With around four weeks to go until the end of the working year (yes, really), you may be looking to complete any remaining CPD hours. This time of year can be particularly busy so, as you find your calendar filling up and time slipping away, try and schedule in the time for training and development before it’s too late.
2021 has been another challenging year. Against a backdrop of continually changing Covid restrictions and a shift to remote/hybrid working models for some, CPD may not have been a priority. However, it is a regulatory requirement and the FCA expects firms to be able to demonstrate that relevant individuals remain competent to carry out their work.
It can be easy to put off training and development as an ‘optional extra’ that gets forgotten about alongside the pressures of your day-to-day job. This has the potential to be a real issue for your firm if the culture is complacent and staff are not competent in their roles. Consider the reputational, financial and legal damage that may occur if staff are not keeping their skills and knowledge up to date when dealing with clients.
The best way to evidence competence is by demonstrating a commitment to CPD, backed up by clear, accurate records that show what has been done and why.
As a reminder, a good CPD record should contain:
- The CPD activity completed – For example, completing an e-learning module, taking an exam, attending a webinar, or on-the-job training, among other activities. CPD can be structured or unstructured. Structured CPD is any formal learning activity designed to meet a specific learning outcome, whereas unstructured CPD is any activity you consider has met a learning outcome, but which may not have been specifically designed to meet your development needs.
- Why this activity has been completed – What was your objective? What learning need has been met? This may be, for instance, to refresh your knowledge of a particular topic. Good learning objectives should be simple, achievable and focused on developing skills and knowledge.
- When was the activity completed – This will include the dates/times in which the activity was completed and the time it took to complete. Keeping an accurate record will ensure that you can clearly evidence the CPD you have undertaken and are also able to easily calculate how many hours of your yearly target have been ticked off.
- Reflection on the activity – Don’t forget to reflect on what you have done. This is important because it allows you to demonstrate how the learning activity has contributed to your professional development. The reflective statement only needs to be a sentence or two that explains how an activity has met certain training needs and how it will benefit you in your role.
If you're not sure where to begin with your CPD and the activities you should undertake, our Course of the Month on the Aviva Development Zone may be a good starting point. Remember also that, under the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), staff involved in insurance distribution need to complete a minimum of 15 hours of CPD each year, across eight key themes. We covered the CPD requirements of the IDD in a previous article.
2022 is fast approaching, bringing with it new goals and fresh challenges. Start as you mean to go on and end 2021 on a positive and productive note.