Financial crime training for investigators delivered using innovative virtual training suite

Lawrie Day, CEO of AML Consulting (Global) Group Ltd and himself a former investigator, explains how his company is leading the way in providing innovative virtual financial crime training for investigators.

 

The coronavirus pandemic has prompted organisations to take a fresh look at how it delivers training. Traditionally, organisations training people in practitioner related skills have been required to incur expensive costs for to hiring training venues and paying staff travel and accommodation.

 

Managing employee abstraction has also been challenging. Opportunities for experiential learning using technology also historically also came at a high cost and were limited to a fortunate few, and whilst LMS platforms have their place, they are no substitute for the personal transition of knowledge and experience from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), when passing on essential skills required to counter current and emerging typologies in fraud & financial crime.

 

Virtual

We at the AML Consulting (Global) Group (incorporating Cognitas Global Ltd), took

our choice by establishing a virtual training suite at our head offices in Kent to

complement the delivery of our national and international training programmes

using our own immersive platform, View360 Global™.

 

Multi-agency training also brings together people with different skillsets providing

an insight into the unique experience of others, including trainers, other learners

and colleagues from around the world.

 

As an organisation that has delivered technical assistance and training for the UK

Government, Policing organisations and the international donor community in the

criminal justice sector in over 54 countries since 2011, the AML Consulting (Global)

group has evidence of the true benefits of this.

 

Knowledge

The commendable successes of countries emerging from conflict or political

transition with no experience or limited capacity of investigating financial

crime and who have learned through knowledge sharing, is now regularly

reported in the news media and shared on LinkedIn.

 

Successful international co-operation has exponentially increased and the

establishment of regional Asset Recovery Interagency Networks (ARINs) has been a key factor in this success. In other words, we always have much to learn from each other.

 

Of course, the concept of delivering learning for a single or multi agency or an organisation wishing to train its staff across jurisdictions, presents a number of challenges. Fortunately, the technical challenges have largely been overcome, through reliable internet and computer and tablet technology.

 

Training in one language is easily achieved, but what if we wish to train simultaneously in a multilingual environment? The AML Consulting (global) group has also achieved this.

 

Learning

Underpinning these aspirations is of course the absolute requirement for the learning to be built on the fundamental principles of learning and development. There is little argument that training designers and the deliverers should be qualified, and an organisation seeking to offer and deliver meaningful and transformational training should have the appropriate training credentials, sadly this isn’t always the case. Many SMEs with long careers as practitioners who have undertaken learning and development training, will provide testimony as to the value of these important points.

 

As a CEO who has two companies within the Group that are accredited Skills for Justice (SFJ) Training Centres and are ‘Kirkpatrick New World Model’ practitioners, it is important to me that our clients know that the AML Consulting (Global) Group will approach all of our learning and development projects and practitioner training by applying high academic standards and principles to achieve the outcomes. This has never been more important when VFM is even more critical in COVID times where training budgets are under pressure.

 

View360 Global™ - Tomorrow’s Fraud and Financial Crime Learning for Today

As a former career Detective and Accredited Financial Investigator, I relished the opportunity to transpose my skills and experience into the international arena when I retired in 2010.

 

However, in 2017, after working in over 30 countries as an SME, I realised that I was perpetually meeting the challenges and legacy of training fatigue amongst international beneficiaries caused by poor training, often delivered by unqualified people extending beyond their skill sets who provided death by PowerPoint, the same outdated message (and graphics) of placement, layering and integration, and training that was not relevant to the jurisdiction or its laws, and did not meet their operational needs. I could go on.

 

I should add an important caveat by highlighting that there was (and still is) of course, a considerable amount of excellent training delivered by passionate and caring SMEs, supported by previous and current in-post effective mentoring regimes.

 

In late 2017, the View360 Global™ immersive platform was born out of all that I had experienced throughout the earlier years. This was my vision of how I could take this engaging learning concept to the international community, in an attempt to re-engage many and transform the way in which we delivered our global services, adding value to our training.

 

Although the concept of immersive learning is not new (and often exemplified by virtual reality), the idea of making experiential learning available globally, and at low cost to multilingual participants, was a challenge that I and my co designer, James Robinson, set out to achieve. Moving forward to the end of September 2020 the AML Consulting (Global) Group will now have used the platform in 20 countries to deliver SFJ accredited and non-accredited training for clients such as the UK National Crime Agency and National Economic Crime Centre, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Council of Europe, Interpol and many others. The HMRC Counter Fraud Academy and a global international consultancy are our most recents clients who will be using it as a day to day training tool.

 

The View360 Global™ platform (https://cognitasglobal.com/)  allows a user to create bespoke learning solutions, deliverable in one location or remotely through the integrated video conferencing facility, in over 90 languages. Whilst the platform is excellent tool that has been used extensively throughout the world for training in financial crime and countering organised crime and corruption, it can be used for crisis management, compliance training, business continuity, safeguarding & education, and many other areas.

 

Its user-friendly interface and functionality is accessible through an internet browser and requires no installation of software. The cloud-based delivery and video conferencing functionality makes it possible for facilitator led learning to take place in a local environment or remotely, with participants located globally. Breakout room functionality means that multiple participants can participate as a team and can communicate and receive responses in their own language, which is translated using an advanced Google API. Amazon Web Space and our VPN encryption systems ensure security of data.

 

So how does this relate to financial crime training in the UK where Investigators have never routinely had access to this style of learning, but may now significantly benefit from this in the future? Imagine the knowledge and skills delivered on a training course being transposed into a simulated exercise, so that by blending real world with authentic digital content, learners experience true reality.

 

The ability to engage remotely with other agencies on a national or international basis, where language is no longer necessarily a barrier to learning also provides unique opportunities, and without the associated costs that traditional training events generated.

 

The benefits of this style of collaborative immersive learning are well documented as it has been proven that information presented in mixed reality is retained more efficiently and reflected in improved learning outcomes and results. The opportunity to learn in a safe environment enables this and, as feedback shows, this provides a much more enjoyable style of learning from the participants perspective.

 

For any organisation, this is now presents an innovative cost-effective means of reaching staff, nationally or globally, to deliver training and is why the AML Consulting (Global) Group are pleased to be collaborating with organisations such as the Credit Industry Fraud Avoidance System (CIFAS) and other UK Government Agencies to design immersive financial crime training for the regulated, private and public sectors in the UK.

 

For more information or a demonstration as to how your organisation can make the choice to adapt your learning programmes in COVID times, please contact us at enquiries@cognitasglobal.com.

 

Lawrie Day

CEO

AML Consulting (Global) Group Ltd

(Incorporating Cognitas Global Ltd)

Lawrie@amlcglobal.com

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