The year is 1997. An investment firm has a new intake of staff – graduate trainees, investment professionals, operations specialists, back-office workers. A memo goes round. The new staff members are required to attend a compliance training course.
They gather in a meeting room that has a large TV – almost as deep as it is wide – and a so-called ‘VCR’ – a videocassette recorder. Someone from the compliance department inserts the videocassette and the compliance training presentation commences.
35 minutes’ later, the attendees leave the room. Some took in the contents. Some were utterly bored. Some didn’t understand how the content applies to their role and responsibilities, and considered the entire affair to be a complete and utter waste of time!
Fast forward to the present, and things are very different. E-learning courses provide an opportunity to training that is more effective and significantly more interesting! Among other things they:
- Can be taken from a variety of devices (PC, laptop, tablet, smart phone) and at any time for maximum convenience;
- Provide the means for the participant to take the course at his/her own pace;
- Are interactive, and therefore more engaging to a participant; and
- Can more easily be made bespoke to a particular industry type or an individual’s role and responsibilities.
With this in mind, we created a suite of FCA-compliance induction and refresher courses for investment firms that complement our SMCR courses. The SMCR courses set out the framework for fostering a good culture of conduct, accountability and governance. The compliance induction and refresher courses provide individuals with the tools to succeed in this regard, by setting out compliance obligations, compliance risks and how to act accordingly in response to these obligations and risks. As such, our compliance induction and refresher courses offer valuable continuation from the foundation laid by our SMCR courses.
The courses have been crafted in order to specifically address the key compliance considerations. They start with an overview of the UK financial regulatory environment – setting the scene. Why are financial institutions subject to regulation? What’s the point of this? There then follows a discussion on how financial regulation applies to both investment firms and – critically – to the staff members within such firms. Finally, the course details an investment firm’s typical response to the various regulatory requirements that it faces, including practical and pragmatic guidance for the person taking the course.
Interactivity is a key feature of the courses. Case studies and quiz questions feature prominently. This includes a ten-question multiple choice quiz at the end of each course to ensure the requisite knowledge has been acquired.
Going back to 1997 – the course designer of RQC Group’s compliance induction and refresher courses was one of those who in that year received his first compliance training via video tape! Since then he has designed and delivered various compliance training courses, both e-learning and the traditional classroom variety. He leveraged this wealth of experience to create courses that target fundamental compliance issues.
He also appreciates that not everyone is as passionate about compliance as he is! There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach when it comes to attitude towards regulatory matters and appreciation of compliance risk.
Therefore, the courses don’t implore participants to apply compliance for compliance’s sake. Good compliance arrangements are a key component in well-run firms. Effective compliance arrangements are expected by key stakeholders, such as clients and those that can provide business to the firm. Simultaneously the ramifications of non-compliance for firms and individuals can be significant. As a result, the courses encourage participants to be thoughtful when applying compliance considerations to their day-to-day responsibilities.
Most individuals within investment firms do not need to be ‘experts’ in compliance. But they need to be armed with the knowledge to know what to do in certain situations. From this perspective, our courses aim to act as a springboard for new members of staff, or a key reminder to existing staff members.
Each course takes around 45 minutes to complete. There are separate courses for senior managers (as defined per SMCR) reflecting their additional responsibilities from a compliance perspective and hence different focus.
Our team of compliance experts are always here to help you connect the dots – please contact us should you require any further advice regarding FCA-compliance.