result

The first was the perennial issue of resourcing T&C where 43% identified challenges with securing sufficient resource and manage T&C effectively. The other result that jumped out for me was that some attendees had concerns about securing senior manager buy in to their T&C activities. Whilst this figure is a relatively small number, 12%, it does make we wonder why some senior managers still aren’t ‘on board’ with the benefits an effective T&C framework can bring.

Put together, the results are bittersweet with, on the one hand, widespread use of the disciplines of T&C and recognition in some that the benefits of T&C extend beyond personal development and into changing culture. However, this was counterbalanced by the fact that resourcing remained a challenge for many.

Having been ‘in and around’ T&C for more years than I care to remember, I can completely relate to these results. And, for me, the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SMCR) represents a once in a generation opportunity to elevate the focus on structured “employee competence” frameworks  and so should give T&C guru’s a better opportunity to secure the resource and senior manager buy in that this area respectfully deserves.

My justification is threefold; firstly, that the annual Certification process requires a broad set of evidence to make annual competence decisions, and T&C certainly provides that for those that are covered by the regime. Secondly, given that the FCA are increasingly vocal about SMCR being a key driver of cultural change, the fact that almost 1/3 of attendees linked T&C activities  to culture is good news and thirdly, that a senior executive in every firm has responsibility for the effectiveness of the firm’s Certification Regime and, in dual-regulated firms, another for the firm’s culture provides further leverage.

The final question asked focused on the management of T&C. The largest group, 44%, managed their T&C regime manually, typically using Excel and Word. Whilst attractive in the sense that everyone uses MS Office and knows how to use them, these tools have major limitations, importantly around driving activity, e.g. workflow and providing oversight for central teams. As a result, not only do they create risk, i.e. not providing the real time oversight needed by central teams, they are incredibly resource intensive.

In Tracsmart, Worksmart have the industry’s leading T&C management system.  A proven, twenty-year+ track record means it is trusted and used by over 25 firms and 75,000 end users in every part of financial services and in every size and type of financial services firm.

Tracsmart will significantly reduce the resource required to run T&C and provide the real time oversight that reduces regulatory risk. By having that oversight, central teams can identify where T&C is not operating effectively and provide the support in the areas that most need it.

Finally, whilst Tracsmart is a dedicated solution, powerful enough to manage the most every type of T&C scheme, i.e. from the simple to complex, it has the capability to pass key summary information to  Worksmart’s multi-award winning SMCR solution, Accord, meaning that the results of T&C activities can be passed through and form part of individuals’ datasets for Certification.

So whilst Accord has inbuilt functionality to manage the employee competence aspects of the SM&CR regime, if firms have communities that are subject to the TC Rulebook, T&C information can be passed through to Accord to further enhance the employee competence dataset.

Using Tracsmart and Accord will underpin both your T&C and SMCR activities. Using them together will provide the platform for efficiency and compliance that will not only make your life easier, it will please both the regulator and the accountants in your firm!

 For more information on Tracsmart and Accord, contact our friendly and knowledgeable team on: 01908 613613 or email us on: info@worksmart.co.uk

 

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