Academy overview:

Protecting consumers in vulnerable situations is a priority for firms and regulators including the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), as well as being central to wider legal frameworks.

In our twelfth cohort of the award-winning Vulnerability and Consumer Duty Academy, we will be bringing this to life across  twelve sessions including an induction, a graduation and ten interactive, practical and problem-solving online workshops.

Created by the Money Advice Trust’s Chris Fitch, Colin Trend and Zoe Medlock, the Academy is built around case studies and presentations from leading practitioners, lived experts and firms across financial services (and beyond) and is supported by facilitated analysis of approaches already being taken in practice.

The Academy includes a coursework review for participants with the aim of helping participants embed vulnerability throughout the culture, policies and relevant customer journeys of their organisations.

The content is always evolving to keep it relevant with what is happening in the industry right now. Within this Academy we will include sessions on financial vulnerability, cost of living, financial wellbeing, economic abuse, disability, addiction and other areas. We also have specialist sessions on the use of AI within financial services and digital channel servicing and vulnerability.

Vulnerability remains a top priority for the FCA. The regulator is currently reviewing the industry’s progress in the implementation of its guidance on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers, and the Consumer Duty. 2024 also sees the launch of the new ISO Standard on the design and delivery of inclusive services (ISO 22458). The Vulnerability Academy is an extensive training programme which gives participants the knowledge and insight to meet the key requirements of the regulator, as well as the new ISO Standard. Giving participants the understanding required to translate the FCA’s expectations into reality.

Learning outcomes

The overarching goal of the Vulnerability Academy, is to help firms

  • Meet their legal and regulatory responsibilities 

  • Embed vulnerability across their organisation from product and service design, lending and onboarding, customer service, data recording and analytics, collections, fraud and across all channels 

  • Improve their reputation as a responsible organisation that treats customers fairly

  • Develop their own approach and focused plan to improve their own work on vulnerability 

  • Expose customers to an exclusive blend of leading practitioner case studies and coursework review.

The Vulnerability Academy is also available as an in-house programme, which means you can tailor it to exactly what you and your colleagues require. Pricing for in-house will depend on what is required. Enquire about this option by contacting our training team

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Zoe Medlock

Zoe Medlock

Customer Vulnerability Expert, Money Advice Trust

Zoe Medlock is an expert in consumer vulnerability strategy and implementation. With over ten years’ experience in the sector, Zoe now works with the ...

Zoe Medlock is an expert in consumer vulnerability strategy and implementation. With over ten years’ experience in the sector, Zoe now works with the Money Advice Trust team to help firms improve their approach to customer vulnerability. This includes assessing firms against the FCA's evolving expectations and developing and delivering colleague training.

Zoe specialises in mental health and, as well as working with the Money Advice Trust, she also supports the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute to assess firms against their Mental Health Accessible Standard. In 2020 Zoe developed the Trust’s Mental Health training.

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Colin Trend

Colin Trend

Lead Trainer, Money Advice Trust

Colin is the lead tutor with the Money Advice Trust on their vulnerability programme, assisting both in the UK and overseas. With Chris Fitch, he co-a...

Colin is the lead tutor with the Money Advice Trust on their vulnerability programme, assisting both in the UK and overseas. With Chris Fitch, he co-authored the Trust’s vulnerability guidance for advice agencies, launched by the charity with the backing of a range of organisations across the advice sector in June 2016.

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Chris Fitch

Chris Fitch

Vulnerability Lead Consultant, Money Advice Trust

He is Vulnerability Lead at the Money Advice Trust and a Research Fellow at the Personal Finance Research Centre, University of Bristol.  Previou...

He is Vulnerability Lead at the Money Advice Trust and a Research Fellow at the Personal Finance Research Centre, University of Bristol.  Previously he was Head of Policy and Research Fellow at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

The programme that Chris leads aims to result in outputs which are ‘short on the obvious, and long on the practical’ – and with colleagues, he has written practical guidance for firms and staff on both effectively working with customers who are in vulnerable situations, and also looking after their own wellbeing and working environment following such contact.

In 2017, Chris was named in Credit Strategy’s Top 50 influencers in the creditor sector, and in 2015 he received the Martin Williams award for contribution to the UK credit industry (awarded each year by Credit Today) for the programme’s work on mental health, vulnerability, and financial services.

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Money Advice Trust

Money Advice Trust

The Money Advice Trust is a charity helping people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence. The Trust runs National...

The Money Advice Trust is a charity helping people across the UK to tackle their debts and manage their money with confidence. The Trust runs National Debtline and Business Debtline, and also provides training and consultancy to creditors across sectors on identifying and supporting customers in vulnerable circumstances.

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Who should attend:

  • Specialist vulnerability colleagues 
  • Risk and control decision makers
  • Compliance leads
  • Human resource and learning and development professionals
  • Managers responsible or working in contact centres
  • Any lending firm that is FCA regulated
  • Compliance leads

Anyone working in or with:

  • Commercial Finance
  • Prudential Risk
  • Mortgage lenders
  • Card issuers
  • Banks
  • Credit unions
  • Payment providers
  • Wealth Managers
  • Building Societies
  • Loan providers
  • Sustainability