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Posted by John Kleeman

If you need to prove compliance with regulatory requirements, should your training and assessments focus on compliance needs? Or should you train and assess to improve skills that will impact your business primarily, and meet compliance needs as well?

I recently interviewed Frederick Stroebel and Mark Julius from a large South African financial services company, Sanlam Personal Finance, for the SAP blog. Sanlam have used Questionmark Perception for more than a decade and combine it with SAP HR and Learning software. You can see the full interview on the SAP site. Their view was that compliance and business-related needs must be combined:

“We deliver assessments both for compliance and e-learning. It’s a combination of business requirements and legislation. We predominantly started it off thinking that the purpose would be for business reasons, but as soon as the business realized the value for regulatory compliance, we received more and more requests for that purpose.”

One of the key ways in which Sanlam use the results of assessments to improve feedback is to use topic feedback, which identifies topics that may be weak points for the participant.

We set up our assessments so that at the end, the computer gives the participant a summary of the topics and what the score was per topic, so the participant can immediately see where they need further facilitation as well.

It is also valuable in providing feedback to the learner, where a facilitator sits with the learner. The facilitator can immediately determine from the coaching report where exactly the learner needs to go for re-training. We have done extremely well in terms of increasing our overall pass mark and per topic scores by using topic feedback.  For example, for brokers and advisers, there’s an initial assessment they do, and because questions are in different topics, once they’ve taken the assessment, the facilitator can immediately see which type of training that person must go on.

To illustrate, here is part of a Coaching Report that shows a participant has scored 80% in one topic (well above what is needed for competency) and 58% in another (slightly above what is needed).

Questionmark Perception coaching report

Topic feedback is a great way of getting value from assessments and I hope Sanlam’s experience and insight can help you.