From Steve Jobs to Leonardo da Vinci, there are plenty of figures throughout history who have been quoted on the importance of continual learning. Lisa Parmenter has clearly been listening to their wise words.
Having recently achieved the milestone of completing her Intermediate Gateway qualification in Claims Management, Lisa is now working towards her Advanced qualification - and she is keen for others to join her on the journey.
Not that long ago, it wasn’t even possible for Claims Managers to work towards these goals as there was no dedicated learning pathway in this area of the business. When Lisa joined Polygon in 2015, her Gateway was based on a mixture of both Call Handling and Claims Management. While she says this provided a good structure for her development, Lisa admits it wasn’t perfect, and she was also left without a focused route to progress and hone her skills in Claims Management in the future.
Along with colleagues she decided to take action. They went away to think about the skills required and then drew up a specification list for Entry, Intermediate and Advanced qualifications in Claims Management on Gateway.
Lisa is proud to be the first Claims Manager to have completed the Entry and Intermediate levels, but she says the real measure of success will be if others follow her example and join her in working towards Advanced level. “The Advanced qualification is a brilliant tool to have,” she says. “People can work towards different levels, and some of them carry a monetary reward. Not only that, your profile is raised and your name is in the room when promotions are talked about. We didn’t previously have that to strive towards in Claims Management, but people can do that now.”
Lisa admits the learning can be challenging. However, for those who do commit to the programme, she is keen to take a proactive, supportive role. “Because I’ve done Intermediate and I’m working towards the Advanced Gateway, I’m in the same boat so I can offer the right level of support – not saying how I did things or what I did, but providing guidance and encouragement. After all, everyone is different and we approach things in our own way.”
Because Gateway is evidence based, learners take responsibility for demonstrating how, in their day-to-day work, they have met the broad range of targets set out in the criteria matrix. For managers who might not typically be as hands-on as their team, The Intermediate and Advanced levels are important for providing the structure to demonstrate proficiency across a range of skills. Lisa gives the example of how her manager’s annual leave presented an opportunity to put herself forward to deputise in certain areas.
Individuals can also push themselves to complete entry-level training in operational areas outside of their direct role to fulfil their Gateway learning – something that Lisa says can lay the groundwork for transitioning to new roles when opportunities arise.
Each qualification could take up to two years, which was the case for Lisa with the Intermediate level. As such, Gateway should be regarded as less of a quick fix and more a way of supporting ongoing professional growth. Lisa concludes: “You ultimately want to tick off the boxes, but it’s about doing it in way that gives you real experience of those tasks and gets you involved right across the business. It’s such a valuable long-term development tool.”
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