Distance Learning Solves Problem of Less Training Time

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By Christle Johnson, QKA, CIP


Like many businesses today, your organization may be experiencing staff changes more frequently than in the past. Many factors have contributed to this workforce trend.

  • 10,000 baby boomers retiring every day

  • A strong job market with record low unemployment

  • Millennial workers frequently changing jobs

This creates a need for a more efficient way of training your staff on financial products. Providing employees adequate training to successfully run your IRA and health saving account (HSA) programs can be difficult. You may find that employees have only snippets of time to learn, that they may not have the focus needed for a lengthy training session. You also may have found that knowledgeable employees will improve your bottom line.

One solution to the conundrum of training employees who may either be nontraditional learners or do not have a lot of time for learning is distance learning. Such training allows your employees to pace the training around their schedules. Fitting in an hour or less a day or a few hours a week might be the answer.

Self-Paced Learning

To meet the training objectives for new hires and continued education for experienced staff, consider incorporating self-paced learning into your training program. Self-paced learning gives trainees control over the time, pace, and place for their education. It may also be more cost efficient, as your employees generally won’t incur travel expenses. Self-paced learning can be customized for an individual or can be one curriculum that satisfies the goals of a group. A self-paced curriculum can be comprised of a variety of learning tools and should include

  • your financial organization’s policies and procedures,

  • basic IRA or HSA compliance rules, and

  • advanced subjects to help employees achieve a higher level of compliance knowledge.

Distance Learning Resources

Ascensus offers a variety of IRA and HSA training curricula that cater to distance learning. Each is developed and delivered by Ascensus’ accredited IRA and HSA professionals. These training curricula provide broad-based education anytime, anywhere, and encompass a variety of technology-based learning formats with varying time commitments.

  • Webinars  cover more than 20 compliance topics and are available live or by digital delivery. They run approximately 75 minutes and allow time for attendees to have their questions answered. Webinars provide an opportunity to train multiple employees at one time.

  • eLearning  is a flexible training solution covering more than 20 basic to advanced topics that are all approved for continuing education credits. At the end of each course, trainees have the option to take a test and immediately view the results to help them identify which topics they might need to review further. Trainees can take any eLearning course at any time and review the material whenever their schedules permit.

  • IRA Essentials OnDemand  is for those who need a solid introduction to IRAs, but cannot attend a face-to-face training session. IRA reference materials, job aids, quizzes, and videos combine to create an immersive educational experience. This training program is approved for continuing education credits.

  • IRA University  and HSA University span a five- to six-week timeframe and are made up of weekly webinars and self-paced eLearning modules, with convenient access to reference material. Ascensus’ University programs give attendees the flexibility to complete all of the required course work at their own pace. They are also a great way to prepare for certification exams.

Those are just a few distance learning options. Many other IRA and HSA training opportunities are available.