Transcript: Specialist Topic – SMCR & Culture Change

Hi there, and welcome.

Thanks so much for joining with us for this special webinar all to do with SMCR and Culture Change called, ‘Embedding the Ethos of SMCR’, or the Senior Manager and Certification Regime.

SMCR and Culture Change

Now, I know we’ve got a really wide range of people on the line. I could see some people are still joining us. You’re very welcome.  The reason we decided to run this webinar, is, I know there’s lots of information out there around the technicalities of the scheme, even if they are on an 82-page document from the FCA.

Why the FCA introduced SMCR

One of the reasons that the FCA introduced its regime, was because they wanted to embed an ethos of genuine responsibility. And that’s why I think SMCR is almost unique in the way it is bringing together HR and compliance professionals in an effort to tackle SMCR and Culture Change at the same time. They need to work in partnership to get the real value out of the regime.

Clearly, you can go down a ‘tick-box’ compliance route, or you can use this as a genuine opportunity to drive the right behaviours in your organisation. This is just a short webinar covering SMCR and Culture Change, giving you some thoughts around this. You don’t have to put them into practice. but sometimes, it’s interesting to go at this from a different angle.

Now, I said, in turns, I will introduce myself. My name is Lucinda Carney. I am a Psychologist but actually, I’m more of an HR professional. So, I’ve spent 15 years within corporate HR, and 10 years within Actus as part of Actus Comply and Actus Performance & Talent Management Software. The reason this is relevant is that I am very much about the culture and delivering culture change. I’m not an expert in compliance.

With that in mind, we’ve got my colleague, Kenneth Underhill on the line. I’m delighted, from our partners, our strategic partners, ICSR. It’s great to hear from you. So, Ken is going to sit quietly in the background.

Okay. I suppose I’ve delivered these as a presentation not so long ago in terms of understanding how we might think that SMCR might affect our firm’s culture. It’s always interesting on a webinar trying to get a bit of interaction out of people. So, people, just in case, hopefully, you’ve not fallen asleep already! What I wanted to know, is, how do you think SMCR might affect your firm’s culture?

How do you think SMCR might affect your firm’s culture?

So, you’ve got 3 options here.

  1. Do you think it’s going to be little or no change, or it’s just another piece of legislation to you manage in the background? Is it another set of tick boxes that people will moan?
  2. Is it the case that you’ve got a number of senior managers who’re actually quite nervous so they’re looking to HR or compliance to assist in providing assurance on their behalf?
  3. Or, do you think this is a real opportunity to improve accountability and behaviours throughout the firm?

So, how I’m going to do this, is, you can actually select on your dashboard, which one you want to go for. Say, yes as I go through them. and I’ll see where people are going through.

Okay. So, if you want to go for No. 1? All right, no one saying that that’s the case. No. 2? I’ll say you can vote more than once if you want. So, for the benefit of our podcast, I’ve got 2 or 3 people saying that. So, we’ve got about 20 odd people on the line. No. 3 SMF’s are nervous and looking for assurance? Quite a lot of people are saying that that’s the case. So, you want to provide assurance to people, if you want to give them confidence.

And who sees this is an opportunity to provide accountability and behaviours throughout the firm? Okay, and lots of people there. So, I see some people voting twice. That’s really good.

So, hopefully, this will be relevant then, if you want to see it has a way. it’s almost a catalyst for improving accountability in behaviours throughout the firm.

What the FCA is looking for

So, we know from all the readings and what’s been put out by the FCA that the FCA is looking for true responsibility and accountability that you can actually evidence. This means the processes that you’re going to put in place, they need to be consistent and of high enough quality. Obviously, they also want to see that you’ve got some sort of form of evidence of a control process in place.

So, it’s not sufficient just to put things on a spreadsheet once, you need to make sure that you’ve got an ongoing control process that’s going to last over time. I mean I guess it could be something that’s on paper. It doesn’t have to be on a system. But it’s very much about the visibility of responsibilities, tracking behaviours. And in many businesses that already have those processes, it might well fit into the performance management process. This is where we do see the link with HR. Actually, in terms of full disclosure, Actus is a performance management system. We work with many clients and you could use it for performance management. We actually were approached 18 months ago by an organisation, a pensions firm who wanted a performance management process and system, and also, a compliance system.

Thanks so much for listening to this week’s podcast. My name is Lucinda Carney. Do connect with me on social media. I’d love to hear from you. If you want any of the links or references, there are a couple of white papers that we’ve got on our Actus Resources Page. As ever, you can see the notes and links to The HR Uprising, our website within the notes. You can go there, and we will signpost to you to relevant resources, if you want to go further. Thanks a lot, and have a great week.