Making the Most of Learning in Lockdown

Between adjusting to working from home and dealing with self-isolation, recording CPD hours might not be the first thing on anyone’s mind. Due to other pressures and stresses, both personal and professional, the requirement to maintain and develop the skills and competencies necessary to carry out your job role may be a low priority for many right now.

In an article earlier this month, we reported that the FCA had published guidance for firms on its expectations regarding CPD during the coronavirus pandemic. It states that the regulator expects firms to continue to demonstrate that relevant individuals remain competent to carry out their work, which includes employees as referred to in the Training and Competence sourcebook and employees carrying on insurance distribution activities as referred to in SYSC 28.2 and TC 4.2.

However, due to the exceptional circumstances surrounding coronavirus, the FCA has said that it is also allowing firms to defer individuals’ CPD to the next CPD year.

Whatever your situation, CPD continues to matter – whether hours are completed in your current CPD year, or deferred, they will nonetheless need to be completed.

So, how can we make the most of learning opportunities during this period?

For those working from home, on furlough, or simply looking for something productive to pass the time, why not take the opportunity to fit a CPD hour (or two!) into your daily schedule? If you’re no longer travelling to and from work, for instance, you may find that you have an extra hour or so to focus on CPD.

Whilst you cannot attend training courses in person yet, you can still access your learning resources online and work at your own pace. Managers can track your progress remotely and can supply you with any additional training on request. The FCA states that CPD activities can include e-learning and other similar content which can be completed at home. It also expects that firms will support furloughed staff with materials to complete their CPD hours.

You may not realise it, but you may have already developed a wide range of skills since the lockdown began. Whether that is learning how to set up a Zoom call, keeping up to date on the latest news stories or taking part in a discussion in an online forum (not to mention team management skills when home-schooling the kids!). We have all had to manage ourselves by adapting to our current situation, and, as a result, have discovered new ways to innovate, improve and evolve to meet new challenges and limitations. Take this time to reflect on any new skills you might have achieved during this time – you may surprise yourself!  

CPD can also be recorded for undertaking any of the following:

  • Educational media, such as podcasts and webinars
  • Learning at work, such as training and mentoring (including when delivered remotely)
  • Studying for a relevant or further qualification
  • Developing or presenting relevant training material via webinar, videocall, etc.
  • Writing articles and reviews for weekly newsletters
  • Researching the answer to a technical query
  • Reading material relevant to your role
  • Any “soft skills” or IT training relevant to your role.

Undertaking CPD during this period means that by the time your workplace resumes regular operations, you will not have to focus as much time fitting training courses into an increasingly busy schedule. It is important to remember that recording CPD during this time is not just about improving your skills, it is also about sending a powerful message to current and future employers that you are committed to continuing your professional development and productivity during this difficult time.

About the author

Jessica joined RWA in 2018, having graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Film Studies. Prior to this, she worked in a photography studio as a wedding album editor and also attended work experience at a local library.

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