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FSA in the spotlight: Effective training –the key to retailer sales success

The issue of training and competence is probably the part of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) requirements that coincides most obviously with motor retailer’s commercial interests.

Sales staff are likely to achieve greater insurance sales penetration if they know the products, have a sales process they have been trained in, feel confident in their ability and are appropriately managed.

Employers want their employees working to the best of their abilities and employees want to know what a good job looks like. All of these, says Stephanie Murdoch of Auto Network UK, are outcomes of effective training and competence arrangements.

The FSA’s training and competence commitments, which all regulated firms have to fulfil, are that: your employees are competent; they remain competent for the work they do; they are appropriately supervised; their competence is regularly reviewed; and that the level of employee competence is appropriate to the nature of the business.

Murdoch points out the close correlation between what the dealership principal, the shareholders, the employees and the FSA are seeking.

So what are the potential pitfalls? Well, you might be doing a lot of the above but if you can’t produce evidence to show that it has happened, the regulator will be disinclined to believe you. There must be records maintained of your fulfilment of the training and competence commitments. As a minimum, you must be reviewing your staff’s competency at least once every year.

“This should not be too high a price to pay for happy sales people and share holders, more sales and, dare I say, greater profits,” says Murdoch.

The record keeping requirements are set out in 2.8 of the training and competence section of the FSA handbook, which can be found on the FSA’s website (www.fsa.gov.uk).

Alternatively, you could register on one of its training courses in your area to get practical hands-on guidance and help.

If you require help with meeting the FSA requirements, then please contact Auto Network UK on: 0845 226 2970.

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