Online Training Takes Off
CUNA is puffed up this month about a noteworthy achievement. Its online education series is now 10 years old and has reached what the trade group considers a noteworthy 104,000 self-study courses taught to CU staffers and directors across the U.S.
When you add up all the numbers, CUNA figures it has been able to offer what it calls affordable training to more than 816,000 credit union professionals since its initial launch.
“And that’s a number that has grown by 10% every year,” said Todd Spiczenski, vice president of CUNA’s Center for Professional Development in Madison, Wis., in detailing the anniversary milestone of CPDOnline.
What began with only a handful of online courses in 2001 “has emerged as the preeminent training standard for credit unions across the nation, now boasting over 350 interactive online training courses covering every facet of a credit union’s operations,” said Spiczenski.
In recent years, CPDOnline has added a variety of new courses beyond the basic compliance area to encompass the many new areas of the business under new regulation.
“A few years ago we had one course on Bank Secrecy Act, but as you know, the need for training has expanded tremendously in that area, and so now we have multiple courses for employees, managers and the board,” said Spiczenski.
In addition, there are new courses now offered in such areas as lending regulation and cash handling, and in 2012 “we hope to be readying courses by the end of the first quarter on mobile apps,” an area that looks to be one of the most challenging for CU executives, said Spiczenski.
In 2012, users of CPDOnline can also expect an increased emphasis on more personalized learning models, akin to a build-your-own–program style, which uses customized training and added content, explained Spiczenski.
CUNA is not alone in emphasizing the growth of online training. NAFCU said it, too, has had a full online program in place for three years with an emphasis on serving new hires and volunteers in such areas as fiduciary duties, bank secrecy and financial literacy.
Anthony Demangone, senior vice president and chief operating officer for NAFCU, said there are now nearly 200 CU subscribers to the program and 17 modules.
“We sell the service package to individual credit unions and we update it to accommodate the new regulations,” he said, noting CUs can then customize the program to fit their own circumstances.
At CUNA, Spiczenski said he expects CPDOnline will “become more of a content provider than a teacher to credit unions, allowing each individual credit union the freedom to direct educational arcs tailored to their own needs.”
Whatever the case, the days of the “thick mail order training workbooks” are long since gone, giving way to webinars and mobile devices, he said.
“The award Summit achieved is a tribute to their innovative spirit,” said Spiczenski.