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40 years in insurance and 20 years specialising in conduct and customer service. Find out more about me. 

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Getting the most from the 15 hours required learning

14th September 2020

Getting the most from the 15 hours required learning

How are you doing with the new(ish) Insurance Distribution Directive requirements documented by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), to complete at least 15 hours of training each year? Have you been struggling to find courses that interest you. Is it becoming a tick box exercise? 

It doesn't have to be this way. 

Learning comes in so many ways:

  • On-the-job experience
  • Online reading
  • E-learning courses
  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Webinars
  • Industry events and talks
  • Forums
  • Classroom

I love running workshops, getting people round a table and discussing case-studies and our own experiences is a great way to learn. I also love e-learning too, however it can get a bad press as it is often used to present lots of technical information that people have to read through and revise before they take an assessment. 

The best kind of learning is a mixture of passive (reading, watching and listening) and doing (answering questions, clicking on boxes). Sadly, I see too many e-learning courses that are purely passive (until you get to the assessment!). 

Alongside, this e-learning needs to be visually interesting. Easy to read on a screen, this isn't just about images - it's also about the language (short sentences and simple words are best) and the layout of the screen. I like a 2 column layout with boxes and images to break up the page. Many courses I have seen are just a list of bullet points on each page (the e-learning version of "death by Powerpoint"). It's not a book so don't write it as if it is one.

I've been told by a few people that older people don't like e-learning. That's not the case, research by Statista shows that while it is mostly the 16-24 years age group using e-learning (reflecting that many are students), there's a significant percentage of over 45's also using e-learning. I think if we made it a bit more interesting and more focused (less words, dates and facts!) then we could see this number grow. 

I see e-learning as a useful part of a blended learning programme. Complementing other learning experiences and helping you take little steps of interesting learning to reach (or exceed) the 15 hours requirement. 

I would be very interested to hear your experience of e-learning and what works best for you. 

Author: Sally Pearce (Conduct Matters Ltd)


Sally Pearce started Conduct Matters in 2014 after 35 years working in the insurance industry. She was originally an underwriter, but since 2000 has worked in dispute resolution and helping Insurance firms understand how to treat their customers fairly. Her experience includes working for the Financial Ombudsman, in the Lloyd’s market and dealing with regulators. Sally is ACII, a qualified mediator and yoga teacher. She is also available for public speaking.


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