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Encouraging Continuing Professional Development (CPD)
As hard as it is to believe, there are only four full months left of 2022, and with the summer holidays well underway, it’s likely the last thing on everyone’s minds is completing CPD-related activities. So, as calendars begin to fill up and time slips away, it is important to try and schedule in time for training and development and avoid the end of year rush.
The FCA regards continuing professional development as an ‘effective’ ‘consistent’ and ‘essential’ part of improving professional standards. A minimum of 15 hours CPD per year* is required for all staff involved in insurance distribution. For members of a professional body, this may be more – for example, the CII requires 35 hours per year.
Neglecting to undertake CPD raises the risk of staff falling behind on regulatory changes, which may increase the possibility of incorrect advice being given to clients. This could lead to financial, reputational, and legal implications further down the line, if not resolved promptly.
So how can firms support employees to complete CPD?
Recording CPD on a regular basis can shed light on where, if any, there are gaps in knowledge and understanding, as well as making the most of what has been gained from the learning experience. Varied CPD activities will also help to keep learners motivated, rather than them feeling they are completing the same tasks year in, year out.
It is also important to think about ‘quality’ rather than ‘quantity’ when selecting CPD activities to assign and complete by the end of the year. Upon reaching the required target, you want your staff to have reaped the full benefits of everything they have undertaken, rather than compiling a long list of courses for the sake of ticking boxes. For example, if you want your department to undergo Cyber Risks training, it may not be reasonable to ‘select-all’ on any courses or reading material that sit under this topic, even if the relative information is only a paragraph long.
Organise a discussion with individuals to identify what they excel in, as well as where they might need more training, and select material that will truly benefit everyone in the long run. These discussions may also highlight areas that they would like to specialise in, whether their career goals match up with their learning needs, and above all, how this will help them improve their services for customers.
It may be useful to set key targets from now until December for how much CPD is recorded. Divided up over the next four months, an hour’s study here or there will easily add up to the minimum required hours, making it a very manageable target. Introducing a level of friendly competition between colleagues, around meeting these targets, may also help to keep staff motivated.
If you require assistance with assigning and monitoring CPD activities, the Aviva Development Zone platform contains a wide selection of courses designed specifically to support the needs of those in the financial services and insurance sectors. The CPD recording features on the Development Zone allow users to record activity that has been undertaken both on and off the platform, keeping users’ full CPD records safely in one place.
*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.