Insurer wins award for premium training team

A Halifax-based insurance company has been recognised as having the UK’s leading training team.

The small claims training team at Provident Insurance was awarded the TD2000 Award at a ceremony held at the NEC in Birmingham last week.

The presentation marked the culmination of a five-month search. Forty companies entered the competition, ranging from an abattoir in Northern Ireland to many top household names.

The judges – Nigel Crouch of the DTI’s Future and Innovation Unit and Paul Kearns of evaluation consultancy Personnel Works – visited each of the three shortlisted teams and senior managers from their companies to test out their claims that they met the tough award criteria.

These were that they should have senior managers’ influence, be integrated into the operations of the business and could measure the effects of their activities.

Speaking at the ceremony, Crouch and Kearns both apologised for using the cliché “everyone’s a winner” but emphasised the difficulty they had in selecting a winner from the shortlist. The runners-up were the training teams from the small business banking arm of Barclays Bank and restaurant chain TGI Friday’s.

The judges were especially impressed with senior management commitment to training in Provident Insurance, not least by the fact that 15 per cent of each employee’s time is allocated to training and development. They felt that the team was also very accomplished in focusing on addressing business challenges.

Provident Insurance has 350 staff and specialises in underwriting motor insurance for women drivers and low-value cars. While the UK insurance market made losses of £1.5bn last year, the company increased its profits by 30 per cent to £25m.

Training and development coordinator Lisa Meigh who entered the team said they were surprised and delighted to win the award.

The award, sponsored by Raytheon Training, was set up by Personnel Today’s sister magazine Training and The Industrial Society as part of the TD2000 campaign to raise the status of training in the eyes of business leaders.

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