14 August 2023

FCA compliance training online: how to engage your learners with Consumer Duty training

7 minute read


Cathryn Newbery

Cathryn Newbery

Cathryn Newbery is head of content and community at Ciphr. She was previously deputy editor at People Management magazine. You can find her on Twitter @c_newbery. Her writing focuses on HR systems and solutions, as well as the employee experience at work.


eLearning Learning and development


Online FCA compliance training courses from Ciphr will help your learners stay changing regulations, including the Consumer Duty, SMCR, and more

FCA-regulated retail and wholesale firms are facing an increasingly complex and ever-changing landscape of regulatory requirements, from compliance with the Consumer Duty to minimum CPD (continuous professional development) standards.

Compliance teams, HR professionals and learning and development (L&D) teams are on the frontline when it comes to ensuring that employees engage with and complete mandatory FCA compliance training courses, so they are up-to-speed with all the relevant legislation, and the integrity and reputation of their firm remains intact.

But training activities – particularly in this complicated area – can be dry and feel like a chore to complete. So, how do firms engage learners with FCA compliance training online – especially when it comes to Consumer Duty training?


In this article, we’ll walk you through:


 The challenges of FCA compliance and regulatory training

One of the key challenges with creating an engaging, effective programme of FCA compliance and regulatory training is the sheer volume of change and regulations affecting the sector. Recent changes include:

  • The Consumer Duty, the Financial Services and Markets Act 2023, and improvements to the AR regime (all came into effect in 2022-23)
  • Reactions to external factors, in the form of the mortgage charter, LIBOR ceasing, and regulations around crypto advertising
  • Ongoing regulatory changes, including the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, the Insurance Distribution Directive, and the Solvency II regime

It is almost impossible to keep up with changes of this scale and speed. But, if your company falls behind, you risk losing your competitive edge, and could breach regulations – resulting in costly fines and reputational damage.

So, what are your options for sourcing training courses and learning activities to help you keep pace? The FCA offers lots of advice through its website, as do several industry groups and professional bodies. But many financial services firms choose to turn to off-the-shelf eLearning courses.


Why you should use online training to help with FCA compliance

While sources such as the FCA and industry bodies will help you understand the rules and regulations you need to comply with, you’ll need to turn to an eLearning provider, such as Ciphr and our subsidiary, Marshall E-Learning, to source online FCA compliance training courses that will help your employees stay up to date with the current rules, and meet their annual CPD requirements.

Why choose eLearning to train and upskill your staff in compliance-related topics?:

  • They’ll develop their skills and knowledge – helping themwork smarter, and, ultimately, boosting productivity
  • Skills development is important for career development – you’ll be able to identify internal candidates for promotion more readily if they are actively engaged with ongoing training
  • Compliance with regulations – as alluded to earlier, many employees have to satisfy minimum annual CPD requirements, as set by professional bodies and/or regulators
  • You’ll need to provide evidence to the FCA of individuals’ competency – this evidence can include, for example, a skills gap analysis, an L&D plan, and the results of a competency assessment
  • Proper compliance training helps to mitigate risk – managers who complete equality and diversity eLearning courses will, for example, be aware of reasonable adjustments they may have to make for employees (under the Equality Act), mitigating the risk of tribunal claims in the future


Four tips for structuring FCA compliance and regulatory compliance training courses

With so many different compliance requirements to meet, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to structuring FCA compliance and regulatory compliance training courses. Here are our top four tips for designing your learning programmes.


1. Establish CPD requirements

CPD requirements will vary depending on job role and professional body membership. For example:

  • Members of the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI) must complete 10 hours of CPD per year
  • The Insurance Distribution Directive requires staff to complete 15 hours of CPD per year
  • Retail investment advisers are required to complete 35 hours per year, 21 of which must be structured (eg in the form of eLearning courses)

Assess CPD requirements for staff in all roles and at all seniority levels before you begin planning for training, so you know what provisions you need to put in place.


2. Create ‘categories’ of learners

Learners all have their own unique requirements when it comes to training courses and activities. But you’ll be able to separate them into broad categories, such as:

  • Graduates
  • Specialists (such as sales, operations, or compliance)
  • Internal transition (ie a promotion or sideways move)
  • Management
  • Leadership

Remember, the FCA requires all CPD training to be relevant to a person’s role, so creating these categories – and ‘menus’ of online training for each group of employees (see below) – will help you satisfy this criterion.


3. Design ‘menus’ of online training courses

You’d be hard-pushed to find anyone who would claim to love mandatory training courses. The freedom to choose how you work (and, to a degree, what you work on) is valuable to most people – in fact, employee autonomy is an important factor in workers’ overall happiness, job satisfaction, and productivity levels.

So, when it comes to structuring online training courses, it’s far better to curate a ‘menu’ of options that people can choose from with, perhaps, 40% mandatory modules and 60% courses of their choice from a pre-selected list. This will ensure that employees always have the knowledge and skills to comply with regulatory requirements, as well as the freedom to choose to build their skills and expertise in the areas that are most relevant to their roles – this could be management and leadership training, for example.


4. Offer training courses in a variety of formats

There’s a common misconception that CPD training must be CPD certified. While CPD-certified training is a marker of quality, it’s important to offer learning activities in a variety of formats. Here are some examples:

Structured learning:

  • eLearning courses
  • In-person training
  • Structured, recorded 1-2-1 conversations
  • Professional qualifications

Unstructured learning:

  • Online seminars and webinars (like Ciphr’s series of HR webinars)
  • Reading
  • Research
  • Coaching or mentoring


How FCA compliance and regulatory training courses from Ciphr can help

Marshall E-Learning, now part of the Ciphr Group, offers a range of new FCA compliance online training courses to help financial services firms satisfy regulatory requirements, with more than 20 new compliance courses are launching in the summer of 2023.

Topics include:

All courses are written by Marshalls’ FCA compliance subject-matter expert, Victoria Sena, founder of Cherrybank Consulting (read our Q&A with Victoria here).

Marshalls and Ciphr also offer a range of soft-skills eLearning training courses to complement our range of compliance courses. Topic packs include:


Not sure which eLearning courses might be right for your organisation? Contact us to share your challenges and one of our experts will be in touch to discuss how we can help.


What to look for in an LMS that supports FCA-compliance training

So far, we’ve explored the benefits of FCA compliance training online courses, how to structure effective and engaging learning programmes, and how Marshalls’ range of compliance eLearning courses can help you meet your learning objectives and goals. But, to deliver a really effective training programme, you’ll need a top-notch learning management system (LMS).

A modern LMS such as Ciphr LMS can help you engage employees with compliance training through:

  • Visual learning journeys – create learning pathways for different groups of employees, for example, new manager or new starters
  • Skills gap analysis assessments – understand each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and suggest which online training courses will help them progress
  • Monitoring and managing compliance rates – use the LMS to set up and send out automated reminders for annual or overdue training
  • Tracking compliance rates – with dashboards for learners and managers, you’ll be able to offer additional support and nudges as needed
  • Gamified elements, such as badges and leaderboards, to engage learners with training and introduce an element of healthy competition


Engaging learners with FCA compliance training online made easy

The training landscape for financial services is ever-changing. To create effective FCA compliance and regulatory training courses for your people, turn to experts such as Ciphr and Marshalls. We have a bank of off-the-shelf eLearning training courses that you can plug straight into your chosen LMS, whether that’s Ciphr’s learning management system or software from another provider.

If you’re not quite ready to book a free demo of Ciphr LMS, or our FCA and Consumer Duty online training courses, why not watch a replay of our August 2023 webinar, How to create effective training programmes for FCA-regulated companies, hosted by subject-matter expert Victoria Sena?



All information was correct at time of publication, and is provided for general guidance purposes only. It should not be taken for, nor is it intended as, legal advice. While we have made every effort to ensure that the information provided on this document is correct and up to date, Ciphr makes no promises as to completeness or accuracy and the information is delivered on an “as is” basis without any warranties, express or implied. Ciphr will not accept any liability for errors or omissions and will not be liable for any damage (including, without limitation, damage for loss of business or loss of profits) arising in contract, tort or otherwise from the use of or reliance on this information, or from any action or decisions taken as a result of using this information.