Last updated: 06.11.13

CPD 'crucial' to business success

The most successful advisory companies are those that provide their employees with continuing professional development (CPD).

This is according to Stephen Womack, an adviser at David Williams IFA Chartered Financial Planners, who also said firms that fail to do this risk losing clients and falling behind their competitors.

He claimed in a post for Money Marketing that it is not enough for organisations to rely on existing knowledge and qualifications and assume operations are ticking over nicely just because they have not received any complaints for a few years.

"Instead, the best firms are looking to embed systems within their business that help them to continually learn and to find ways to adapt and improve," Mr Womack added.

The expert noted that within the best performing companies, staff progress and the development of the firm are intertwined, with soft skills nurtured just as much as training in how to score points in professional examinations.

What's more, training needs are tied to business goals and less experienced advisors are allowed to specialise in specific areas or handed more responsibilities.

CPD must be prioritised, and if it is not, this could be of great detriment to firms, their employees and clients. As Mr Womack explained, there will always be ways organisations can learn and better themselves.

Of course, they may need a helping hand now and again, which is where training providers such as Virtual College come in. The West Yorkshire-based company has its own CPD Certification Service designed to help employers offer CPD and support learning initiatives.

As the materials are based online, bosses can access them in their own time and from wherever they are. This makes the educational process far more flexible and allows managers to tailor the CPD to their own needs.

Some of the topics outlined in the CPD resources include Risk Assessment in Safeguarding, Managing Finances in Local Authorities, An Introduction to Behaviour Change Techniques and Common Core of Skills and Knowledge.