How to add to your skillset during the coronavirus pandemic
Some conventional sources for qualifications and learning have been affected by the coronavirus lockdown, but the CII is working hard to help members maintain a focus on their professional development.
Clearly, some professionals are working harder than ever, keeping clients informed and managing day to day. For others, this may be the perfect time to focus on development and this is one of the reasons the government made it clear that while anyone furloughed must not engage in any work for their employer, they may invest in their own professional development.
The situation is of course progressing rapidly, so while all the below is correct at the time of writing, please refer to the CII's coronavirus hub for latest updates: cii.co.uk/coronavirus-updates
Many of the face-to-face CPD events that members would ordinarily benefit from have had to be cancelled or postponed. However, members are still expected to meet the CII's CPD requirement of 35 hours per year -- whether members are full-time or part-time workers.
The good news is that there is lots of CPD content available through the CII website as digital content. We have produced a set of FAQs on how to complete and record CPD while working remotely, at: cii.co.uk/faqs
The CII is offering free digital study texts and revision aid updates to personal finance students worried they may be unable to sit their assessment before the end of August 2020.
If a student is unable to take their assessment before the expiry of their 2019 to 2020 study text, we will add a 2020 to 2021 digital study text, together with any revision aids purchased, to their RevisionMate account along with an assessment extension.
This guarantee also extends to study texts and revision aids for those enrolling between now and the current expiry date.
At the end of April, the CII began offering financial support to furloughed members of the insurance and personal finance profession and those facing financial hardship as a result of Covid-19. Our intent is that those financially affected by Covid-19 can continue to invest in their professional development at this time.
A 20% discount on digital learning materials is available for members and non-members who as a result of Covid-19 have been furloughed or seen an equivalent reduction in their income, and their learning and assessment costs are not funded or subsidised by their employer.
Those who are facing financial hardship due to being made redundant or working for a business that has collapsed as a result of Covid-19 are also eligible for financial assistance on digital learning.
If lockdown makes it impossible to safely use test centres and exam halls to hold assessments, we are encouraging all eligible candidates to consider taking exams remotely in a suitable location of their choice, using a PC or laptop with access to a webcam.
To see a full unit list and find more information, visit: cii.co.uk/remote-invigilation
Don't forget, there is a huge reservoir of third-party publications, databases, reports, recorded lectures and good practice guides available free to members to download from the website.
As government guidance develops, we will keep the coronavirus hub updated with the best ways for you to continue to develop your skills.
Ian Simon is marketing director of the CII