Gaining PASA accreditation is a big reward – being formally recognised by the leading administration standards body as being ‘gold standard’ is something firms can celebrate and the Pensions Regulator is increasingly promoting. Yet it’s also a big task. There’s much to do in order to gain accreditation, but it is achievable and manageable. For those considering it, here we offer some tips on how to approach the journey to accreditation.
Get the right people in place. There needs to be one or two people leading the Accreditation submission, but they’ll undoubtedly require the help of specialists in the department. The Accreditation questionnaire is broad, and covers areas including procedures, reporting and staff development. Make sure you have the people responsible for these areas on board and ready to get involved. Tools allowing collaborative working (such as Microsoft Teams) can be really helpful communicating with the team as they work on various strands of the submission.
Get a project plan in place. This is crucial – it allows you to set internal deadlines and hit key milestones. All those involved in the submission should have visibility of the plan – it will help set expectations and keep up momentum. And make sure you build in enough time to collate and present all your supporting documentation in a thorough and logical way. LCP’s supporting document was 610 pages in length, but the time and thought putting it together was well spent – it greatly reduced the questions asked during our site visit.
Get the department and the rest of the firm on board. While there’ll be a core team of people helping with the submission document, during the site visit the auditors will want to talk to others. Use messages on screensavers and staff presentations to let everyone know what Accreditation is all about. Staff need to understand the significance of Accreditation, why your firm is trying to achieve it and what it will mean for them. And of course, should you achieve it, it’ll make the celebrations all the more meaningful!
Gaining PASA Accreditation is indeed something to celebrate – it gives your staff pride in their work, helps them provide members with a better service and provides them with industry-wide recognition. There’s no doubt the journey to Accreditation is a sizeable task, but it ismanageable, achievable and well worth it – so go for it!
Our 3 takeaways:
- Be part of the journey. There’s a journey to raise the standard and the bar of quality administration. The Regulator is increasing its focus and Dashboards will only intensify this
- Involve your staff, empower them to provide a better service and feel proud of the great work they do and the excellent service they provide. Reflect on what you do for your people and celebrate this together
- Challenge your processes to evolve and improve driving up standards and giving clients more information and greater transparency in everything you do for them