RSA's new web-based training tool incorporates a broad range of learning resources delivered across multiple media that has had a marked effect in increasing the number of e-learning solutions taken within the insurance group, writes Stephanie Denton.
Developing technical underwriting competency is a challenge faced by every insurer and in 2007 the Chartered Insurance Institute told the sector: "The winners in the market of the future will be those that are acting now: investment in underwriters will be the key to underpinning this success."
Relishing this challenge, RSA placed market-leading technology at the forefront of its strategic vision and designed a training system to deliver a real competitive advantage. This was especially important to the firm because it was also focused on hardening rates to improve its combined operating ratio in the face of significantly reduced levels of investment income.
Typically, insurers give technical leadership through the provision of an underwriting pathway, however, in a major collaboration among RSA's technical communities, the insurer decided that it was time to introduce something different.
At the beginning of 2008, RSA's Technical Academy embarked on a plan to design and deliver an online technical development pathway. Its aim was to not only provide clear direction on the knowledge and skills required to progress to the highest levels of technical underwriting competency, but to also provide direct, online access to the vast array of technical training interventions at RSA's disposal.
The insurer first launched its Global Licence Framework and mapped its 1400 licensed commercial underwriters against the GLF. This created and communicated a clear balance between established Underwriting Licence Authority and GLF aimed at directing underwriters to take personal responsibility for their technical development.
RSA then enriched an easily navigable, two-dimensional version of the GLF by adding simple access to its extensive library of technical development interventions. This, in effect, turned a two-dimensional information tool into a powerful three-dimensional technical training tool: the TDP.
During 2008, RSA's technical community collaborated to populate the TDP with extensive existing technical training interventions, as well as develop new training material. The system now contains 130 e-learning solutions, 60 technical masterclass presentations, 20 technical information packs, 11 case learning library video presentations, 16 bespoke workshops and intranet links to other sources of technical knowledge.
The differentiator for this system is that, once an underwriter selects the required learning, the system launches the proprietary training resource automatically. Other interventions enable underwriters and home workers to launch or download technical presentations together with the associated audio file from the comfort of their desks.
The site's accessibility is evident in the amount of use that it has seen. Since launching, the site has had 224 hits and 390 page views each month. On average, 100 e-learning solutions are launched every month" an increase of 55% over the previous year" while the TDP has also made a significant contribution to the 35% increase in licence-level movements in the months post launch.
One underwriter said of the site: "The TDP is a fantastic innovation; I was amazed at the range of material available to aid my technical development. I have incorporated the courses I intend to undertake within my personal development plan and I'm well on the way to the next level of my underwriting licence."
The success of this training initiative is also evident in the fact that the system has now been rolled out to RSA's claims department. The British Insurance Awards' judges felt that the way in which RSA developed its existing talent and aimed to produce technical leaders of the future deserved recognition and so they awarded RSA the Training Award 2009.
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