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Centralised, independent QA of advice recommendations and sales is a vital part of all firm’s advice models, whether carried out by compliance specialists, operations, other technical teams or outsourced to third parties. Getting this right can stop unsuitable sales before they are made and act as a driver for your management oversight, continuous improvement and training. However, QA can become a cost drain for the business and, poorly implemented, can damage head office relationships with the sales force and, at its worst, drive a ‘tick-box’ culture that does not prevent unsuitable customer outcomes.

Enterprise Learning can help you set up an effective QA team with processes and checklists that are streamlined and focused on the highest risks for your clients. We can develop your checklists, ensure your reporting and MI identifies root causes and wider trends and ensure that your advisers understand how their business is being checked. We can train your QA people and assess their understanding of advice suitability. Where necessary we can provide technical specialists to help resource your QA team or provide independent reviews of the cases being checked to ensure that QA is being done correctly.

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Benchmarks

  • A clearly defined end to end QA process exists (including case selection; tolerance and indicators; comprehensive root cause analysis).
  • QA grades identify outcomes with sufficient granularity to distinguish between unsuitable outcomes, cases lacking clarity and those with documentation/procedural errors.
  • QA systems are bespoke to the Firm's procedures, and required outputs/MI, enabling an effective, streamlined QA process to be executed.
  • QA samples are selected via a risk-based analysis of cases and advisers, which is regularly reviewed in light of QA findings/T&C competence updates and Regulatory 'hotspots’.
  • Root cause analysis of QA findings and other relevant data is done and leads to changes in policy or procedures where necessary.

Negative Indicators

  • QA carried out without a formal Checklist to ensure consistency of approach and process.
  • QA systems are semi-manual with ‘home grown’ spreadsheet solutions used in lieu of bespoke systems and databases.
  • QA grades lack clarity, making it difficult to differentiate between regulatory procedural failures where there is no customer detriment/re-work, and unsuitable customer outcomes.
  • Case selection centres on simplistic volume based approach without adequate risk based focus.