Continuing professional development in a financial services organisation: SUMMARY

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CPD is a process by which individuals can remain up-to-date and competent in their chosen field. Employees have the ability to provide a significant business advantage through being more adaptive and responsive to business-led change. Individuals benefit through their own improving performance. This enhances job prospects, and this has a positive impact on their capacity to earn, thereby reinforcing the willingness to learn.

The model of CPD used by the PIA is mandatory, that is it is not driven by the preferences of the individual but by the regulatory body. There is a significant input from the management on behalf of the organisation as to what should be learned and how, but there appears to be little information on why the activity is being undertaken, what is learned from it and how the learning will be applied. The link between the learning and development plans and CPD activity from the annual monitoring and performance review is also limited. Therefore, in order to provide a systematic process, the links between the identification of training and development needs and the relationship to business goals should be improved.

The findings of the survey suggest that in order to relate CPD activities to improvements in personal and organisational performance a restructuring of the scheme is required. The process should follow a sequence that begins with a clear understanding of the business goals in order to obtain a clear identification of training needs. Participation by individuals should be encouraged through their agreement on meaningful, related, achievable objectives, which in turn are supported by a relevant reward strategy. The role of the manager is a key factor in relating learning to improving workplace performance through both informal and formal processes (for example schemes of appraisal).

So that the various strands may be drawn together, a policy on CPD is recommended. An effective policy will lay out clearly the aims and objectives of the scheme and how these will be met. In addition, Hughes argues that a policy is necessary to ensure public confidence and to demonstrate organisational commitment to professional development. To be effective, such a policy needs to be flexible enough to allow the individuals to use their favoured learning styles ‘thus providing varied learning opportunities’. Barrington and Wood recommend that the basis for any management of people policy should contain an adaptation of the following:

— a demonstrable commitment from the top down
— self-development as a joint responsibility
— the need to understand how learning takes place and its cycle of events
— the commitment of the company to acknowledge improved performance and reward accordingly
— who is responsible for identifying development needs and promoting development activities
— how the company’s aims and objectives are communicated throughout the organisation and its employees
— how performance appraisal is to be carried out and its timing
— improved clarity concerning career development and progression routes, processes and procedures
— what facilities are provided for learning during work hours, including whether it is paid time.

This list has great utility in that it has the potential to form the framework for an efficient integrated policy on CPD.

A good recording system will help to ensure that plans are put into practice, that they retain relevance and continue to relate individual performance to the wider achievement of organisational goals. It will also provide an opportunity for appropriate external monitoring which will offer credibility in the eyes of the organisation with the individuals who participate in it and which will go some way towards instilling greater public confidence.

Findings show that the scheme in operation at the organisation under review is accepted by the employees covered by the PIA guidelines, not simply because it meets the statutory body requirements, but also in terms of the benefits it provides on an individual level. However, one possibility arising from the growing awareness of the benefits of CPD, is the increasing likelihood of highly motivated and skilled advisers seeking work elsewhere. A lack of reward and career prospects linked to the learning gained through CPD within the organisation make this a realistic suggestion, hence the recommendation of introducing an appropriate career development model, as described earlier.

Murphy provides an outline that may be adopted by all advisers and supervisors to maintain their momentum and enthusiasm. In this framework he recommends that advisers are likely to feel that their CPD is more purposeful when they are clear about its goals; thus effective communication is also an issue to be resolved. More effective consideration of human resource planning is required on how future job demands may be addressed and career aspirations satisfied. Working towards these can be translated into more immediate action and written into the learning and development plans, which may then be monitored on an individual level through regular supervisory/appraisal schemes.

It appears that the effectiveness of such schemes relies heavily for their success on the commitment of the individual and the system operating within the organisation. Given this, the PIA should consider its regulatory role and offer greater clarification and improved guidance. This could be carried out by working directly with the organisations for which it is responsible on how schemes of CPD may be more effectively engaged in at a strategic level and sustained through the organisation’s systems and processes to the benefit of all.

Representative APR 391%

Let's say you want to borrow $100 for two week. Lender can charge you $15 for borrowing $100 for two weeks. You will need to return $115 to the lender at the end of 2 weeks. The cost of the $100 loan is a $15 finance charge and an annual percentage rate of 391 percent. If you decide to roll over the loan for another two weeks, lender can charge you another $15. If you roll-over the loan three times, the finance charge would climb to $60 to borrow the $100.

Implications of Non-payment: Some lenders in our network may automatically roll over your existing loan for another two weeks if you don't pay back the loan on time. Fees for renewing the loan range from lender to lender. Most of the time these fees equal the fees you paid to get the initial payday loan. We ask lenders in our network to follow legal and ethical collection practices set by industry associations and government agencies. Non-payment of a payday loan might negatively effect your credit history.

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