Securities Institute widens training

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Called the Professional Development Manager (PDM), the software operates across an organisation's intranet, enabling cross-platform communication between employees and a central database.

The new software will complement the Professional Development Organiser - disk-operated software that has been used over the past two years by individuals alongside the institute's Continuous Professional Development (CPD) programme.

CPD is an industry-recognised scheme with guidance for suitable training and annual certification. It is already a regulatory requirement for many practitioners in the industry and is expected to gain a more prominent and active role under the regulation of the FSA.

'The reaction to our first product was very keen but it did not fulfil the requirements of the whole firm. The feedback showed that firms wanted something that was networkable and would meet regulatory requirements,' says Claire Tombs, senior manager, professional development, at Securities Institute Services.

The PDM software allows managers to co-ordinate the process of identifying training needs and producing reports for managers or regulators.

Employees can be grouped and allocated training topics and courses that can be customised by the firm. Individual development plans can be created for each employee and an on-line record of training created.

The software also contains two databases, one with a list of training topics and the other a directory of training.

Both lists can be linked and are updated by the Securities Institute four times a year. The Institute expects to launch PDM in July, but there is no indication as yet on what it will cost.

The earlier product, the organiser for the individual, costs 98.70, which includes VAT and the annual registration fee on the CPD scheme.

CPD itself offers two levels of training and development. The first level involves an updating on technical, market practice and regulatory issues and the second takes in enhanced professional competence.

The Securities Institute is keen to encourage the use of more efficient training and also offers a computer-based training package called SI Regulatory Update, which is an interactive package containing update topics, multiple choice questions and a facility that enables the user to review their progress.

A central database allows a manager to create groups of users and courses and produce a report showing the progress of all users.

SI Regulatory Update is delivered as an annual subscription service and topics are updated on a quarterly basis.

The content is developed by a team of experts specialising in computer-based training for the finance sector using an editorial panel of key industry practitioners and compliance officials.