Here at the Credit Services Association (CSA) we have always been committed to supporting our members and their workforce with their training and development needs. In our role as the only trade association in the UK for the debt collection and debt purchase industry, we understand the importance to our members of ensuring that their staff are kept up-to-date and possess the relevant skills to operate effectively in what is a challenging and ever-evolving sector.
Part of the CSA’s strategy to meet these needs saw the launch in 2022 on the Collections Learning Initiative (CLI), an online platform intended to offer a flexible and convenient training product to contribute towards a workforce’s understanding of key areas and topics within the industry.
LinkedIn’s 2023 Workplace Learning Report – Building the Agile Future shows that 41% of Learning & Development (L&D) leaders expected that they would have more spending power in 2023, illustrating the desire and emphasis being placed on training staff within firms. Not only does this reflect the aim of maintaining a workforce equipped with the necessary and up-to-date skills required to perform at the highest level, but it is also likely to be a response to the challenges now facing employers from a recruitment and retention standpoint (the same report states that 93% of respondents are concerned about the latter).
41% of Learning & Development (L&D) leaders expected that they would have more spending power in 2023
The CLI is designed in part to address these concerns, and enables employers to enrol their staff on the module(s) of their choosing, each of which has a specific learning aim that enables the employer to take a flexible approach to their staff training and development. Each module takes approximately 60 minutes for the learner to work through and progress can be saved and continued later, meaning that modules are in a manageable format and can be completed without requiring a significant time commitment.
The CIPD Learning at Work 2023 report includes a look at the top ‘people priorities’ facing L&D professionals with ‘improving staff retention’ coming top of the list, with ‘succession planning’ in third place. These two priorities reflect the desire of firms to build and maintain a resilient workforce with an eye on the long-term through developing and nurturing committed and engaged employees.
An effective way of developing these qualities is through investing in relevant training to act as both a means to maintain up-to-date knowledge and to also provide a potential career progression pathway within a firm for an employee.
The CLI’s flexible module-based format enables it to be used in a number of ways by employers; it can be used as a resource to introduce new staff to the business and the industry, but it can also introduce existing employees to new areas and topics in order to encourage personal development.
The LinkedIn report also highlights the importance to workers of the opportunity to learn and develop new skills, which in turn can lead to ‘internal mobility’ – or the movement of employees into new positions and/or promotions within their existing organization – and increases staff retention: “Helping people make an internal move boosts retention. And by expanding people’s networks and skills, internal mobility naturally creates more organisational agility.”
Upon launch of the CLI, CSA CEO Chris Leslie said: “Keeping teams up to date with the latest training and regulations isn’t always simple, so we’ve developed these bite-sized and easily accessible online modules to ensure firms across our sector have access to new skills at their fingertips.”
A new CLI module – Managing Compliance – has just been launched and will be followed by additional content as we head into 2024.
The CSA is ideally placed to offer specialist training to both member and non-member firms in the areas of credit, collections, compliance, counter-fraud, and debt advice. In addition to the CLI, the long-running Collector Accreditation Initiative (CAI) allows companies to assess their staff’s knowledge and scope of understanding of compliance, enabling firms to mitigate regulatory risks and uphold the highest standards of the CSA Code of Practice. The CAI is regularly updated to ensure that the content is relevant and reflective of the needs of those working in a role of a professional collector within the industry.
The CSA is also an approved apprenticeship training provider (with a ‘good’ Ofsted rating) and uses its specialist expertise in regulatory compliance, risk, counter fraud and debt advice services to enable employers large and small from the public and private sectors to up-skill or re-skill existing or new employees.
To learn more about how the CSA can help with your training needs via our CSA Learning website at: www.csa-uk.com/csa-learning