SMCR is almost upon us…

A key strand in the FCA’s campaign  to strengthen individual accountability in insurance is the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR). Important changes come into effect for insurers from 10 December.  Are you ready for the deadline?

If you’re not fully confident you are – or if you think you could use some guidance and assistance, call Searchlight today on 01372 361177 or email us at and we’ll be ready to help all we can.

For well-prepared firms SM&CR is nothing to be afraid of practice. In fact it’s an opportunity to make your business stronger by reviewing your governance arrangements and how you manage the competence and culture within your firm.

Whether it’s through cace-to-face training, consultancy, E-learning or the provision of technical content to load on to your own e-learning platform, we can help! So don’t delay – get in touch now!


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Even high flyers have to take off from somewhere

If you’re looking for a good entry-level workshop on Aviation Insurance, you’ve come to the right place.

Starting with the theory of flight itself, our one-day Introduction to Aviation Insurance equips delegates with a sound understanding of the need for aviation insurance, the different types and classes (including hull, passenger and products and airport liability) and the history and current make-up of the aviation sector.

Among other things to numerous to mention here, delegates will also learn about the different types of policy wording applicable to aviation insurance, factors affecting ratings and the key legal and regulatory considerations.

Click here for further information about this workshop.

We can also tailor our aviation workshops to your individual specification and deliver on or offsite.

To find out more contact Searchlight Insurance Training on 01372 361177 or email


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Are you ready for SM&CR?

The FCA’s pushing to strengthen individual accountability in insurance.

What better time to take the opportunity to review your governance arrangements and how you manage the competence and culture within your firm!

We can help!

Call Searchlight on 01372 361177 or email us at to find out how we can help you with this latest regulatory requirement with:


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Looking to stretch your training budget?


Do you have 3 or more members of staff who need training on a particular topic, but are not sure you want to fork out for a dedicated in-house training workshop?

Then, why not consider hosting one of our “open market” workshops at your offices?

This will save travelling costs and time for your staff, and we can also offer special rates to customers hosting events.

For more details phone us on 01372 361177 or email us at

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Getting a handle on competence


It’s increasingly important these days to be able to measure and record the competence of your staff. Not just for the benefit of the regulator – but for the benefit of your business and the people you employ.

You’ll often hear the argument that if you can’t measure something, you can’t manage it.

That’s not necessarily all that helpful a thought for managers who are often asked to manage things – whether or not those things can easily be measured.

Happily for those charged with measuring competence, there are tried and tested ways of (if not exactly calibrating it to the nth degree) getting a pretty good handle on what can  sometimes seem a slightly ellusive comodity.

Searchlight’s workshop on measuring and recording competence equips managers, team leaders, coaches, and learning specialists with the skills and knowledge they need to make effective use of competency assessments.

It is particularly useful for managers who are creating or reviewing their own competency framework, and is based around a case study that illustrates, stage by stage, the process of a competency assessment and subsequent review meetings.

For further details click here.

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Standing out in field sales

If your business relies on employees charged going out to sell your services effectively to clients, you will want to know about Searchlight’s Field Sales Skills training workshops.

These intensively practical six-hour workshops equip delegates with the knowledge and the skills they need to go out and hit those business development targets.

Combining  theory and practical instruction, these workshops also include invaluable skills practice in a safe environment to make sure delegates have fully absorbed what they have learned.

To find out more or to book places, click here

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On the passing of that IDD deadline

‘I love deadlines,’ Hitchhikers Guide author Douglas Adams once remarked. ‘I like the whooshing sound they make as they go by.’

Insurance providers, under ever-fiercer regulatory scrutiny, can’t afford to be so blasé. In the world of insurance deadlines tend to bring a sense of dread.

So it was that, in December last year, many insurance people breathed a sigh of relief on hearing that implementation of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) would be put back from February to October this year. But regulatory deadlines (delayed or otherwise) always come round in the end.

Whether or not you noticed the whoosh, IDD Day has come and gone. Some firms will have been ready. Others still have some catching up to do. We’re pretty confident in stating this, because we’re still getting plenty of bookings for IDD-related training!

One of the key aims of the EU’s IDD regulations was to ensure that the interests of customers, large or small, would always be adequately protected. Another was to promote healthy competition within the EU. It’s hard to say exactly how Brexit might affect that second aspect of it over time. But IDD is upon us, and UK firms, distributing insurance, must now comply.

The Insurance Distribution Directive aims to avoid misunderstanding or confusion on the customer’s part, by insisting that providers need to be clear whether they’re intermediaries or ‘undertakings’ (i.e. risk carriers).

They must also be absolutely clear (clearer, even, than the politicians who so often, and so falsely, claim this virtue) whether they are offering a personal recommendation – and whether they’re acting purely on the customer’s behalf or on that of the ‘undertaking’.

Insurance advisers must also disclose any potential conflicts of interests, such as holding capital or voting rights in an insurer with whom they are placing business, whether they are offering ‘fair and personal’ analysis, whether their recommendations are restricted to a certain panel of insurers, and whether they have contractual requirements to place a certain amount of business with particular insurers.

Insurance intermediaries must also disclose the nature and source of any remuneration that they and/or their employees receive in return for placing the customer’s business with a particular risk carrier. They must also explain clearly and comprehensibly their precise reasons for making a particular recommendation.

None of this – nor any other of IDD’s many provisions (into which we clearly don’t have space to delve here) – is a million miles away from what is essentially just good practice in the market already. But the net is clearly drawing tighter around those who aren’t best serving their customers’ interests.

One upshot of the new regulations that’s currently keeping us busy, here at Searchlight, is a renewed enthusiasm among insurance providers for continuing professional development (CPD).

Recognising, with impeccable logic, that you can’t get good advice from someone who isn’t a good adviser, IDD’s authors have introduced a new stipulation that all UK insurance distributors now need to ensure that their staff complete a minimum 15 hours’ training and CPD annually.

In an ideal world, of course, they would all be doing this already. But it’s a competitive market out there for insurance providers, and many have seen ongoing staff training as a suitable corner to cut. That calculation will now have to change.

The FCA has been clear that, under the new rules, customer-facing staff will need to gain knowledge of, among other things, the structure and workings of the insurance market (including its legal aspects), basic financial competence, assessing customer needs, claims handling, and an awareness of the ethical dimensions of the business, including treating customers fairly and avoiding conflicts of interest.

Only a cynic would suggest that a sudden surge of renewed interest in the training we offer on topics like these is simply the outcome of regulatory intervention. But something has certainly concentrated minds out there.

Whatever its causes or motivations, it’s hard to argue with the proposition that better trained insurance advisers can only be good news for customers and providers alike.

To find out more about the IDD training options Searchlight can offer, click here.

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