• Trustee Toolkit

    Posted on 1 February, 2013 by Robert Pullan in Trusteeship.

    It’s completed! My first job in the transition from trustee adviser to professional trustee was to complete the Trustee Toolkit: the free, online learning programme from The Pensions Regulator aimed at all trustees of occupational pension schemes. And developed to help trustees meet the trustee knowledge and understanding (TKU) requirements.

    So how did it go? OK. It’s quite good and I managed to get the questions mostly right too! Six wrong in total across all the modules. Don’t worry though as if you get a question wrong you do get a chance for redemption ie another go at the end of the module assessment.

    Unfortunately the toolkit doesn’t start well as it asks you to categorise yourself as novice, quite confident or expert and unless you pick expert you get asked to start with the scenarios. Well there is nothing marked as the “scenarios” section whereas “tutorials”, “case studies” and “check your scheme” are all clearly labelled. It’s an early confidence sapper in the toolkit and you only learn that the scenarios are the remaining titles on the left hand side of the screen by clicking on the next heading under introduction. In the text after the click you are informed this is a scenario. It’s a shame as there aren’t many other inconsistencies or errors with the toolkit.

    With the early setback of not finding the scenarios straight away I completed the first module in order tutorials, case examples, check your scheme, scenarios and then finally assessment. I wanted to complete the course rather than just do the assessments. Being a creature of habit this is how I completed every other module too!

    I only have a couple more niggles with what is very well done and very relevant e-learning. I use Google Chrome to browse and every module popped up in a new Chrome occurrence rather than as a tab to my existing session. I presume this is for the progress tracking software to function correctly but I found it slightly unsettling not to be able to be distracted by my other open tabs eg email! There is also no easy way for you to send feedback on any typing errors in the material. These were most commonly simply missing spaces between words. There is no excuse not to make it as easy as possible for me or any other user to help subsequent users by easy reporting of errors. I suggest a little error/comments reporting icon on each page, similar to a social media icon.

    Finally the estimated module durations were fairly accurate for me. I did whizz as I was familiar with the material, although I did learn along the way. Novice trustees may struggle to keep to time. To manage expectations, I recommend novices (and there still are new novice trustees being appointed) allow more than the recommended time at the outset.

    From the perspective of promoting independent trustees the toolkit is excellent as there are almost more independent trustee characters than actuaries or lawyers!

    Nine out of ten.

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