Insurers Benefit from a free Taste of Medicine

Underwriters and Claims Assessors from some of the top UK insurance and reinsurance companies benefitted from a free Webinar offered as a taster for our Assessing and Managing Medical Risk for Insurers courses.  All 100 places for the Webinar were taken; with some companies showing it on a screen in their offices so a number of staff could take part together.

To ensure the Webinar had minimal impact on an organisation’s day to day operations it was organised over a lunch hour.  Participants heard a presentation on Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease including symptoms, prognosis, and treatments involved, and were invited to take part in interactive polls and ask questions that were answered by the presenter.

Feedback from the participants showed the Webinar to be a big hit, with one company stating it was ‘thoroughly thought provoking, informative and very enjoyable. We particularly liked the interaction between parties’ and another commenting ‘Very good webinar.  Enjoyed the interactive nature and level of detail’.

To ensure the Webinar reached as many people as possible, key points were Tweeted during the session and a full recording of the Webinar is available to download.

Business Development Manager, Clare Sinclair said ‘Cardiff University has an award winning track record in providing specialist medical professional development for the insurance sector.  The Assessing and Managing Medical Risk for Insurers courses that we are running in May and June are a mix of on-line and face to face teaching so delivering the Webinar seemed an appropriate method to use to introduce learners to the type of teaching to expect on the course and the education experience they will have.’

Attendance on Cardiff University’s medical risk courses has proved to have significant impact on the organisations attending.  Tangible benefits reported including: cost savings from a reduction in cases referred to external medical experts; a reduction in errors and improved quality in decisions; quicker decision making, resulting in improved customer service; increased delegate confidence; and increased confidence from reinsurers.

FREE beginners language taster sessions

To celebrate Adult Learner’s Week, we are offering organisations a FREE beginners French or German language taster session.

The short 45–60 minute sessions will act as a brief introduction to the language and up to 20 delegates could be accommodated.  The sessions will be business focused and activities may include composing an email as well as more interactive spoken exercises. Prior to or following this session, a member of the team will be available to discuss your current and future business language training needs.

Sessions are available from Monday 20th – Friday 24th May, and can be provided at your premises at a time to suit you.

Enrolment for these sessions has now ended. Please get in touch on if you’d like to discuss language options for your company.

Free Medical Risk Webinar

We will be running a Free webinar on Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson’s Disease at 1pm, Friday 26 April.  This 40 minute interactive session will cover the symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis as well as issues that these present for underwriting and claims management.  The session will be run by Dr Nick Niven Jenkins and will be interactive, with questions and the option to chat to Nick and the team.

You will be able to view this webinar live from your work or home computer or on your mobile devices.

We have extensive experience at developing and running successful courses for the Insurance sector.  Our Assessing and Managing Medical Risk for Insurers courses currently have spaces available.

There are only 100 spaces available for this webinar so register now for this session at

Should you have any queries please contact the Professional Development Team on:

Celebrating 10 years of university and business engagement

Cardiff University and Legal & General’s partnership to develop and deliver specialist courses to medical underwriters has reached a significant anniversary. In 2002, L&G identified a need to up-skill experienced underwriters in the medical underwriting field, where the required specialist understanding is detailed and challenging. L&G’s perception was that there was an absence of training available on the market for underwriters in specialist medical topics.

Collaborative working and open communication are the key messages from the partners when asked ‘what are the key ingredients to long term university and business engagement?’ Clare Sinclair, Head of Cardiff University’s Professional Development Team said “Having been involved from the start of the 10 year relationship I am so proud of what the partnership between L&G and the university has achieved. Throughout the years we have worked together to continually develop and improve each course to ensure they offer a quality learning experience and meet the business needs of L&G.”

P1020906The relationship between L&G and the university to develop the courses originated in an ad hoc conversation between senior staff at a networking event. The result was a university accredited course, delivered in a flexible way and using varied modes of provision. Following the success of this course others followed year on year; each being re-designed or enhanced to accommodate the changing requirements of L&G.

10 years on and the courses have developed into Specialist Medical Modules attended by L&G staff from offices around the UK. A blended learning approach is used to ensure that learners can access and undertake the learning at their own pace before coming to the face-to-face days of the courses that are held in the university. The modules are adult learning focused and use practical, hands on workshops and real life examples and industry case studies to aid discussion and understanding of medical conditions.

Over the past 10 years the partnership has won awards including a National Training Award (Regional Prize) in 2004 & 2010 and been praised as demonstrating good practices for collaborative working between an HEI and a business. In addition ‘The Underwriting Academy’, as L&G refer to it has received support from the insurance sector. Drummond Watt, Individual Development Manager, Underwriting at L&G says “The Academy has received significant praise over the years from our reinsurance partners who confirm we lead the market in the way we continually develop our underwriters. Our excellent reputation has also attracted and retained the best underwriting talent in the market, as a direct result of the training and development opportunities on offer.”
During the 10 year relationship Cardiff University has gone on to develop a bespoke medical underwriting course for another insurance company and a suite of professional development modules open to insurance companies and designed to improve understanding of medical conditions and the implications for underwriting and claims risk assessment.

Providing continuing professional development (CPD) to businesses is an important form of knowledge transfer. Businesses can raise the skill levels of their workforce and learn about the latest academic ideas and research, while universities gain access to the latest developments in professional practice.

Vice-Chancellor of Cardiff University, Professor Colin Riordan commented: “I was delighted to hear about the many and varied links the university has with business. Celebrating its tenth anniversary the partnership with Legal & General is a great example of an innovative collaboration between a visionary business and a leading university. I am delighted to hear that the relationship continues this year with another Specialist Medical Module starting in March. It is strategic partnerships like these between business and university that will drive economic growth and enhance the UK’s reputation globally.”

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New for 2013: Agile Project Management

Many organisations today need to deliver change faster, at a lower cost and with lower risk. Quite a combination! Agile project management aims to do that by continually validating project progress against business objectives. It works well when combined with methods such as PRINCE2®, and helps to provide rigour and visibility around fast-paced development.

Good agile project management can develop the necessary trust and co-operation between the business and developers that is required for successful project delivery.

Agile is increasingly required by organisations to manage projects, and as such we have developed a 2 day course to introduce delegates to the key principles of Agile and how it can be used alongside the PRINCE2 method.

If you are looking for a bespoke course for your organisation, then please contact us for more information.

Getting to grips with Social Media – New courses from the Centre for Community Journalism

The Centre for Community Journalism have launched 5 new social media courses for 2013. The courses are delivered by Emma Meese, an experienced Journalist, social media trainer and regular guest speaker at social media conferences.

The new courses will help you get to grips with social media, they will teach you how to gather marketing insights online and also help you to consider how to develop relevant and interesting content relating to your organisation.

The courses currently on offer include; short, 2 hour masterclasses to get to grips with Facebook, Twitter or Linkedin.

The Centre is also offering two full day courses which will get you real results and help you form your social media strategies.

The one day Social Media & Online Tools course will help you to understand how to gain insights from the web, through advanced Google searches and  ‘listening’ techniques on social media.

Managing your Social Media will show you how to get the most out of your various social media accounts as well as key tips to embed social media within your communication strategy. The course will also show you how to set tone of voice and compile guidelines for all staff to use.

All these courses are now available to book online, with various dates throughout 2013.

The Centre for Community Journalism also offer bespoke training opportunities, contact us to find out more.

Professional Development team welcomes a new member

The Professional Development Team at Cardiff University welcomes Liz Britton as Foreign Languages Project Officer this month.  Liz will be responsible for establishing demand for languages within businesses, developing learning solutions, as well as marketing and promoting the language services offered to businesses by the university.

The Professional Development Team has seen an increase in demand for business language skills and has recently worked with several businesses to provide highly successful bespoke language courses.

British business is losing out because of the lack of foreign language skills in the workforce.  Clare Sinclair, Business Development Manager said: “It’s becoming difficult to solely rely on English when doing business.  The British Chamber of Commerce is putting pressure on UK businesses to break into exporting to help grow the economy. In response to this we are developing and strengthening our business language provision. Speaking another language can help make international dealings run more efficiently, build strong relationships with foreign customers and help win new business.”

Liz has considerable language experience having previously worked at the International Baccalaureate Organisation and providing freelance proofreading and editing services.  She has considerable professional experience in curriculum and assessment design and implementation.

Project Management

Why choose Cardiff University for Project Management Courses?

We offer a suite of courses that cater for all levels of expertise and a development pathway for those seeking progression.

Our small group sizes and practical approach has helped establish our high reputation for project and programme management training.

We offer delegates free membership of our Project Management Alumni, providing an excellent opportunity for professionals to network and share best practice.


Latest research on training in recession

In 2008 the UK entered the deepest recession since at least the Second World War and arguably since the 1930s. Output has fallen quicker and has reached far lower levels than in more recent recessions. This has resulted in unemployment rising (albeit more slowly than expected), total working hours declining, part-time working rising and earnings stagnating. However, relatively little is known about how workplace training and learning activity have fared. In the absence of this evidence, policy-makers and commentators have frequently referred to previous research on the effect of the 1990-1991 recession on training carried out by Professor Alan Felstead (Cardiff University) and Professor Francis Green (LLAKES, Institute of Education, University of London).

Against this backdrop, a research team has been awarded an ESRC grant to analyze, compare and explain the impact of the current recession on training in the UK and, in particular, its impact on the long-term ambition of making the UK a world leader in skills, employment and productivity by 2020. The project is funded under the ESRC/UKCES Strategic Partnership and is affiliated to the ESRC’s Centre for Learning and Life Chances in Knowledge Economies and Societies (LLAKES), Institute of Education, University of London. The project adopts a mixed method approach which includes: reviewing existing published academic and policy evidence; comparing the results from Labour Force Surveys carried out over the last twenty years; and carrying out telephone interviews with employers towards the end of the recession and during the recovery. The project team comprises Alan Felstead, Nick Jewson (both of Cardiff University) and Francis Green (LLAKES, Institute of Education, University of London). The 30-month project starts in February 2010 and ends in July 2012.

Learn more…

Employability Skills course proves a success

Almost 100 unemployed graduates have been able to benefit from the Employability Skills programme that Continuing & Professional Education has been running in partnership with the Careers Service over the last 6 months.

Recent figures show graduate unemployment at its highest level for over a decade. However, the High fliers Survey of January 2010 (based on the Times Top 100 graduate recruiters) provides a more positive view for the future, with 13 out of 14 key industries expecting a rise in graduate recruitment for 2011.

A key message from the survey was that, along with commercial awareness and work experience, employability skills such as communication skills, teamworking, analytical and problem solving skills are vitally important for success in the current job market.  Candidates also needed to give evidence of where they have developed these skills – for example study, societies, work experience, hobbies and interests.

To help delegates develop and evidence these skills, a free 3 day programme, fully funded via the Economic Support Initiative, was developed to enable them to:

  • Market themselves effectively
  • Identify their personal preferences, strengths and skills
  • Implement research strategies to anticipate the needs of employers
  • Gain access to the ‘hidden’ employment market
  • Produce effective CVs and application forms
  • Evidence and sell their unique qualities at an interview
  • Create a realistic plan for their continuing search for employment
  • Develop the key skills that employers are looking for

As part of the ESI funded programme, all graduates were also eligible for free careers advice and support from the Graduate Employment Advice Centre based in the Career Service. This provides additional help with career planning, job search, and applications, as well as the opportunity to book mock interviews. Former delegates could also book a careers consultation with a specialist in their field.   In addition graduates could benefit from 75% funding on further courses to help them develop key skills.

The highly interactive programme has already produced some great success stories.  50% of those who have responded to follow up enquiries have already obtained a job following attendance on the programme, and many attribute this success to skills they learnt on the course: “It was very helpful and undoubtedly aided me in securing this position”, “I strongly feel that the interview advice I gained whilst on the course, and the assistance of the Careers Service, helped me to secure the job”.

Delegates also reported an increase in their confidence and motivation:  “It was great to meet others in similar situations, especially ones in more interesting sectors” stated one delegate. “I am fed up with all the sales and recruitment jobs which fill the employment pages; it was inspiring to meet people with varied and fulfilling ambitions. This really helped me to remain focused on my chosen fields, rather than lose confidence, direction and passion.”   This view was echoed by others on the course: “Feel totally motivated, and ready to search for and find my dream job – A great experience!”, “I really enjoyed meeting such a diverse crowd with different backgrounds, yet in a similar situation to myself”.

Commenting on the success of the course, Les Rees, Director of the Careers Service, stated:  “Cardiff University recognises its role as a catalyst for enhancing the economic and social development of Wales and the UK.  It is also committed to helping to build the skills that graduates will need so that they are able to contribute positively and add value in employment.  The Employability Skills programme has contributed to both of these objectives:  it has been successful from a local and regional perspective and, in terms of the many graduates assisted, from a more personal perspective.”