Tag Archives: senior managers & certification regime

2016 FCA Changes to Regulated Complaints Handling

The changes made to the FCA’s complaint handling rules (appearing inthe FCA Handbook – DISP)in June 2016 are well documented and should have been embedded by this time.

In conclusion: 

  • The ‘next business day rule’ has been extended to develop into a ‘three business day rule’ (where sending final response letters (FRLs) are required).
  • Firms must now send a ‘Summary Resolution Communication’ (SRC) in response to all complaints that are solved within three days of receipt.
  • The SRC must confirm that the complaint has been resolved and inform the customer of their rights to refer the matter to the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
  • All complaints must be recorded and submitted to the FCA via their new ‘complaints return’.

The rules are devised to benefit customers by “ensuring that complaints are handled more quickly, easily and transparently”.

Firms no longer have to attempt to resolve complaints on the same day to avoid reporting or sending the customer an FRL. As a result, more time and greater consideration may be given to each individual complaint and the circumstances of the complainant. This should also support a more versatile operating model and relieve some functional triage and case management burdens.

Firms lose the ability to resolve complaints without reporting them; nevertheless, where all complaints are logged and reported, firms should have access to management information (MI) that better demonstrates their complaint population, and therefore root cause analysis (RCA) should be more robust- revealing a more accurate understanding of the firm’s performance.

On the face of it, there are positives for customers and the industry, but how are firms coping with the changes?

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS FOR FIRMS?

Theoretically, where the firm is positive that complaints, which were being closed by the next business day, were identified and resolved fairly (and in-line with regulatory expectations), then the shifting to the new rules should certainly be more straightforward. In this example, the biggest change for the complaint handling department is logging the grievance correctly, and issuing an SRC to the client. This, however, still results in an immediate need to present systems training to staff, and to update procedures to ensure SRCs are issued to customers in the correct manner.

values compliance consultant london compliance framework annual monitoring planThe new reporting rules mean that there is now a record of every dissatisfaction handled by the firm, and therefore fair customer outcomes and compliant complaint handling will need to be demonstrable in each instances. This has exposed some firms’ capability to appropriately identify and handle complaints in their frontline and client support departments, or those who do not handle complaints on a regular basis. Reasons for this typically include:.

  • A training or capabilities gap.
  • Conflicting incentive schemes.
  • Inadequate processes and procedures.
  • Inadequate back up and oversight.
  • Issues with company conduct.

Nevertheless, this has also led to the inherent expectation that frontline staff- who might receive complaints infrequently- are able to serve as skilled complaint handlers. For some staff, this will feel like a change to their role, so firms ought to provide the appropriate support to individuals for them to execute effective complaint handling that meets regulatory criteria.

Aside from this, the regulatory definition of a complaint- and a firm’s treatment of it- has entered the spotlight. Previously, ‘minor’ or ‘immaterial’ complaints could be quickly dealt with and resolved without too much concern for whether the regulatory definition of a complaint had been met. Now that all complaints are recorded, firms need to be confident that complaints are being identified in line with regulatory expectations, resulting in ‘materiality’ coming into question. This serves to make the understanding of what is and isn’t a complaint an intrinsic part of the process, and comes at the same time as an increased reliance on non-skilled frontline staff to perform complaint handling.

These changes have also meant that firms’ operating models and controls have had to be augmented, since added departments and complaint channels have to be more closely monitored. Some firms have miscalculated the extent of the required changes.

HOW CAN FIRMS ADDRESS THE CURRENT CHALLENGES?

Firms should revaluate their complaint handling operating model whilst taking into consideration the FCA’s expectations around a ‘fair customer outcome – at the earliest feasible opportunity’, and whilst also reviewing their “risk appetite”. They should be comfortable that complaints will be suitably identified and handled in all frontline area, with appropriate evidence of good practice recorded and retained.

No matter what process for complaints a firm deems appropriate, as a minimum, complaints ought to be identified correctly by frontline staff, so a level of training, guidance and support is needed on an immediate and ongoing basis to mitigate ‘knowledge gap’ and ‘skill fade’ possibilities where complaint handling is not the day-to-day role.

The expectancies of staff and the firm should be assessed for you to gain insight on how to align the two. As part of its suite of training pertaining to complaints, firms should also aim to improve their personnel’s contextual understanding around why effective complaint handling is critical across the industry today. They could also use this opportunity to determine their complaint handling culture, and reaffirming the crucial elements of treating customers fairly, where appropriate.

Firms should ensure that they have a clear and, most significantly, consistent definition of a complaint which gives context and meaning to the idea of ‘materiality’, using a broad spread of real examples in line with their risk appetite.

Firms’ operational controls under the former rules (including quality assurance (QA), training & competence (T&C), MI, RCA and governance arrangements) may not give the full understanding of complaint handling across the company, causing an increased risk of unjust customer outcomes and regulatory breaches.

Therefore, in order for the firm to demonstrate compliant complaint handling to the regulator, these operational controls ought to be appropriately broadened (while ensuring a risk-based approach) to give a correct view of complaint handling in all areas. This brings about updated requirements for QA and RCA frameworks, T&C schemes, MI reports, scorecards, training programmes, governance structures and agendas; to name but a few.

Ultimately, firms should be satisfied that their systems and infrastructure allows them to record, report and handle complaints in line with regulatory expectations. This means ensuring that calls are recorded (i.e. interactions can be proven), all relevant individuals have access to the firm’s complaint handling system and the system has the ability to support effective MI and RCA.

A CONTINUED EXPERIENCE HEADING TOWARDS COMPLAINTS EXCELLENCE.

As well as the initial challenges that were projected at the outset of PS15/ 19 and during the prior consultation, there have been some inadvertent issues arising through the reasonable implementation of the rules which are more nuanced and harder for firms to diagnose.

Firms wishing to gain assurance that they are reacting appropriately to these challenges can examine their procedure to the areas above to give themselves a richer picture. It is needless to say perfectly natural that tasks should arise when such a significant change is carried out, nevertheless it is the ability to react to these challenges with appropriate and proportionate action that will differentiate firms in the marketplace.

 

Lee Werrell Chartered FCSI

Compliance Doctor

compliance consultants london specialist remedial risk management fca handbook

How to Combat Diabetes With Technology

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Discovering that you have to live with a condition such as diabetes for the rest of your life can be tough to accept. Living with a chronic condition like diabetes can be cumbersome, especially if it requires constant monitoring and care. While technology has not advanced as much to cure diabetes entirely, it has advanced to produce medical devices that can reduce your day to day stress to a great extent.

One of the largest sources of stress among people living with diabetes can be insulin delivery. With multiple injections, puncturing your skin multiple times a day can be traumatic and frustrating and calculating dosages can be time consuming and confusing. However, in recent years, there have been tremendous breakthroughs in insulin injection devices and insulin delivery systems that can help reduce the hardships of insulin delivery. Devices such as injection ports and insulin pens and syringes with smaller needles help ease the pain and anxiety of taking insulin injections; while insulin pumps help the user to accurately calculate doses and deliver insulin by infusion set. These advances have helped those living with diabetes complain more with the insulin delivery. Additionally, tracking blood sugar and carbohydrates levels can be difficult to juggle with any schedule, but is crucial to effective care. To aid in this, various glucose meters and carb sensors have been introduced to the market that make testing quick, painless and easy to incorporate in your daily schedule.

To help you further manage your diabetes, there are various websites that offer tracking software.These sites let you enter details such as daily glucose readings, diet, and exercise, and produce the data in charts allowing you to view your daily activities over a period of time. With the help of these reports, you can gain a better understanding as to what affects your glucose / carb levels and make adjustments when necessary. Printing these reports for your doctor visits can be a helpful resource to help them understand your diabetes management and the variables that might be affecting your levels in a more comprehensive way.

Technological advances can also be used to maintain a healthy weight level for those with diabetes. Recently introduced to the market, the Wii fit is a great way to get the proper amount of exercise you need on a daily basis. While the Wii fit was made for various types of people to use, it has many applications that can directly help those with diabetes. For instance, each person can create a personal profile where height and age are entered, and the Wii fit will automatically calculate weight and body mass index. A profile on the Wii fit charts daily progress based on your own personal weight goals, and many times, when you can see your progress charted out, it's an incentive to keep working and losing weight.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Catherine Albertson

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Ideas to Add Some Fun to Your Fitness Program

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Finding fun fitness ideas is such a wide open proposition because there are so different ways to engage in exercise related activities which produce results and to have fun at the same time. Exercising does not have to be boring and unexciting as there are many ways to get your body moving where you can gain the benefits of exercise and have fun doing it. Here are a sample of suggestions:

o Do it with a Friend
o Switch up your Activities
o Get the Whole Family Involved

Do it with a Friend

Nothing can add a needed dynamic to a fitness regime then a workout partner. If you are use to doing your fitness routine alone get a friend involved and you can add a level of fun to your workouts not experienced before. A workout partner can offer encouragement and reinforcement only possible when you have someone there during your training. You can also help them by encouraging them to set goals, stay committed and enjoy your time together. When you go through those tough times and motivation is low a workout partner can be a lifesaver that provides the necessary motivation to continue with the workout. Maybe you can add some sound advice for your partner also by providing motivation when it is needed most. Sometimes working out with a partner adds the right atmosphere to push your routine to the next level of accomplishment and have someone there to share your achievement. Working out with a partner offers a level of camaraderie not available when you train alone.

Switch up your Activities

It really does not matter what activity is performed during a fitness program as long as the activity is able to produce the desired results. There's a host of methods available to achieve many fitness goals. There are so many varied programs available today that everyone is bound to find some aspect that is appealing to them and will lead to improving their fitness level, and these activities are fun too! Try some of these ideas if you are looking to add an element of fun and variety to your fitness program.

Hiking: with the many parks and preserves located around the country today hiking at any level is a very enjoyable fitness activity. If you add the element of photography or bird watching to the routine it may not seem like exercise at all. With the graduated hikes and cliffs hiking can offer a challenge for anyone at any fitness level.

Walking: There's a lot of very beautiful parks and scenery where walkers are enjoying an environment which hard looks like exercise. The visual stimulation and fresh air provide many health benefits for the participant. If you can find a partner or two to join you on regular walks you can add friendly conversation while you walk as well.

Bicycling: The amount of leg and cardio-vascular exercise offered from bicycling is fundamental for anyone looking to improve their fitness in these areas. When you add the excitation of the open road and the scenery to be enjoyed the hours will pass and you will not even realize how much work you have put into exercising.

Jump Ropping: This activity has been around for a long time and is very popular because of the fun and challenge it presents. It is a great cardio exercise and can be fun just to see how many new tricks you can perform with the jump routes. Weighted routes are available also and counter which can tell you how many times you have completed successful rotations.

Dodge-ball: Popular with all ages this activity is great for agility and flexibility. It requires a large range of motion and involves all the senses when performing. The number of people involved in the game allows for much stimulating interaction and makes the activity fun for all.

Of course this is only a partial list of the possible fun fitness related activities that are possible. Exercising does not have to be boring and by using a number of modes to get your body moving you can gain the benefits of exercise and have fun at the same time.

Get the Whole Family Involved

You may consider setting up a home gym and getting the whole family involved in a circuit course training rule. Many home gyms are suitable for constructing a customized training routine or you can choose from a number of pre-designed routines. Either way you can get the whole family involved by setting individual fitness goals and working together to achieve them. A progress chart can be created which is posted on the wall and updated after each workout. You can include stars for achievements and even award special privileges for consistent work and results.

Many different kinds of equipment are available for purchase which also can make exercising more fun. Here are a few:

Heavy Hoops: These pieces of equipment are simply weighed hula hoops. This type of activity can be a great deal of fun especially in the beginning when you are first learning the proper technique to keep the hoop in motion. It offers both a challenge and exercise at the same time with progressive weights for improvement.

Medicine Balls: Going back to a time when exercise was less sophisticated the medicine ball was used to develop upper body strength and improve overall health conditions. The balls come in sizes which vary also in weight. There are many different techniques that can be used for tossing the medicine balls which can potentially provide a workout which improves strength, flexibility and coordination.

Pogo-Sticks: This exercise apparatus is thought of by most to be a toy but until you actually try and use one you will soon find it takes a lot of work. The benefits from using a pogo-stick include leg strength, coordination and balance. The upper body is also used when trying to master this simple but yet effective exercise tool. This piece of equipment will provide you with many hours of fitness fun when you combine it with the company of others.

Whatever activities you decide to use to meet your fitness goals always be on the lookout for more fun filled and exciting ways to add the element of fun to your workouts. Nothing frees up the energy reserves more then fun can.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Richard Spillane

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Corporate Mission Statements

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Mission statements have become a very common business tool with more than 50% of the companies in USA and UK having some form of mission statement. It has been realized that there is a need to clarify to the employees the purpose and philosophy of the company. The recognition of the importance of organization culture has created the interest in the purpose of setting up a kind of a message, highlighting the company purpose and management philosophy. It has realized, that the middle management is always becoming more and more demanding of their organization, and regularly asking for clarifications of direction of purpose and values, and the "inner identity" of the corporate.

As a result, the corporate, in searching for the right tool to help them manage, has come with mission statements, where it has tried to put forth the company's identity, its purpose, and a philosophy, for a better management of the organization. But, regardless of the attention being given to mission statements, there is little understanding as to what such a statement should include, and what role it has to play in the management of the company's identity or culture. These facts have been gathered after extensive research, involving interviews with managers, and studying in-numerable mission statements from all over the world.

There is a need to understand how an organization can enthide commitment amongst its managers and employees, and what should a mission statement play in this process. The word 'Mission' of a corporate would generally mean the identification of the organization's character, and the reason for its very existence. A mission statement should be characterized by projecting four parts of an organization: purpose, strategy, values, and behavior standards. The "Strategy" would address the nature of business, meaning, the organization's position vis-à-vis their competitors. It includes the source of the organization's competitive edge. The "Behavior Standards" would define the norms and rules that the organization follows, "Values" would be the principles of the moral value that forms the base of the behavior standards, and "Beliefs" would be the very faith on which the organization has was built upon, a faith which has been drilled into the organization by its founding dynasty.

There are frustrations in business processes. These frustrations evolve with the business having no definite purpose or direction. It has become so necessary for organizations to put forth a mission, which provides a clear business conception, its purpose, and its mission.

"A strong sense of corporate identity is as important as slavish adherence to business unit financial results". Michael Porter1.

The question comes up, how to practice what is written in a mission statement, such as the one which says, 'to reach beyond minimal'. Beliefs are said to be the signposts, guides, and goals of the organization, which are open to discussions. It becomes a document forming base on which the company exists.

"Beliefs are another professional tool of management to be utilized to reach our common goals". James Bere2.

"I recently visited the local office of a company that for many years has prided itself on its elegantly worded mission statement. Indeed. asked me if there was anything else I wanted. he asked. 'You know.' I told him 'that document on the wall as you walk in.' He was completely mystified. I finally took him over to the door and showed him what I was talking about. I left him staring at the mission statement, open mouthed and reading it, no doubt, for the first time. " Laura Nash3

In preparing a mission statement, the suggestion for the need of one may come from an external consultant. This, he may suggest, as a requirement to help and unite the company. In writing such a statement, the questions that are asked, in an attempt to write a mission statement, often brings out the gaps that the senior management has in its thinking process. The pressure in describing an organizations strategy, and management approach, also comes from the financial institutions or communities. This acts as external stimuli in forming a document, concluding that of a mission statement. The present need for a mission statement is also felt, when analysts and financial commentators become critical about the function of the managers, who lack strong commitment for the company's vision, activities, and management style.

The requirement for a mission statement also comes from within the company, becoming internal stimuli. There are three sources for such stimuli. The first one develops from the internal audience, such as, the section of middle management, wanting clarifications on where the company is heading to, and what the company stands for. The second source may come from the company executives themselves, having deep differences in opinion immerging out of discussions relating to the future of the company, and in the matter of company governance. The Chief Executive himself could be the third source, who may find that there is a need for a change in strategy and culture, and may re-write the mission of the organization, and communicate the change down the line. This change could have been on the basis of a new rule.

1 Michael E Porter – 'From Competitive Advantage to Corporate Strategy'. Harvard Business Review, May- June, 1987. P 52

2 James Bere, Chief executive Officer. Borg-Warner Corporation. Quoted in Harvard Business School, Case No 383-091. 'The Beliefs of Borg-Warner'.

3 Laura Nash – 'Mission Statements – Mirrors and Windows'. Harvard Business Review, March-April 1988 p. 155.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Prabir Sen

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Senior Downsizing

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I recently became a Certified Senior Move Manager. What does that mean? Senior Move managers are certified to help seniors move from a home they have owned for a number of years to a senior center, assisted living or just downsize to a condominium. They help all seniors make the move easy and painless.

It is said that over the next 20 years, more seniors will be moving to various new homes for downsizing purposes than ever before. The baby boomers are retiring now and making that downsizing decision. Because we have the opportunity to purchase more belongings than in the past, the baby boomers have more to sort and donate, toss, give to their children, or take with them to their new home. Making the decision on what to take to the new home is daunting. It requires many decisions and sometimes hours or days of work. Professional organizers can help in this situation.

When it comes to sorting through all the items that have been collected over the years, professional organizers can use their organizing skills to accomplish this task. They can arrange to have items donated or shipped to any relative. Most will do the work instead of just telling you how to do everything yourself. The feelings of losing so many items can be overwhelming and very hard for many. The professional organizer knows how to handle this and as a third party provides a sounding board for many of the decisions.

Senior Move Managers can help move any senior including those with disabilities such as Alzheimer's or hearing loss. The training and certification teach them the skills to apply in all situations.

Downsizing to any new location can be incredibly stressful. Planning the move, packing for the move, sorting belongings, and unpacking can be overwhelming. Having someone there to assist can offer a great relief. Sometimes furniture needs to be arranged for safety and that is another skill the senior move managers have been trained on.

Senior move managers are a great resource especially if your relative lives out of state.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Julie Riber

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Protecting Trademarks and Logos in the UK

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Trade marks are used to differentiate a business's goods and / or services sold by the businesses from others in the UK, and worldwide. Your logo may take the form of an emblem, symbol, badge or crest; it may also be a shape. The decisions to be made is whether it is (1) worth making the effort to register the logo, (2) making the effort to do it yourself, or (3) engage external consultants to manage the process for you.

In the UK, there is no legal requirement for your business to register logos, or any other trade name or trade mark used to identify your business to the public. Provided a business has sufficient turnover, sales expenditure and marketing activity, businesses are able to fall back on the Law of Passing off to protect your business.

The difficulty with this approach is that your business will need to prove that it has the required level of goodwill and reputation in the market that justifies protection of the logo. Not an easy feat for start-up businesses.

Also, provided the logo qualifies for copyright protection (as an artistic work), then copyright may be relied upon to protect the logo (this copyright protection is extended globally by individual countries implementing domestic law which is compliant with the provisions of the Berne Convention, which includes the UK). There are disadvantages to this approach, because (1) there is no public register available to be monitored by other businesses to ascertain whether your logo is protected or not in Europe or the UK, and (2) ownership of copyright must be proved in every case.

The Register

Registered trade marks appear on public registrants which are able to be searched by any member of the public with an internet enabled device.

Once on the Register competitors coming too close to copying your logo may be directed to the Register and warned off unlawful competition caused by using a logo too similar to your business's. It is easier to prevent unfair competition by registering a logo or trade name.

What does Registration give me?

Registered marks in the UK and Europe (as with the United States) give the owner a statutory monopoly to use it in respect to the goods and / or services in respect which it is registered. For instance, if your business sells shoes, registering the logo would protect any other trader in the relevant country from using your logo. Because trade marks are granted country by country (with the major exemption in Europe of the Community Trade Mark, which gives protection in the countries in European Union), no other business is able to use the trading name to sell shoes without your permission. You are able to stop other businesses using your logo, and take legal action to prevent them from doing so in the future.

Searching before Using

The Register of Trade Marks provides other benefits. Before adopting a logo, it makes good sense to find out whether there is another business are using a similar trade mark in countries where you intend to trade. If you do use a trade mark which is registered by another business without their permission in another country, you will infringe their trade mark and they will be able to stop you from doing so.

Many businesses believe that because a company name does not appear on the website of Companies House, or the domain name is not used, it is OK to use. This is not the case. It is the Register of Trade Marks in the countries which you trade which dictate who has the exclusive right to use trade names and logos, rather than whether or not a company has been registered with the same name or the domain name is in use.

Also, once your trade mark is registered, if another business applications for a logo which is too similar to it, you are able to oppose the application by that other business to prevent their logo being registered.

Conclusion

Rather than introducing international markets and hiring for the best, it makes commercial sense to ascertained where the risks lie in respect to use of logos and other trade names to avoid trademark infringement in countries which the business trades.

It is one thing to have a strong brand, it is quite another to be in a position to assert the best legal rights available to protect it. International brand protection can be obtained using a single trade mark application in the UK, which applies to all of Europe.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by L Ellis

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Microsoft Certification – Add One to Your Resume

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Add Microsoft Certification to your resume and see how it helps your career path. Microsoft has created numerous targeted certification programs. These certification programs do not just offer a new career option to those who are looking for a career, but also offers skill enhancement knowledge to those who are employed in various career fields.

So let us start our discussion with how different Microsoft Certification programs can help you in your job.

Software Application Developer

If you are a Software Application Developer, then you should think about adding MCAD (Microsoft Certified Application Developer) and MCPD (Microsoft Certified Professional Developer) certificates to your resume. MCPD will familiarize you with skills relating to software development on a variety of platforms using Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0. MCAD will make you an expert in application lifecycle from development to maintenance.

Those who want to enhance their analyzing and designing skills should definitely opt for MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solution Developer). This will give you complete knowledge of the application lifecycle from analysis through design, testing, development and maintenance.

Systems Engineer

For Systems Engineer professionals, there are several Microsoft Certification courses. A MCSE or MCSA would always be an added advantage in your career path. MCSE will provide you with skills relating to analysis of business requirements and design and implementation of infrastructures.

IT Business Analysts

IT Business Analysts benefit greatly from MCP or MCSD certifications. You can start with an Office Specialist Certification, which will make you an expert in using Microsoft Office products. You can then go on to add MCP. MCSD would have the ultimate certification in your field, as it would cover the entire application lifecycle from analysis through design, testing, development and maintenance.

System Analysts

As a System Analyst, you would benefit from MCAD or MCSD certificates. MCAD will familiarize you with the application lifecycle from development to maintenance. However, if you really want to improve your career path, you should go for MCSD, which will teach you everything about the application lifecycle.

Software Engineers

There are MCSD and MCSE Microsoft Certification courses designed for Software Engineers. MCSD certification will equip you with skills relating to designing and developing using Microsoft development tools, technologies and platforms. MCSE with provide you with the skills to analyze, design and implement infrastructures.

Technical Writer, Office Manager, Executive Assistant

If you are employed as Office Manager, Technical Writer or Executive Assistant, Microsoft Office Specialist certification is the right one for you. This certification is ideal for those who use Microsoft Office products on a daily basis. Specialist, Expert and Master are the three levels of Microsoft Office certification. You can start at the Specialist level. As you become more and more proficient, you can take exams to reach the Master level.

Network Administrators

Microsoft also offers MSCE certificates specifically designed for Network Administrators. Those who use Microsoft Windows and backoffice applications on a daily basis will now have the added knowledge to do the analysis, design and implementation of infrastructures, thanks to MSCE.

So irrespective of the field you are in, you can greatly benefit from all Microsoft certifications. First decide which certification will work the best for you and then proceed from there. These certificates will give you added skills to perform your job better. And this means a more productive career path. So find out which Microsoft Certification is ideal for you.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by James Copper

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When Change Fails, Change Again – And Again!

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All of us are familiar with this phenomenon of never-ending changes in organizations. As a concept, change is fine, and shows signs of an organization adapting to its changing environment. Except that, the type of changes I am referring to are primarily about changes in structures, or more appropriately, organogram. Some organizations have this unbounded faith in the powers of structural change to bring about magical changes in the organization that before the dust has settled on the last round of musical chairs, another round of changes to the organogram has already begun.

In my consulting career, I have seen organizations who play around with their structures so much and so frequently that it is not unusual to see them come back to what they had moved away from five years ago. Every 'big idea' of change usually comes with a proclamation from leaders about how wonderful the future will look like, and yet they end up looking pretty much the same! The staff have by now seen this ritual year after year, and the 'survivors' among them have learned to live with these, and the rest live from one day of uncertainty to another.

There is another type of organization where structures are not the focus, but they systems and procedures keep changing continously, at a pace where no one is quite sure what the current regime is. Manuals and procedures are churned out at such regularity that managers who have the responsibility to operationalize these spend most of their working lives trying to figure out what the latest commands are. Everybody in the organization complains about the heavy bureaucracy and 'red tape' that results from heaps of manuals and procedures laid on top of each other. Yet with every new situation or challenge the organization confronts, the default is to go into the print room and bring out another set of guidelines and procedures, hoping against hope that from some of those pages will emerge a solution. And everyone will live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, the 'ever after' moment never arrives, and the leaders complain of staff's inability to adapt, and the staff walk around like zombies lost in the labyrinths of the organization.

A fundamental element missing in most change processes is a lack of focus on the culture and style – ie, corporate culture, shared values, work ethic and leadership styles.

Let me share with you an example, which is not uncommon in many organizations:

Some years ago, I was involved in helping a large international humanitarian organization to put in place a systematic performance management system. We undertook extensive consultation at all levels of the organization and introduced something which was developed through months of iterative exercises. This had buy-in from all managers and senior leaders of the organization. A detailed roll-out strategy involving briefings and training for all managers and staff was implemented over a six-month period. The system was as good as one could get, and the commitment, so we thought, of the organization was clearly there to use it to bring about fundamental changes in the ways of staff development and performance management.

Some months ago, I was back again in this organization to assist with a review of their humanitarian work. This cave me an opportunity to see for myself how the staff appraisal system actually worked in practice after three years it was introduced.

The system on paper, the forms, the guidelines and the instructions are all up-to-date, and could not be better. However, in its actual use, things were different: although managers were trained, it is not integrated into the development of managers, and many managers do not believe that it (staff advisory) is actually important to do and may be actively discouragedby more senior managers from using it as this was not valued by the management.

This, coupled with the fact that the performance evaluation was not linked to any management decision-making processes (training, promotion, sanction), influences the collective belief about its (ir) relevance. Staff and managers now engage in a game of going through the motions of conducting the appraisals which are now reduced to the task of filling in forms once a year.

Work ethic, collective beliefs and values ​​demonstrated by the management did not quite nurture the appraisal system in the organization.

Three important things to remember in any organizational change process:

1. Most often leadership is preoccupied with changing structures or systems (procedures, policies, etc), and ignore a key element in organizational systems – the culture which embody and reflect the values, beliefs and work ethic within the organization.

2. Leaders need to live the organizational values ​​by bringing to life and demonstrating what it values ​​most in its day-to-day work.

3. Good leaders know that structures and systems can take you only this far, but if issues of culture are not addressed, business practices do not change.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Abhijit Bhattacharjee

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In Tough Times, How Do You Get Your Staff to Move Forward?

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All companies go through tough times and some go through the pits of hell and back to Earth again. How do you steer your organisation in the right direction even things look bleak?

1. Show them Your Resolve to Make it the Tough Times

In tough times, most people always look at the situation and assume its worst. Morale is usually down and people are even afraid to lose their jobs. Leaders have to constantly share with their followers that there is still a silver lining in the clouds. He has to constantly show them there is a way and in order to weather through the hard times. A leader is constantly optimistic, and yet realistic to the actual situation around him/her.

Consider Winston Churchill when he was fighting against the Nazis in a one-front war.

“We are resolved to destroy Hitler and every vestige of the Nazi Regime. From this, nothing will turn to us. Nothing! We will never parley. We will never negotiate with Hitler or any of his gang. We shall fight him by land. We shall fight him by sea. We shall fight him in the air. Until, with God’s help, we have rid the earth of his shadow.”

Are you willing to tell your staff, “We will never give up. It might take a long time to get there, but we shall prevail!”

2. Acknowledge the Brutal Facts

In all great companies, the leadership is always willing to acknowledge that they do not know all the answers and there is a harsh reality facing the existence of the organisation. They know that even being in leadership, they still need feedback from their staff. Even when the times are turbulent, they will make consistent efforts to look at their profit and loss statements and acknowledge there are problems. They do not hide between the “Oh, aren’t we great?” mentality.

Even Churchill consistently relied on facts and data from the statistical office to provide him with clear facts of reality. Even when the Nazis were winning the war in Europe, he mentioned that “I… had no need for cheering dreams… Facts are better than dreams.”

3. Show them the Law Of Sacrifice

It continues to amaze me to see that whenever there are pay cuts in the companies, most companies cut down-up, meaning lower levels of employees’ salaries are usually cut first before senior management are affected. To get people to respect and follow us, we have to first take the lead.  Senior management are always willing to sacrifice their pay. I read a story of a company during the hard times, cut the CEO’s pay by 70%, Middle managers by 50% and the workers by 20%. Everyone in the company knew that if anyone was affected, it was always the management first. Management always led by example and are willing to sacrifice for their staff.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Kenneth TW Kwan

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Understanding PRMIA and GARP Certifications

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Professional certifications are important to both the individuals that obtain them as well as the organizations in which those individuals work. In the financial field, personnel involved in risk management can obtain several important certifications from two major international groups. In today’s uncertain financial environment, professional certifications can go a long way to calm investors and regulators, as well as restore faith in the financial system in general.

But before we look at the organizational and individual benefits of the most common risk management certifications, we should spend some time becoming generally familiar with the certifications and the groups that offer them. There are two major groups offering risk management certifications: the Professional Risk Managers’ International Association (PRMIA) and the Global Association of Risk Professionals (GARP). Both of these organizations show their certifications as widely recognized and accepted, although the organizations approach certifications differently.

PRMIA offers the Professional Risk Manager certification, or PRM. PRMIA calls the PRM certification “The Higher Standard in Risk Management” and is very flexible on how professionals prepare for the certification exams. The PRM is essentially a validation of skills that are most likely picked up in every day work in the risk management arena. The certification does stress professional standards and integrity in addition to skills and knowledge. Also, the PRM tests an individual’s ability to not only know best practices but his or her ability to apply those best practices in the appropriate situations. The candidate must be a member of PRMIA in order to sit for the certification exams, and, as in many cases with professional certifications, the candidate with other industry certifications, such as the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) may have an easier time attaining the PRM. In the industry at large, hiring managers often use the PRM designation as a measurement for the most desirable risk management skills.

GARP offers two major risk management certifications, the FRM, or Financial Risk Manager, and the ERM, or Energy Risk Professional. The FRM, according to GARP, is one of the certifications that is currently desirable to recruiters who are looking to fill senior risk manager positions. There are only around 18,000 FRM’s in the world, which is a small number for a professional certification that is recognized around the world. In order to qualify for the FRM, a professional must have two years related experience and must also be a member of GARP.

The ERM certification is obviously for energy industry risk managers, who must also have at least two years experience in the field of energy risk management. These professionals must also be members of GARP. GARP is in the process of creating a continuing education program and requirements for the ERM certification, which will most likely become a requirement in 2010. In the field of risk management, the ERM is one of the only designations that has or is about to have a continuing education requirement.

It’s a good idea to have a general feeling of what professionals hold risk management certifications – as well as what industries look for these professionals. The top industries with certified risk managers, and whose recruiters look for certifications, are banking, academics, asset management, and government. There are many other sectors of the financial industry in which you will find certified risk managers. Professionals who hold these certifications also hold a wide variety of positions, from junior through executive levels. The most common jobs held by certified professionals in the field are risk managers, analysts, consultants, accountants, traders, portfolio managers, and even operations managers.

What exactly does the professional have to undertake in order to become certified as a risk manager? It depends on the program, but both the PRMIA and GARP certifications are either strictly structured or strictly unstructured in regard to preparation, and both organizations certify only after examination. To obtain a PRM certification, the candidate must take four examinations, either separately within two years or all at once. These exams cover financial theory, financial markets, risk management mathematics, best practices, ethics, conduct, and case studies. PRMIA will help a candidate prepare for the examination through a variety of preparation courses and seminars, but the candidate is not required to “officially” attend any courses. In fact, PRMIA encourages organizations to use the exams separately as ways to test potential job candidates or to test for promotional readiness. As we discussed, a PRM candidate can take the entire battery of tests at one time, or can spread the four out over two years.

The GARP FRM certification is broad based, covering market risk, credit risk, operational risk, and risk management in investments. There is only one exam in order to obtain the FRM certification. The ERP certification, on the other hand, requires about 250 hours of study to prepare and is also only one examination. The ERP core competencies include physical energy markets, risk management compliance, financial trading, and valuation of energy transactions.

We will discuss specific benefits of these certifications throughout the risk management series, but it’s a good idea to consider why certifications might be important to your organization. A professional designation carries proof of knowledge and competence in specific areas. Your organization can use the certifications as a way to market or prove competence in the field, and can even use the possibility of certification as a way to recruit and retain the best talent. In today’s financial market, a certification may show a higher dedication to ethics and integrity, both on the organizational and individual levels, and this may help to satisfy regulatory agencies and shareholders.

The next step in this series is to look more closely at the curriculum and study methods for each of the certifications, and determine why this is important to the organization.

Complete Assistance in the preparation for the implementation of the SMR/CR can be obtained from us at Complaince Consultant Where we have experience in the banking sector from 2015/2016.

Source by Bryant Nielson

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