Training and Competence – A Common Sense Approach

As the days grow colder and thoughts of summer holidays become another distant memory, it’s time to thinking about any outstanding work that needs to be completed before the end of 2021.

For most, the last thing on their lists would be to carry out any outstanding CPD activities before the end of the calendar year* (i.e. January to December), which may include a last-minute cramming session while trying to juggle other commitments in a busy work schedule. Even from a business perspective, these issues often fuel potentially negative opinions towards training and development, with some viewing it as a necessary pain or simply something else to cross off the ‘to-do’ list.

However, let’s look at this from a different angle. Not only is it a regulatory requirement for those involved in insurance distribution to carry out CPD, but it is also common sense. Surely all firms, no matter what industry, should want their staff to be trained so that they give the best service to their clients?

The Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) contains a minimum CPD requirement of fifteen hours per year for all staff involved in insurance distribution. If you are a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) or indeed any other professional body, you will be familiar with the need to complete a certain number of CPD hours which may be split between differing CPD types.

A target such as the CII’s thirty-five hours may appear daunting, but the reality is that many staff accomplish this and much more during a year. Fifteen hours, when divided over the course of the year, should be a manageable amount of time to dedicate to learning and development. The ‘trick’ is being aware of what counts as learning and then keeping a record of it. Think about using a system to ‘sweep up’ CPD each month and record it formally, such as using the Aviva Development Zone CPD recording tool.

We have previously discussed what kinds of activities count as CPD in another article, which you can view here:

Reading the trade press, journals and newsletters can provide valuable updates on current and developing issues. But do not record piecemeal – 15 minutes reading on a Monday, another 15 minutes on Thursday and so on for example. Perhaps record it monthly, so say an estimate of 80 minutes reading trade press is documented in your CPD record.

The same might apply for mentoring roles, such as one-to-one discussions where perhaps a junior member of staff asks for help with a tricky renewal. That counts towards CPD for both of you, even though it may only be for a short time.

Firms should be checking in with their staff on a regular basis to set out achievable targets and to make sure everyone is able to keep up. Ensure that these individuals have the appropriate learning and development opportunities, included within any T&C scheme that they have.

However firms and individuals wish to tackle their CPD requirements, it is important that they do so now so that they can get a head start on training and development before the start of 2022. After all, there are only 14 weeks left!

*The FCA does not prescribe that CPD be carried out on a ‘start of January to end of December basis’ – only that the required hours are carried out in a twelve-month period.

About the author

Jessica joined RWA in 2018, having graduated with a First Class Honours degree in Film Studies. Her role as a content designer involves developing new and engaging e-learning modules as well as assisting in the creation of articles for Insight. 

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