Tag Archive | T&C

Have you read our new T-C News feature? So what is your compliance strategy?

T-C News cover imageRegulation is only going one way, equaling an ever growing need to evidence competency.

With 52,000 more  firms due to come under the Senior Managers Regime by 2018, in the new T-C News magazine Simon Mercer, Unicorn ComplianceServe Product Manager, asks ‘What’s your training strategy for compliance?’

“Do not put it under the jurisdiction of Compliance or HR”, Simon argues. “It has to be championed by a Senior Manager and driven from the top down.”

Find out why by downloading the January 2017 edition of T-C News for free from the website at www.t-cnews.co.uk

 

CLIENT DAY BLOG: Compliance Training – Top 5 Takeaways On Where Do We Go Next?

cs_bannerSimon Mercer, Unicorn ComplianceServe Product Manager, and Julia Kirkland, Partner at FSTP, presented a recap on what’s happened so far, looked ahead to what are going to be the hot regulatory topics over the next 12-18 months and answered the biggest question of all, how on Earth are we going to do all this?? Julia even sang a little bit. It was beautiful.

Anyway here are the top five takeaways on compliance training and where we go next…

The Senior Managers Regime and accountability will remain firmly on agenda – last week the FCA fed back on the first tranche of it accountability regulation, which took effect in March, stating that many firms have misunderstood the guidance. In a nutshell, the screw is going to keep turning. With 55,000 more firms due to come under SMR by 2018, Julia’s key message to anyone still grappling with the challenges of SMR was do not put it in compliance or HR! It has to be championed by a Senior Manager and driven from the top down. The good news is the FCA is suggesting there won’t be a ‘big bang’ on the next tranche of SMR and Certification implementation, but as we’ve seen from the first phase a year’s gap is nothing in these terms. Which brings us neatly to…

How are you bench marking people ahead of the Certification Regime? – firms who have already had to adhere to SMR regulation only have until next February – that’s five months – to put a robust certification process in place. In a quick show of hands amongst the delegates in the room, only one firm who had moved over SMR had already got their certification regime running. Under certification you are asking people who weren’t previously approved persons to take on more responsibility, knowledge etc, so how are you benchmarking these people? What competencies and/or qualifications are you using as a baseline? What are the KPIs and the core competencies required for a role? How are you going to issue that individual with a certificate? And remember the Senior Manager has the ultimate responsibility for saying they’ve signed that person off. It’s a big deal.

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What’s hot in 2017 and what’s relevant to you – Julia outlined how she and her FSTP colleagues had trawled through the FCA’s annual risk documentation and picked out what they believe to be the 12 biggest areas of interest over the next 12 months. She did threaten to rap at this juncture also…regardless this is the list.

  • Governance
  • Culture
  • Conduct risk
  • SMR
  • MiFID II
  • Transaction reporting
  • Qualifications
  • CASS
  • Certification Regime
  • CPD
  • Risk
  • Business strategy and stress testing

BUT (and note the capital letters), even though some will be more relevant to certain businesses than others, the majority are interdependent on each other. They cannot be taken in isolation.

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Modernising your learning approach – in the past we have dealt primarily with compliance departments, but this is changing. Within the L&D community learning is being modernised to move from push to pull learning and getting to point where learners have access to resources and tools to pull as well as utilise what’s pushed to them. This includes introducing more elements of microlearning, in bite-sized chunks that is much more informal and on demand in line with the 70: 20: 10 approach to learning. Unicorn’s eCreator authoring tool, built into ComplianceServe, has got a really significant role to play in this. In fact, by Christmas all existing ComplianceServe content will have been re-developed in eCreator, with the smaller chunks of micro learning, to follow. The benefit? By downloading the SkillsServe app learning can take place offline to sync when back online.

There is a brand new generic T&C system now built in to ComplianceServe – we’ve been building and integrating custom T&C systems and functions for clients for a long time but now there’s a generic version for smaller organisations to make use of. This includes:

  • T&C Guidance – regulation is only going way way, there will be an ever greater need to evidence competency. Guidance is all about what does T&C mean for an organisation, how do you create a T&C scheme in the first place, what things need do you need to set up a T&C system in ComplianceServe
  • Pre-defined forms and workflows
  • Offline forms – there is too much to do online for some things. Can be completed, scanned and attached as part of site.
  • Pre-built pathways – for e.g. monthly one-to-ones, quarterly action plan and final sign off, can be assigned to both regulated and non-regulated staff (couple of forms different)
  • Reporting

Top 10 Highs Of Unicorn’s Record Year

Unicorn smashed through the £6m sales mark for the first time ever in the last financial year (2015-16), a new record in any 12-month period and £1m up on our previous financial year best. These are our top 10 highlights of our record-breaking year (in no particular order)…

White text on a pink backdrop 'Unicorn: A year in numbers'

1 SkillsServe ranked the World’s top LMS for financial services (again)

You’ve probably heard of Craig Weiss? He’s widely considered to be the most influential person in eLearning in the world. Every year Craig produces his Global Top 50 LMSs Report and for the second year running, in January 2016, our learning and performance platform, SkillsServe, was recognised as the world’s best in our field.

dean_collage_med2 Unicorns who completed The Big Issue Foundation ‘Big London Night Walk’…

…in addition to the number of other Unicorns who did amazing stuff supported by our Fundraising Team. This included Dean, Tai, Katrina and Simon all completing multiple distance and endurance running challenges raising money for The MS Society, Macmillan Cancer Support, Macmillan Caring Locally and The Samaritans, while Sam and Xiomara pounded the capital’s streets in the wee hours in their quest for The Big Issue Foundation.

3 Million+ course activities were completed on SkillsServe

Off the shelf courses, user-generated content and eCreator courses, CPD recording, Training and Competency (T&C), on-the-go learning and Apps, you name it and SkillsServe has probably helped the financial services industry achieve it.

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4 the position SkillsServe moved up to in the overall LMS global rankings

You know Craig Weiss’ LMS report we just mentioned? As well as maintaining top spot for financial services, SkillsServe also moved up a place overall from fifth in 2015 to fourth this year. In the report Craig said: “New User Interface, expansive features. I love that they have a CPD mobile app. Regulatory is strong which is a must since their target vertical is Financial Services. An overall, top tier performer.”

NSASECTOR_Logo_Col3D_CMYK(9) [Converted] [Converted]5 the number of key areas Unicorn was assessed to receive Service Excellence accreditation from the National Skills Academy for Financial Services

This means Unicorn has demonstrated its dedication to high-quality, professional customer service and commitment to consistent improvement in service and staff training. With Helpdesk now 11 strong, 4,000 more calls were dealt with last year compared to 2014. This is reflected in an SLA of over 95% between March 2015 and March 2016. Already in 2016 Helpdesk have dealt with more calls month-on-month than 2015. What does this mean? Quicker and more effective issue resolution for our clients and happy customers ☺

6 Million – the company’s sales for the first time ever

It was looking good at the end of the calendar year, when we reported sales exceeded £5.6m ($8.5m), but we are delighted to report continuing strong organic growth in our core business streams, culminating in sales crashing through the £6m for the first time.

logo_116ISO 27001 – our information security standards certified at the highest level again

We first received ISO certification in 2011, but 2015 saw Unicorn transition to the new ISO27001:2013 standard from the previous ISO27001:2005 benchmark. The new standard reflects the changing demands of IS security in the face of challenges that didn’t exist in 2005. To maintain ISO27001 certification requires monthly security audits and an annual British Standards Institution (BSI) assessment.

peterp_headshot8 where Unicorn Training CEO and founder, Peter Phillips, is ranked in the Top 10 of the UK’s most influential people in corporate eLearning

Now in its seventh year, the 2016 annual lists of the ‘Top 10’ most influential people in the corporate eLearning sector – in the World, North America, Europe, the UK and Asia-Pacific – saw Peter break into the top 10 for the first time ever as one of four debutants in the UK rankings.

9% higher knowledge retention in those trained via video games…

…according to a University of Colorado Denver Business School study (2010). This is a snippet from our 2016 White Paper ‘The Future of Game-based Learning’ (produced with our games partners, Amuzo). Games are still BIG news in learning and, in its first year, this partnership has helped clients, existing and prospective, really understand games aren’t just fun they’re effective and it’s mobile technology shaping this.

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10 (+1) the number of our commercial, trade and professional industry partners

These relationships are invaluable in underlining Unicorn’s long-standing position as the solutions provider trusted by the financial services industry. As regulation tightens, having our partners’ expertise in helping inform the direction of the learning and supporting the development of appropriate learning tools, makes Unicorn the only credible choice. A great example is the work we’re doing with FSTP and the BBA to develop ComplianceServe in response to the FCA’s Accountability Regime for banks, building societies, credit unions and designated investment firms.

Top 5 Things We Learned From Our Spring Client Forum

CivIhQSXIAA7bWI.jpg-largeYesterday we welcomed some 60 guests from across L&D, Training T&C and Compliance to the Oval for our 2016 Unicorn Spring Client Day.

But what particularly tasty morsels did we all leave to chew on? Here’s a quick look at 5 things we learned…

1) You don’t need to be Walt Disney to include animation in your learning

With an A3 pad, a few Sharpie markers, an iPhone recording on a two-second time lapse, a tripod and a fairly simple bit of editing software it was demonstrated how it was possible to bring a learning storyboard to life through simple hand drawn animation.

Animation can bring a different, often less polished and more ‘authentic’ feel, to a scene you’re trying to set, perhaps as an intro at the start of a learning programme or induction.

Using hand drawn imagery and limiting text to the use of a few key words, the pictures creates an instant, meaningful connection with the viewer and will linger much longer in the mind than being forced to read a 1,000 word flat text document explaining the same thing. Why PDF it when you can animate it instead? Your learners will thank you we’re sure 🙂

2) How many ‘mobile moments’ do you have in a day?

Apps were a big discussion point. There was a very apparent appetite to give learners ever increasing flexibility in taking ownership of their own learning and mobile technology was seen as the answer.

Fortunately we agree! This is why we’ve introduced our SkillsServe app in addition to the CPD app and the forthcoming Learning Lounge app.

Mike Hawkyard, Amuzo Games MD, explained how our day is now made up of mobile moments and that society’s behaviour in this country is now to pull your phone out of pocket for 2-3 mins at a time, all the time.

Mike Hawkyard shows us our daily mobile moments

Mike Hawkyard shows us our daily mobile moments

People tend not to sit there for 30 minutes using their phone so when your learner is sat on a train or bus faced with so much choice as to which app they are going to open how do you make sure it’s yours? Mobile learning app games, embedded with one core message, can be a very powerful solution.

3) The best learning games are when games are the learning

Everyone knows games and gamification are probably the the hottest issue in learning right now but understandably the fear of the unknown still remains, especially in the financial sector. You don’t want your learners playing car racing games all day when they should be working, do you?

Peter Phillips, Unicorn CEO, showed examples of how game principles can really enhance engagement in learning but, critically, how you stop them tipping into the distraction zone.

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Peter said one of the really important things about getting best out of games for learning is that the learning IS the game. The very best learning games have the game and learning the same thing. Using a matrix with ‘learning’ on the vertical axis and ‘engagement’ along the bottom he showed that where you get great learning and great engagement you get great learning games.

Have you read our ‘The Future of Game-based Learning’ white paper? Download it here now.

4) Client feedback helps drive platform development 

Ok it sounds all a bit fluffy but we genuinely couldn’t keep evolving SkillsServe in the way that keeps it at the forefront of learning and development delivery if you didn’t tell us what you think, good and bad.

As Mark Jones, Unicorn Commercial Director, highlighted as he ran through the ‘what’s new’ and ‘what’s coming’ bits, many of the features that have been developed or are in development have come about because as a sector you’ve told us you want them.

You can read the full list at our live Client Day blog here – Unicorn Spring Client Day – but if we tell you graphical reporting and an MI dashboard, multi-language reports, diagnostic tools and a SkillsServe app are all recent additions, you can get the sense of the kind of stuff we’re talking about. Stuff that really makes a difference to your everyday working practices.

Don’t forget the SkillsServe blog where all the latest updates and roadmaps are posted – SkillsServe blog

Commercial Director, Mark Jones

Commercial Director, Mark Jones

5) The 21st Century still hasn’t arrived in some firms

We get super excited about all the cool ways new technologies can help us to deliver more effective, engaging learning experiences, but client day served as a timely reminder there is still a huge discrepancy in what some firms are able to deliver that others aren’t.

Whether it’s down mindsets, IT or a combination of both, while some firms can’t wait to bring the latest in learning technologies to their employees others have a reticence to step outside of the traditional. Despite the compelling evidence for the use of video in learning, for example, even getting that allowed is a battle some are still yet to win.

We know there are dedicated people in L&D, T&C and compliance working to educate and inform key individuals further up their company food chain as to what’s possible and how it can impact, but for many this remains a delicate, softly softly approach sometimes involving whole cultural change.

In the meantime we have to keep delivering what they need in the way they need it too.

NEWS: Handle Emotive Issues With Care Warns Financial Services Training Expert

Helping staff stay on top of their regulatory and ethical responsibilities around such emotive issues as vulnerable customers and financial promotions must remain a priority for the financial services training industry.

That is the view of Simon Mercer, Unicorn Training ComplianceServe Product Manager, speaking ahead of the BCCA Annual Conference in Derbyshire on Friday (27 November).

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The BCCA is a leading trade association for the UK’s alternative lender market, and they have teamed up with Unicorn to offer online compliance training to their members for the first time, through Unicorn’s ComplianceServe training solution.

Last month BCCA CEO, Jason Wassell, revealed their relationships with vulnerable customers are part of “nearly every discussion” he has had with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

vulnerablecustomers_nov15This followed the FCA’s challenge to firms to review their approach to consumer vulnerability, with some customers being confronted by a “computer says no” response when they seek assistance and support from firms.

Meanwhile, financial promotions for consumer credit are amongst the issues also under scrutiny from the regulators, with both a high-profile media and political focus on the advertisement of high cost, short- term credit products.

Simon will be on the Unicorn stand at the BCCA conference, speaking to delegates about their approaches to staff learning and development on these and other credit industry topics. He insists when staff lack the knowledge, empathy and ethics to deal with such issues effectively, the consequences go way beyond being purely financial.

FCA_VC_feb15“It only takes one bad news story to destroy a firm’s reputation; one customer who has been treated unfairly, one ad that is viewed as exploitative, appearing on the news or held to task by the consumer advice media.

“The regulator will make its own judgments on penalties and sanctions for companies found in breach of its standards, but realistically it can be public condemnation and PR impact that can prove more damaging long-term.

“Having a training approach where such issues are included as part of a firm’s wider ethical business culture, and not treated in isolation as a ‘tick box’ exercise to appease the regulators, can go a long way to avoiding such reputational damage.”

Earlier this year, Unicorn Training joined forces with FSTP to introduce the enhanced, sector-specific compliance learning solution, ComplianceServe, which includes integrated T&C guidance and CPD management.

FSTP_logo-2As two of the UK’s most prominent financial services training providers, this partnership brings a more targeted, streamlined approach to compliance, to help regulated firms embed the genuine cultural and behavioural change needed to deliver better outcomes for customers.

FSTP was recently named ‘Business Partnership of the Year 2015’ by the Debt Resolution Forum (DRF) and Debt Managers Standards Association (DEMSA), while in January Unicorn’s learning and performance platform, SkillsServe, was ranked top LMS for financial services, and fifth overall, in the global Top 50 LMS Report 2015.

Unicorn has been creating L&D and compliance solutions for the UK’s ever-changing financial services sector for over 25 years. FSTP provides first class training and consultancy services across all sectors of the financial services industry.

For more information about ComplianceServe visit www.unicorntraining.com/complianceserve and for further details about FSTP visit www.fstp.co.uk

UNICORN IN PRINT: The growing world of games and gamification

TCNews_January2015Unicorn were pleased to feature in January’s T-C News Magazine discussing the growing world of games and gamification.

Games and gamification are the fastest growth areas in T&C training as firms unlock how game qualities such as problem solving, in-play feedback, rewards, leaderboards and play can bring about a more engaging, memorable and enduring learning experience.

In the article, Peter Phillips, Unicorn Training CEO, looks at the gamification of compliance training.

He observes that a recent research report projected the global gamification market will grow from $421.3 million in 2013 to $5.502 billion in 2018 – a compound annual growth rate of 67.1% !

While the only certainty about forecasts is they will be wrong, that research reinforces the notion that serious games and gamification are definitely a rising force in L&D.

Gamification, in this context, is the use of game design principles in learning activities to engage learners to change behaviours and learn new skills.

But to what extent are they relevant to compliance training?

To download your free copy of the magazine and read the full article visit the T-C News website here

 

T&C FEATURE: Consumer credit – taking the long- term view

CS_pr_imageNew consumer credit regulation may have arrived four months ago, but the chatter around complying with it has been intensifying for much longer.

Last month Mark Jones, Unicorn Training Director, told T-C News magazine that firms shouldn’t panic about taking a long-term view. This is why.

Click here to download – T-CNews_Jul14

For more information about our comprehensive compliance training solution, ComplianceServe click here

 

 

5 Recent Trends in eLearning

With all the advances in technology and media, eLearning has certainly come a long way. But there’s still plenty more to come to make it even better.

Head of Content Production, David Gristwood, takes a look at some of the buzz words and what’s trending in the eLearning industry at the moment.

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70/20/10

Initially a piece of 60s research, 70/20/10 now seems back in fashion. If you weren’t there the first time round, or have missed it since, it suggests learning happens:

70% while we’re working
20% from people at work
10% from courses and reading

So what’s the impact on eLearning? Well, this means people have a greater expectation of learning everywhere, any time, on any device. So, eLearning needs to be in sync with the way people learn from each other, using blended/shared knowledge and experiences, for example user-generated video clips/demos.

The LMS and ‘emotional investment’

We’re seeing the market consider ‘old-style’ LMSs, with their daunting list of courses to select, a ‘cold’ management tool, no longer meeting learner needs for engagement.

The best LMSs are now being made more emotionally engaging and benefiting from being personalised, for example with:

  • Individually tailored learning journeys
  • Diagnostic tools
  • User-generated knowledge sharing
  • Leaderboards and other gamification elements

A great idea recently has been those individual learning journeys, linked to job role and identified learning gaps. The user benefits from an action plan that has selectable parts so they can focus on their individual priorities to improve their skills and job effectiveness.

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Tin can/API

Now officially known as ‘Experience API’ (xAPI), this moves us on from SCORM to a standard that enables data to be collected from a much wider range of formal and informal learning activities. This of course has implications for individuals and organisations with the potential for more comprehensive T&C and CPD records, and a portable personal learning record for the individual learner.

So this ties in nicely with the above drive for an LMS with emotional investment. Whether it’s watching a video, doing some other eLearning, attending a face-to-face course, session or whatever, users can see everything they’ve done recorded on the LMS. Meanwhile, managers can benefit from the MI this creates. At the touch of a button they can see, for example, the direct correlation between the increases in H&S training (F2F, ‘e’, etc.) with the decrease in accidents.

Serious games

Many of us know the benefits of the use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts, such as eLearning, to engage users. However, a balance needs to be struck here between introducing a fun element or an element of challenge to a course and annoying the user, who may well rather just be wanting to get to the end of what it is they need to do – especially if this is mandatory compliance training!

A solution that harnesses the engaging power of gaming without distracting from the learning is ideal. For example, how about building in aggregate scoring of interactive exercises so the user isn’t forced to do the end assessment?

Making content mobile

We’re seeing the market becoming clear on what ‘mobile’ means. You can move ‘traditional’ linear eLearning to be tablet-compatible. You really don’t want to try that with smart phones. These are much better used for learning support. We’ve seen a big increase in the demand for video – and smart phones are ideal for this. Revision aids are another key use of learning on smart phones.

For example ‘flash cards’ of information, like the old crib cards on paper, can be used on your smart phone. And of course multiple choice questions. All of this can help with the ‘5 Rs of mobile’:  Remind, Refresh, Reinforce, Retain, Reach.

eCreator

So there you go then: five game changers that are already beginning to take eLearning to the next level, making it a more attractive proposition for employers and employees alike.

Read more:

How will MOOCS and SPOCs effect the eLearning world?

Will the LMS still be a viable platform for eLearning in 2020?

SkillsServe named no.1 LMS for financial services