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Get SM&CR Ready: Why a Blended Learning Program Works

The arrival of the extended Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) is imminent, meaning that impacted firms need to have trained relevant staff by 9 December 2019. In this blog post, we look at how a blended learning program can help you prepare.

The SM&CR has applied to the UK banking sector since 2016, and as a specialist in providing custom learning solutions for the governance, risk and compliance sector, LEO GRC has been fortunate to work with a large range of banks in this area over the last three years.

We’ve found that while standalone eLearning courses play a large part in an effective SM&CR training program, the most successful rollouts have been blended learning programs.

This blog post is based on our webinar ‘SMCR Training Trends: What’s Working? What’s New?’ and looks at how a four-stage blended learning model can help you prepare.

Prepare for SM&CR With a Four-Stage Blended Learning Model

The four stages of the blended learning model are:

  • Landing the key messages
  • Getting senior staff on-board
  • Creating learner journeys
  • Establishing the BAU

Stage 1: Landing the Key Messages

This looks to cover the basic ethos, themes, and aims of the SM&CR, explaining key terminology, timelines, and the context.

Stage 1 can be delivered through infographics, animations and video—all designed to engage the user. It’s worth noting at this stage that the learning content does not vary according to job role, allowing stage 1 to be a universal rollout. It’s aimed at raising awareness and addressing any concerns that staff may have.

It is important to keep the message positive, reassuring staff that the conduct standards placed on them by the new regime are in line with the existing conduct expectations of the firm.

Discover more: 'SMCR Training: The Definitive Guide'

Stage 2: Getting Senior Staff on Board

Stage 2 is aimed at Senior Managers (SMs), broadly executive and non-executive directors, and other senior staff in HR, Legal and compliance, for example, who will play a key role in the implementation of the new regime.

The size and seniority of this population means that this training is best suited to face-to-face, interactive workshops. Social learning is helpful here. The ability to ask questions, explore grey areas and challenge colleagues helps the development of a consistent company-wide stance and approach to conduct standards and new procedures. These workshops can also be used to create scenario-based examples that can be used for the next stage…

You might also like: 'Engaging Compliance Training: Scenarios and Storytelling'

Stage 3: Creating Learner Journeys

A key theme of the SM&CR is individual accountability and COCON requires a personalized approach to learning according to job role. This stage involves a rollout to two key populations who will be impacted; the Certified Persons population and Other Conduct Rule Staff population.

The method of training will likely be influenced by the number of staff attending the training. Typically, as these populations make up large proportions of the workforce, a digital solution can offer an efficient solution.

As per Stage 2, there is a strong case for breaking out senior Certified Persons in line manager roles to work through this stage in a workshop environment, where the benefits of social learning come into their own. This enables more complex and extended scenarios to be explored in detail so that a consistent approach can be developed. It also enables this population to ask questions, the sort of questions that they are likely to receive from their direct reports.

Stage 4: Establishing the BAU

The final step establishes an annual training program as Business As Usual (BAU) on the Individual Conduct Rules for both the Certified Persons population and the wider Other Conduct Rules population.

The method of delivery will once again depend on numbers, but a digital solution will likely apply at this stage. It is important to remember that, as the SM&CR becomes embedded, the key messages about personal accountability and conduct standards should start to be built into other training to ensure a consistent and holistic approach. For example, Individual Conduct Rule 5 (Market Conduct) can be built into courses on market abuse.

So, as you can see, the four-stage model looks to deliver a blended learning program by using face-to-face workshops at key stages where specialist groups will benefit most from social learning.

This also delivers efficiencies through digital learning platforms for larger audiences, while still allowing content to be tailored by job roles.

Discover more ways to prepare by watching the full recording of our SM&CR webinar.

If you’d like to discover more about how a blended learning program can help you deliver the best experience for both your learners and organization, get in touch.

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