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Why have we made these changes to the Trustee toolkit?

Kerry Coleman, Elearning Manager: Well the toolkit's hit its tenth birthday this year so we’ve been on a strategy for the last few years to make sure that it’s fit for purpose for the 21st Century trustee. So we’ve been improving content, we've been improving the look and feel but the most important thing is the feedback from the customers themselves.

So, in our last web survey 93% of people said it was a positive experience coming on to the toolkit but when we looked at the feedback there were definitely a few areas that we could improve. So this set of changes is really about answering the feedback from the customers.

What are the main differences people will see?

Kerry: Well, the first one and the most important one that I'm sure everyone’s been waiting for is the Trustee toolkit will now be available on tablets. So if you’re already an existing customer you’ll know when you go into the toolkit there are two different versions, and neither of those offered a particularly good experience for customers with iPads, or Android or Windows-based tablets.

So we’ve now got one version of the module which suits everybody. So whether you're on a tablet, laptop, PC or you're using screen reader software, there's one version that'll work for all. We’ve also made some other changes that customers wanted. So it will no longer open in a pop-up window so that's great news, you can keep your pop-up blockers enabled. And the final thing we've made some big changes to are the assessments.

How does the toolkit support people taking assessments?

Kerry: Well at the moment the assessment is part of the elearning module. And what that doesn’t give people is feedback - so they don’t know which questions they’ve got wrong, they don’t know which areas to go back and revise.
And people have been asking us for that for a few years. So we’ve taken this opportunity to take the assessment out of the module. It’s in a new piece of software, again it will work on tablets. And that will tell everybody exactly which questions they got wrong, really helps trustees focus down on the key tutorials that they need to review. And they don't need to waste time on any other learning.

How important is the toolkit for trustees?

Andrew Warwick-Thompson, Executive Director for Regulatory Policy: It’s the only source of free learning for trustees, so it’s incredibly important. It’s been a cornerstone of our regulatory approach from the very beginning. And it’s possible for trustees to have acquired their knowledge and understanding through activities as advisers perhaps or in their normal day-to-day work but as trustees this is the only free source of learning. So it’s incredibly important to us as a regulator and it's important for us to keep evolving the way in which the toolkit operates. So as the pensions industry evolves we have different types of pension schemes now, we have AE, and trustees need to keep up with that.

Does the toolkit offer benefits to small pension schemes as well as larger ones?

Andrew: If you’re a trustee of a pensions scheme - whether its 10,000 members or 100 members - you have the same legal duties so we expect all trustees to use the toolkit and make sure they that understand their duties and how to discharge them. And that’s exactly what the toolkit is designed to do.

It’s very disappointing that our research shows that the knowledge and understanding of trustees of smaller schemes continues to be disappointingly low. So I would encourage all trustees to visit the new toolkit and to make sure that they’ve completed all of the modules and they've passed all of the modules.

Finally, how do you think the toolkit supports 21st Century trustees?

Andrew: Through its evolution. We started a debate last year about how complex it is now to be a trustee. Not only do we have different benefit structures, DB, DC, combinations of both, we have people being automatically enrolled so trustees’ duties have become much more complicated. We also have changes in their trustee duties, the legislation keeps changing, so we need to keep trustees on top of what they need to know for the type of scheme they’re running. So it supports our trustees through any environment and we’re constantly looking at ways in which we can evolve the way that the toolkit works and its content to make sure that trustees can be kept up to speed with what they need to do and know.

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