Review of SMCR Courses Online


Given the emphasis on training for the UK's Senior Managers and Certification Regime ("SMCR"), it’s important to understand the options that are available for SMCR training and materials online.

In the article below, we explain SMCR Academy's lawyer-designed courses, and why the training courses from Simmons & Simmons ("Simmons") are a particularly good foundation for your SMCR compliance training program. We also discuss some of the other options that are likely to show up when you are looking for SMCR training courses available online, including SMCR training online and other SMCR resources.

SMCR Academy

A comprehensive and intuitive online SMCR training course for asset managers, SMCR Academy is the only SMCR learning solution offered by a global law firm. A leading innovator in business law, Simmons has designed SMCR Academy to fit into busy professional schedules with short, 5- to 45-minute modules covering every critical aspect of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime.

Unlike many of the competing SMCR training solutions available online, SMCR Academy was created in-house by licensed and experienced regulatory lawyers with a strong command of the complex rules that govern financial services in the United Kingdom. Practical experience is important for designing a dynamic compliance training program, and Simmons' experience as a city law firm with an extensive asset management practice is second to none.

The courses are grouped into two parts. First, the learner receives general training on the SMCR conduct rules that apply to asset management. Second, learners access role-specific case studies and instruction relevant to unique professional functions within the asset management industry, including:

  • Investor relations,
  • Marketing and fund distribution,
  • Portfolio managers & analysts, and
  • Traders.

SMCR Academy delivers its material on PartnerVine as downloadable video files, which can be uploaded to your SCORM-compliant learning management system ("LMS"). If you don’t have access to your own LMS, Simmons does have a cloud offering where you can access an LMS managed by Simmons, which is available for an additional fee. Simmons also offers a complete suite of additional products and services to support your SMCR compliance program, from templates and software to an entirely custom training experience. If you are interested in those options, please contact PartnerVine. There will be no extra charge to you for a referral.

Recently published on Partnervine in February of 2021, the information contained in SMCR Academy is comprehensive and authoritative. SMCR Academy was initially built for a large client of Simmons, and is being sold online exclusively on PartnerVine. By making a standardized version of their service for large clients available on PartnerVine, Simmons provides extraordinary value to purchasers of SMCR Academy on PartnerVine.

Other SMCR Courses

SMCR for Limited & Core UK Financial Services Firms

Available on Udemy, the SMCR for Limited & Core UK Financial Services Firms online course was created by Lee Werrell, a Chartered FCSI. While the course description seems to suggest that this SMCR course offers a reasonably accurate introduction to and overview of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, the program has not attracted many purchasers to date. The lack of interest may reflect more on the platform than the course itself. Udemy is widely known as a provider of general interest online courses best suited to hobbyists and individuals testing the waters with new subject matter, and not highly trained professionals seeking mission-critical regulatory guidance.

This course may be more appropriate for individuals aiming to enter an SMCR-covered field or compliance professionals dipping their toes into the Senior Managers and Certification Regime for the first time.

RQC Group SMCR e-Learning

The RQC Group offers a series of partially customized SMCR online courses for persons in a variety of roles in Limited Scope, Core, and Enhanced Firms. Unique amongst the courses on this list, the RQC Group offers SMCR training specifically for UK banks and building societies, UK credit unions, UK branches of non-EEA banks, and UK branches of EEA banks.

Interestingly, the courses are entirely visual, with no audio component. And while some may enjoy the ability to move through the material without speakers or headphones, others will feel the absence of an instructor.

Comprehension testing is limited to a short, multiple-choice quiz at the end of each 30- to 45-minute module.

Skillcast SMCR Training Courses

Skillcast offers a series of SMCR training courses as part of their compliance “toolkit” called SMCR 360. They provide online courses in the foundational concepts of SMCR, as well as more specific courses for professionals in a number of roles and environments, including:

  • A 10-minute Introduction-to-SMCR course,
  • A 50-minute SMCR Overview,
  • SMCR courses for banks, building societies, insurance, and solo-regulated firms, and
  • Conduct Rules courses for senior managers, certified persons, and non-certified persons.

The majority of the courses last exactly 30 minutes and are designed to be consumed as part of a broader suite of regulatory tools, like the aforementioned SMCR 360.

Other SMCR Resources

Some SMCR resources don’t just offer courses. Instead, they provide a mix of documents, templates, in-house training, virtual training, and other options that aim to make it easier for you and your firm to meet the requirements of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime.

Here are just a few of the service providers offering help in this area.

Thistle Initiatives

Thistle Initiatives is a full-service compliance firm that offers a few options for companies seeking SMCR compliance assistance. The company provides one-on-one compliance consulting, a regulatory technology solution that incorporates SMCR called Compliance Star, and access to a Knowledge Centre that offers e-learning solutions for a wide variety of compliance-related topics, including the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, the roles and responsibilities of the Financial Conduct Authority, AML, and cybersecurity.

Know Your Compliance

Know Your Compliance is a document template provider that offers products in a variety of compliance niches, including AML, FCA Regulation, GDPR, and customer interaction.  With respect to SMCR, Know Your Compliance sells a Senior Managers & Certification Regime Document Pack that includes things like Conduct Rules Training Guidance, Statements of Responsibilities Templates, Firm Type Assessments, and more.

Leaman Crellin Limited

Leaman Crellin Limited is a regulatory consultancy that, in addition to bespoke SMCR consulting, offers a “Train the Trainer” package for Senior Managers and Certification Regime training programs. The packages cover everything from Senior Management Functions (SMFs) and Conduct Rules to SMCR For Beginners.

MDin GRC Solutions

MDin GRC Solutions is a regulatory consultancy that offers bespoke SMCR consulting services. While this firm does not seem to offer any courses or packages, the service may be suitable for those seeking personalized Senior Managers and Certification Regime advice.

Final Thoughts

Depending on your individual circumstances, you may be looking for anything from bespoke SMCR consulting and advice to on-demand SMCR courses you can plug into your existing LMS. For on-demand SMCR courses, SMCR Academy is an excellent option. Designed by Simmons specifically for SMCR compliance training, it is the best-in-class solution for SMCR courses that you can plug right in to your LMS.

Further resources

Simmons & Simmons is selling SMCR Academy on PartnerVine. SMCR Academy is a set of 11 e-learning modules to support firms in their training for SMCR certification. To go to the SMCR Academy product page, click here.

For a review of SMCR Academy, go here.

For more information on SMCR, go to our article About the SMCR.

For information on Simmons & Simmons, go here.

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