Continuing Professional Development in the Banking Industry

AGEFI Luxembourg – Mars 2019 :

In the banking industry continuing professional development is of great value as it ensures you to stay competent in your profession. It is an ongoing process and continues throughout a professional’s career. The desired result of well-planned continuing professional development is that it optimizes the employer, the employee and his or her career.

Why is Continuing Professional Development (CPD) so important?

CPD is both important for:
Organisations as it encourages a healthy learning culture where the employees feel fulfilled and effort is made to retain these valuable resources; Individuals as it helps to become more effective professionals. With the aid of training and learning these individuals will become more confident and it will increase their capability and compliment their career ambitions. Moreover;
• Continuing professional development guarantees you to keep pace with other peers in the banking world;
• CPD ensures you to keep and improve the knowledge and skills that you need to deliver a professional service to your clients;
• Continuing professional development will help to keep your knowledge up to date: you are more aware of changing trends in your banking profession; nowadays the pace of change is faster than ever, so do not stand still as you will be left behind with outdated knowledge and skills;
• CPD also enhances team spirit: you become more effective in the workplace, moreover it will assist you in advancing in your career and move into new positions in which you can lead, manage, influence, coach and mentor others.
• CPD broadens your set of interests; experience is a great mentor, but it does not mean that you keep doing what we you before, with a more focused CPD, new possibilities, new knowledge and new skill areas are opened;
• CPD will also help to advance the core knowledge within banking;
• Last but not least CPD can also lead to increased public confidence in banking professionals and their profession as a whole.

Which Types of CPD do exist?

3 types of CPD exist:
1. Structured CPD or Active Learning includes interactive and participation-based study. This leaning is proactive and can consist in a training course, conference, workshop, seminar, lecture, e-learning course, CPD certification or career orientated exams and assessments;
2. Reflective CPD Learning does not require active participation and is much more passive and one directional. Concrete example is reading relevant news articles, podcasts & case studies;
3. Informal CPD or Self-Directed Learning refers to all unaccompanied CPD activities such as the reading of documents, articles and publications; both print or online; reading publications & books by banking experts, industry journals and trade magazines, or even industry-specific news feeds or research into relevant fields.

Is Online Learning The Future of Continuing Education?

The Victorian educational model created 300 years ago still serves as model for our traditional educational model. This model can be compared to a human computer made up of students with identical reading, writing and arithmetic skills, in which each identically trained student is considered as a component in the human computer. In the meantime, is this traditional model outdated or even obsolete? The most important challenges of these traditional education systems are access & high cost. So, the most striking question to ask is how to educate people in a smarter way and at less cost and ensure that they continue with life-long learning? The most suitable answer is “Personalized Online Learning”.

This personalised online learning approach can be seen as a suitable approach for the following 3 reasons:

Accessible Learning
In order to offer an equal opportunity for a quality education, the chosen education model should be accessible regardless of geographical location, race, gender, or social, cultural or economic conditions. However, finding the right teacher for the right course at the right place is a burden, so a possible solution is to give the responsibility for learning back to the course applicants via a Self-Organised Learning Environment (SOLE) based in the cloud. This enhances a learning experience that is course applicant driven rather than teacher centric, where the teacher’s job is to pose the question and the course applicant’s job is to explore and seek out the answers, utilising web-based technology within a supportive network.

High Cost of Learning
High costs for tuition, room and travel costs puts education at traditional colleges out of reach of many. In comparison, online training is a low cost sustainable learning solution with a small carbon footprint. With online courses there are no down time, travel or accommodation costs. When productivity gains are calculated in, online courses are at half of the cost price of face-to-face training.

Benefits
The expected benefits from a future education model are defined by the challenges facing traditional systems. Future education needs to be accessible, affordable and engaging. This can be accomplished by an educational model that has the following components:
• Personalised – tailored to the course applicant’s individual needs
• Course applicant driven and directed, rather than teacher oriented
• Makes use of the cloud and web-based online technology for all-time access at an affordable price,
• Supports course applicants by tracking their progress and providing contact with teachers

Innovative thinking is required to address the challenges facing higher education; looking for innovative models for higher and continuing education that will help more course applicants get a personalized education that produces better informed and intellectually agile individuals at an affordable price.
Is online learning the future of continuing education? personalized online learning is definitely a key step in the journey to a better, more accessible educational model.

Why do Small Personalised Online Courses (SPOCs) also work for the banking industry?

Massive online open courses have been launched with a lot of buzz and are identified as well-known online training channel, but in the meantime Small Personalized Online Course can be identified as a fit option for professional development and lifelong learning in the banking industry.

The main advantages of SPOCs are:
Cost Saving is the main advantage of SPOCs as it comes to half the cost of face-to-face training, especially when productivity gains are calculated in. This is appealing to course participants and employers.
Asynchrony offers the advantage to put the focus on course applicants rather than on teachers. This type of online learning offers the course applicants the opportunity to do the learning whenever and wherever they want by means of a computer and internet connection. This way, busy professionals can try to fit their professional development into an already hectic life and work schedule.
Support and expert advice are provided by industry experts with extensive knowledge, expertise and empathy. They are available to help course participants with any queries and to moderate online discussion forums. As they are subject matter experts, they can provide insights and practical guidance to course participants. This contributes to high completion rates; over 80% for courses, compared with 4% or less for many MOOCs.
Course applicant contributions to the online courses. Many course participants appreciate the ability to reflect on and review the course materials, so they can make a contribution to the online discussions, whereas in face-to-face courses, or courses at fixed times, this is not possible.
Participation to a learning community. Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) typically stream lectures, but many course participants are looking for a human connection beyond the streamed lecture. SPOCs provide this by the combination of the course facilitator and online discussion forums which together provide a supportive learning network. This contributes to a much lower attrition rate for SPOCS and means that the majority of participants successfully complete the course.

Conclusion

According to me, Continuing Professional Development is a great means to keep professionals in the banking industry – regulated industries expect professional companies to implement a mandatory CPD policy for functions working in that sector. This trend can be seen in traditional sectors as the banking industry, accountancy and healthcare, but also in newer professions such as business management and communications – familiar with the latest evolutions and enforce their skillset. The best option to update this skillset depends on the expectations of the course applicants, but online training and more in particular massive online courses for well-known certifications work well. Moreover, Small Personalised Online Courses provide a higher level of course applicant support and they are emerging as a sustainable model for specialized learning using online education to deliver more targeted and customized courses. This way the course applicant can learn in a more flexible way, making the most of available development opportunities.
Sandy Everaerts has 20 years of experience, and worked for leading companies in the Banking & Insurance sector. She has a background in both Business and IT as PMO, project manager & SCRUM Master.4-lingual NL/ENG/FR/GER with a Master’s degree, relevant project management certifications. Sandy joined Initio in 2017 as Senior Manager in charge of the Business Line Governance & Projects.

Par Sandy Everaerts, consultante du Groupe Square

Article en format .pdf : Mars 2019 (1)

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