How Will Training Evolve Under the New Consumer Duty?

Learning and development has greatly influenced how businesses operate over the last decade. With the rapid pace of technological advancements, as well as sociological changes both expected and unprecedented, businesses have had to keep one-step ahead to stay competitive and meet the changing demands of the marketplace. Those that have learned to adapt with these changes, will know the importance of training their staff to ensure they are prepared for what lies ahead.

In the past, training was seen as a one-time event designed to teach you the basics of your job. Typically, any additional knowledge was gained through experience. Now, training is regarded as a long-term continual effort; a chance to go beyond the basics of your job role by taking in more information than can be gained from experiences and applying that knowledge to everyday life, both in and outside of the workplace.

As the implementation deadline for the Consumer Duty approaches, businesses will have to evolve their strategies to bring them in line with the new regulation, which includes adapting their training for staff at all levels of the business. This involves placing greater focus on the client as an individual, not just their perceived financial situation, and providing sufficient support where necessary to protect them from foreseeable harm.

Effect on Company Culture

Cultural changes will be a requirement for many firms if they are to embed customer’s interests within their strategies. By now, senior managers and board members will be familiar with the new Duty and its implications. It should also be noted that managers below board-level will have an important contribution to make. Leading by example by providing tailored training to these managers, will ensure that all staff understand the significance of the new requirements, and of their involvement in the implementation process.

How can businesses adapt their training?

Businesses can develop training materials in line with the Consumer Duty by including guidelines, best practices, and relevant case studies, to illustrate the regulator’s intent. A greater emphasis should also be made on the inclusion of soft skills training to allow staff to foster stronger connections with clients. This will help them to recognise areas where customers may need additional support, so that clients can act in their own best interest and purchase products and services that meet their needs.

To ensure that employees retain the information, training should be delivered in a format that's engaging and interactive. This will help staff to develop a greater understanding of the Duty’s importance to how their role is carried out and why changes may be required. Training can be delivered through online courses, webinars, and in-person workshops and discussions, or a combination of all three for a blended learning approach.

After delivering the training, it will be crucial to consider its effectiveness to identify areas for improvement. This can be done by measuring the progress of staff, as well as monitoring outcomes and feedback from clients.

By focussing on these key areas, insurance firms can provide effective training to their employees, ensuring that they are equipped to meet the requirements of the new Consumer Duty regulation and have the necessary skills to advance their career within your firm.

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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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