Are you spending wisely on training?

We all know investing in training makes a difference. But how do you quantify and qualify that difference?

Long story short: you’ll know when you’ve attended Searchlight’s two-day workshop Assessing the Impact of Training.

Once you have, you’ll understand how to plan and implement a process that determines what value you are – or could be – getting from investing in training and competence.

For anyone working in HR or training management this two-day workshop provides an invaluable guide to evaluating current activities and improving your return on investment on future training initiatives.

The workshop will help you:

  • Ensure training measurable benefits for your business
  • Sharpen the business focus of training activities
  • Extract better value from any investment in T&C
  • Improve buy-in from your board, line management and trainees

Click here to find out more.

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What does being a compliance officer involve?

It’s a serious business being a compliance officer. With regulatory scrutiny ever more fierce and the penalties for getting it wrong ever more onerous, it’s a role requiring serious preparation.

As the regulator’s emphasis has shifted from a rules-based to a principles-based approach, the compliance officer’s role has become far more consultative in nature.

This move away from ticking  boxes to taking a more rounded and nuanced view of a firm’s activities has caused some discomfort for current and would-be compliance officers. But, increasingly, the role of the compliance officer is as much about being an agent of cultural change as an enforcer of rules.

If you want to know more about what’s involved in being a compliance officer, our interactive half-day workshop is the ideal place to start. It examines in detail what  role compliance officers play in today’s market.

Click here for further details or to book delegate places.

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Risk and opportunity in the age of cyber crime

An increasingly online world brings many benefits for businesses and individuals. But it also exposes us all to the threat of cyber crime.

Some recent statistics on UK business’ exposure to cyber crime make alarming reading:

  • Financial services firms reported 819 cyber incidents to the FCA during 2018 – a shocking 12-fold rise from the equivalent figure for 2017 (1)
  • UK businesses faced an average 150,000 attempted cyber attacks during the second quarter of 2019 alone – that’s more than one a minute (2)
  • 61% of UK businesses have experienced at least one successful cyber attack in past 12 months – up from 45% during the same period in 2018 (3)
  • The cost of cyber security breaches to UK mid-market businesses alone during the past year has been estimated at £30bn (4)

Phishing, hacking, ransomware, viruses, worms, trojans, email bombs, logic bombs, salami slicing… cyber crime comes in many guises. But one thing’s for certain – no business is safe.

For insurance firms, of course, the cyber crime epidemic cuts two ways.

Firstly there’s the obvious need to protect your own business and to keep your own and your customers’ data safe. Any firm that fails to do this faces, not just business and reputational costs, but also regulatory consequences, including significant fines.

But there’s also a business opportunity here. The tide of alarming news coverage on cyber insurance means your customers are increasingly aware of the need to protect themselves from the potential effects of cyber crime – and hence the case for investing in cyber insurance.

Searchlight will soon be launching training resources geared specifically to cyber security – to help you keep your own business safe. Details to follow soon.

In the meantime, you can learn a lot from our workshops and online training materials on cyber risk, which will also give your employees the knowledge they need to sell cyber insurance effectively to the increasingly receptive market that’s out there waiting to be serviced.

To see a full list of the many cyber related training resources we offer, visit our website and enter cyber risk in the search box on the left hand side.

In summary, we have one-day face-to-face workshops (either ‘open market’ courses with places available for individual delegates or small groups – or on request for individual firms) at Introductory, Intermediate and Advanced levels.

We also offer a half-day introductory workshop, and an intensive two-hour Searchbites workshop on Cyber Risk and the Insurance Act.

We have a one-day course on Cyber Risks Insurance (understanding the relationship between PI, Crime and Cyber Risk Insurance), and also a two-day advanced-level course that includes detailed comparisons of cyber insurance products currently available in the market.

If your staff aren’t already up to speed on cyber risks and cyber opportunities, now is the time to act.

For additional information take a look at our video on cyber risk: what brokers need to know – bear in mind that things move fast in the cyber world. Anyone remember that Talk Talk cyber attack from a couple of years ago? You can bet they do. And so do their customers.

For further details on our cyber risk training options and other ways we can help you, contact a member of our team on 01372 361177 or email

Source: Response to FOI request by accountancy firm RSM
Source: Beaming’s UK Cyber Threat Report Q1 2019
Source: Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2019
Source: Grant Thornton report on UK mid-market cyber risk



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Insights in colour

Insights Discovery® is a psychometric profiling tool. It  can help people discover things about their own personality preferences. When used with a group or team, it can offer valuable insights into how different personalities might work more effectively together.

Searchlight, has first-hand experience of the practical benefits associated with participating in an Insights Discovery® team effectiveness workshop and we can attest to the tool’s robustness, uncanny accuracy, accessibility and ease of use. So convinced have we been that we are happy to offer Insights Discovery® workshops to our clients. We have a number of Insights Discovery® licensed practitioners on our team and the workshops they run have been very well received. It’s a genuinely useful tool. But the purpose of this article is not to sing the praises of a service we offer, but to explain a bit about Insights Discovery® and how it works.

Insights Discovery®  is loosely based on the work of the highly influential Swiss psychologist Carl Jung (1875-1961), one of the founders of modern psychology. Although it is probably one of the most accessible personality profiling tools on the market, it is underpinned by a highly complex and robust methodology. Its credentials are confirmed by the fact that the Insights Discovery® system has been registered with the British Psychological Society and their testing centre (PTC). As a result of their rigorous testing Insights Discovery® carries the PTC mark.

Insights Discovery® uses a colour-based approach that, in my view, is much easier to follow and identify with than the sixteen four-letter types used by longer-established personality profiling tools. In our experience users find it much simpler to relate to being told that their dominant preference is ‘cool blue’, for example, than that they are an INTP or an ISTP type. Similarly, Insights Discovery® uses a far more accessible ‘colour wheel’ approach, rather than a complex grid.

But, to take a step back, how exactly does Insights Discovery® attempt to interpret personality preferences? At its most basic level, Insights Discovery describes four colour energies: Fiery Red, Sunshine Yellow, Earth Green and Cool Blue. In very simple terms, Cool Blue is associated with qualities like precision, deliberation and discernment, Fiery Red with competitiveness, determination and strong will, Sunshine Yellow with enthusiasm, energy and sociability, and Earth Green with sharing, nurturing and patience. But there’s a lot more to it than that.

It’s always important for anyone working with Insights Discovery® to stress that the idea is not to divide people crudely between four colour-based categories. In practice we have  all four colour ‘energies’ in our make-up which influence our response to situations and our interactions with other people. Insights Discovery® simply seeks to identify the relative dominance of each colour energy in a particular individual. Simple it may be in outline, but once you get stuck in it can generate some fairly subtle, but nonetheless powerful, insights.

Identifying this balance of colours and energies in different people can go a long way to improving communication in the workplace and assisting in developing or enhancing effective working relationships. Understanding our own colour preference can help us understand how to draw on our strengths and to compensate for potential weaknesses (each colour has negative as well as positive traits associated with it).

By understanding more about what makes your employees tick, you can often gain valuable insights into how to get them working more effectively and cohesively and how to provide the most appropriate encouragement and motivation either collectively, or individually.

People who have been on an Insights Discovery® workshop have cited benefits such as gaining a better understanding of how they come across to fellow workers, helping them push themselves outside their normal comfort zones, and improved relationships with colleagues having come to understand them better. The reason Insights Discovery® works so well for most people is the simple, approachable and unthreatening way it uses colours to visualise what might otherwise seem quite complex theoretical ideas.

We find participants very quickly grasp the concept and are up and running almost straightaway. On that basis, if you haven’t already looked into Insights Discovery®, why not take a look at the Insights Discovery Training page on our website for further details.


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How not to do presentations

Most of us have a rough idea how not to do powerpoint presentations. And yet somehow we often end up doing it anyway.

Seen here is a frighteningly lifelike enactment of a really terrible presentation: stumbling, boring, patronising, tired and complacent. Comedy genius – and highly instructive to boot!

“What we want to do today,” Mark Corsini begins, “is to talk about the top ten mistakes that people make when making a presentation and then how to avoid ’em, and, as you can see up here, I did… one of them is not making a spelling error, but I thought that would be a good point to say that there’s a lot of mistakes that people make.”

I think we all know how easy it is to type a Sigma when we mean to type an M (even if spelling isn’t a top-ten errors!)


“You see comedians go out on the Rhône”

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IDD: getting staff up to speed fast

Our IDD online tutorial gives your staff a good basic understanding of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), quickly and cost-effectively.

After just 90 mins of online learning, they’ll be able to:

  • Describe what the IDD is and how it is applied
  • Explain the Directive’s key elements
  • Understand changes to existing FCA Regulations, in particular ICOBS
  • Explain the new category of Ancillary Insurance Intermediaries and how it is regulated differently

Completing the tutorial qualifies for 90 minutes CII CPD (where meeting an individual’s learning objective).

For further information call 01372 361177 or email

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Get more from your e-learning system with bespoke course materials

In an increasingly competitive and tightly regulated insurance marketplace the need to invest in the competence and professionalism of our staff should be obvious. However the UK economy fares over the next few years few insurance businesses are loosening their belts too far.

The combination of tight budgets and an awareness of the need to invest in training have encouraged many insurance firms to focus on online electronic learning systems (e-learning) as a cost-effective way of delivering some kind of training at least to a large number of employees in a short space of time.

This trend has reached the point where many, if not most, insurance firms today are linked up to some kind of insurance e-learning platform. The problem is that few are making truly effective use of them.

There are two main reasons why many firms are not getting value for money from their online training investments. Part of the problem is a widespread failure to plan, manage and monitor employees’ use of an e-learning system once it is in place. There is not much point is sitting your staff down in front of an e-learning module if the material it contains is not relevant to their specific training and development needs or to their daily working lives.

The better insurance-specific systems include hundreds of modules on virtually every aspect of technical insurance, regulation and IT, management and marketing skills. That’s great as far as it goes. But it’s almost inevitable that generic learning materials will sometimes lack direct relevance for users in your firm.

The insurance firms who really get value from e-learning, however, are those who commission professional third parties to produce online training material that’s specific to their business, to their products and procedures, to their customer base, their business partners and their company policy.

Bringing in professional authors to create e-learning materials around the key information your employees need to absorb both codifies and disseminates the knowledge that empowers people across the business. A little extra planning and investment can make a world of difference.

For further information take a look here.

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