Making sure 400 appointed representatives are compliant is not an easy task. Mark Payne explains the necessary steps

Policy Administration Services (PAS) is one of the UK's largest providers of mobile phone insurance. It intends to become directly authorised by the FSA, and its business partners, such as high street retail outlet Phones 4u, will be appointed representatives.

It is vital that the sales process is compliant with FSA regulations. Sales advisers already discuss the customer's individual circumstances as a part of Phones 4u's standard needs-based assessment.

This advice takes into consideration areas such as the customer's existing phone and usage, occupation, hobbies, and where the phone is likely to be used. After the customer's needs are reviewed, advice will be given on whether insurance is suitable for that customer. The company's current policy documentation includes the majority of the information required by the FSA regulations. The main changes that have had to be made to the sales process are the inclusion of a standardised policy summary document and the verbal and written demands and needs statements.

PSA will monitor its appointed representatives, focusing mainly on the sales process and training and competence requirements. Phones 4u will have over 400 retail stores by the end of 2004, with the audit and compliance team being responsible for their training, assessment, and regular monitoring. Mystery shoppers will be used to ensure there is a balanced view.

It is important that PAS and its partners understand FSA requirements. Everyone in the business needs to be aware of the developments and changes that are being made, along with the reasons and benefits.

All staff will receive a comprehensive induction into the business, with an internal accreditation required before they are able to have contact with customers. New staff are closely supervised and monitored until they have been assessed as competent. Telephone call quality is audited on an ongoing basis.

PAS has invested in NVQ learning and is also able to offer support for CII examinations and other professional examinations.

  • Mark Payne is compliance officer at Policy Administration Services