Lara Waldrom - Training and competence partner

Lara is responsible for ensuring our member-facing teams are up-to-date with the latest regulatory training and their performance is compliant. She has worked for The Nottingham for more than 15 years. 

As a building society, we are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) which means we are subject to the FCA Handbook. The FCA are responsible for all financial services in the UK. As a training and competence partner for The Nottingham, the guide I need to be the most familiar with is the training and competence sourcebook. This sets out the requirements a regulated firm needs to evidence  that their employees are appropriately trained and competent when carrying out certain services. For example, some products, such as mortgages require training or external qualifications before our team are allowed to offer them to members. 

Each quarter the people and development team run training and competence workshops for new customer service assistants to start their journeys to becoming an authorised, regulated seller. When putting together the workshops, we work with our third party partners to bring to life the products we offer and with how we can introduce and discuss these to our members in the best and most compliant way. 

We also run workshops to support managers to achieve supervisor status. We need to ensure supervisors consistently monitor their teams and we assess this during the year.

In regulatory terms, we use the word ‘competence’ a lot which in this case means having the skills, knowledge and expertise to carry out a role. I spend a lot of time each month ensuring that we have the appropriate records to evidence we have a competent workforce. This involves communicating with managers and team members across the business to ensure required activities are completed and providing support when needed. Sometimes this sees me working directly with individuals to complete observations, additional training or coaching support.

I have a number of ‘business as usual’ activities I need to complete each month and my manager allows me to manage my own diary. My days are really varied and can include preparing for workshops, arranging and attending one-to-one meetings to observe sales processes of those team members that are being trained and also, collating and offering feedback. I work part-time so it is important that each week I build in time to plan my days and handover any relevant or important information to my team in case there are any queries when I am not here. 

Each week on a Monday morning my team meet to celebrate the highlight of the previous week, any challenges we have encountered and focus for this week. This is always a good time to reflect and offer support to others in the team. It is important to me that I work in a team who will support you through challenges and celebrate with you when required!


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