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Learning ‘Curves’: Education that Accelerates Staff Development

Professional Development

In a feature article in the latest issue of NAPA Net the Magazine, Nevin Adams looks at how industry execs agree that the ARA’s training and credentialing programs are their go-to resources for outsourced retirement plan education for their staff.

In a business as intricate, complex and ever-changing as retirement and retirement plan support, training and keeping staff up-to-date is a constant challenge. In an era of increased competition and consolidation—not to mention the strains of the so-called Great Recession—that means attracting, retaining, and developing qualified staff is a real struggle.  

Of course, staying up to date with retirement plan education isn’t a “one and done” endeavor. Consider that just ahead of the COVID-19 outbreak, the industry had to absorb and apply the implications of the SECURE Act—and just a couple of months later changes related to COVID relief emerged in the CARES Act—and all while the industry packed up and headed home to work, creating additional obstacles to traditional training mediums.

“The most obvious challenge post-COVID is the lack of in-person interaction—mentees not sitting side by side with mentors on a daily basis,” notes Craig Reid, President of MMA Securities LLC. “Additionally, during a period of rapid growth and the heightened demands of our veteran colleagues, it’s time consuming to properly conduct the training and development of junior colleagues. We work in a niche industry and our team holds ourselves to extremely high standards, so we can’t afford to cut corners on training and development.”

For Schwab Retirement Plan Services, training is not just a one-time commitment, but an ongoing process. Nathan Voris, Director, Investments, Insights and Consultant Services, explains that the firm relies not just for credential and certification programs, but for the continuing education. “It’s a great way to keep up to date. Our clients expect us to be experts, and so do the plan advisors we work with,” he explains.

To read more of this article, view the article in the digital edition of our Fall issue here.