Training made easy

09 April 2014 Cheryl Muir, The Training Room Online
Cheryl Muir, Learning Specialist , The Training Room Online.

Cheryl Muir, Learning Specialist , The Training Room Online.

Financial institutions are feeling the pressure to comply with, and implement, new regulations being rolled out in the financial services sector. Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan announced in the 2012 budget speech that the intention is to move towards a twin-peaks system for financial regulation, where prudential is separated from market conduct supervision of the financial sector.

The twin-peaks bill brings two authorities to the Council of Financial Regulators, namely the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), which will be the prudential regulator, and the restructured Financial Services Board (FSB), which will deal with market conduct regulation. The way in which financial institutions treat their customers and the way they conduct business are just a few of the things which will now be closely monitored.

Training to deal with Twin Peaks

With the new regulatory framework in place, employees who work in these areas of financial service will require additional training in order to comply with the twin-peaks model. Current training material will need to be altered in order to incorporate these new regulations.

"It is costly for most organisations to do this, particularly on the large scale required,” says Cheryl Muir, a Learning Specialist at e-learning design and development company, The Training Room Online. "In addition to this, rolling out the training as traditional classroom-based training will take a long time to complete,” she continues.

The best way to quickly and easily train brokers across a vast geographical area is through e-learning, which can be updated rapidly and reach all staff at the same time. E-learning delivers consistent training from one student to the next, irrespective of when the learning actually takes place.

It is about more than just providing employees with information, it also maximises learning flexibility. Unlike traditional training programmes which may require the deployment of trainers, e-learning allows employees access to course material no matter where they are based geographically.

"With today’s technology, learning programmes can be accessed from anywhere, which is particularly important when considering that most brokers are not office bound,” says Muir. When training sessions are planned, invariably some employees are not able to attend, leaving them to wait, sometimes for weeks at a time, for the next available training session.

According to Muir, this may put a business at risk, where regulators have specified timeframes within which programmes need to be rolled out and completed. E-learning is designed to be delivered on-demand, therefore, employees can participate in training as and when their schedules allow.

Shifting focus to the student

E-learning is intended to remove the focus from the instructor and transfer it onto the student, who is able to assess his or her own development as they progress. It also allows for more focus to be placed on learning outcomes, such as the application of knowledge, decision making and critical thinking, rather than the acquisition and reproduction of knowledge.

"This is particularly important as we move away from rules-based regulation to principle-based regulation,” says Muir. "It is no longer enough for learners to be able to recite a set of rules,” she concludes. Well-trained teams have been found to be more motivated, more productive and more valuable to a business, and investing in training is a sure way to increase your bottom line.

Continuous training plays a crucial role in the success of any financial institution that hopes to succeed in the fast-paced world in which we live, and technology is the motivating force capable of driving this. In an age where knowledge is your most valuable asset, it is imperative that you keep up with the advances in your ever-changing industry.

The role of the internet has been identified as one of the possible trends which will have a major impact on the financial services industry in 2014. Streamlining education is an example of an effective and positive use of this medium.

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