Recently shortlisted for Outstanding Commitment to Training at the Modern Law Conveyancing Awards, our training team is moving from strength to strength. Meet the individuals behind our pioneering programme: Pete Hagan, Claire McGregor, Lisa Owen and Laura Richmond…
“Every time we host a training session, we learn a lot too,” shares Lisa, describing PLS’ approach to learning and development.
“Each individual learns differently. It’s our role to listen, adapt and deliver the most impactful learning programmes we can. That way, every individual can grow.”
It’s this philosophy – one of openness, curiosity and experimentation – that’s led to the team’s fantastic success. As well as enhancing our people’s technical and soft skills, they were recently awarded highly commended at the prestigious Modern Law Conveyancing Awards.
“It’s lovely to be recognized for all the work we’ve put in over the last twelve months,” says Laura of the award-win. “We write and deliver all our training in-house across departments. To be celebrated for our work and the difference we’ve made is really rewarding.”
And the team have certainly made a remarkable difference. Far beyond viewing training as a tick-box exercise, they know L&D is a fantastic opportunity to nurture employee potential and ensure we deliver conveyancing excellence.
Here’s a little more on how they do it.
A quest for quality
“Property law is highly-technical, and our customers rely on us to deliver a quality service every time,” explains Claire.
“There’s a lot of moving parts to being a conveyancer. On top of having expert knowledge, you need to blend attention to detail with big-picture thinking. You need to be fast and accurate, personable and technical.”
With so much for conveyancing professionals to learn and perfect, our team takes a holistic approach, architecting bespoke programmes for everything from soft skills to risk and compliance.
“Our training initiatives encompass every area of the business: residential conveyancing, secure lending, case progression and much, much more,” continues Claire. “And then, of course, there’s our Training Academy, which we launched this year.”
The PLS Academy: inclusive, innovative and inspiring
Following exponential company growth, we knew we needed to reimagine our approach to recruitment.
As Laura explains: “PLS has grown rapidly over the past few years – and continues to do so! We needed to think outside of the box to meet client requests and secure our talent pipeline.”
“There aren’t many specialist conveyancing courses out there,” continues Pete. “We had a lightbulb moment as a team. We have the resources, knowledge and experience to deliver our own training initiative and help people kickstart their careers in conveyancing.”
And so, the PLS Training Academy was born, offering individuals of all ages an unparalleled opportunity to dive into the conveyancing world.
“We designed the Academy with inclusivity in mind. Whether someone is straight out of school or seeking a career change in later life, they can find their place here,” shares Claire.
The Academy has been carefully designed to give trainees a gentle, sustainable introduction to the complex world of conveyancing.
“Some organisations give new starters three weeks’ training and then leave them to it,” explains Pete. “But conveyancing is extremely technical and process-driven – dropping people in at the deep end isn’t fair. We made it our mission to create a programme that is nurturing and supportive – not overwhelming!”
Over one year, successful applicants become conveyancing all-rounders, exploring roles in every department of the business, including placements in the new build team, new business team and post-completion team.
“Our trainees get to experience our business as a whole, which allows them to understand how each department flows into another,” says Lisa. “They get a true sense of our company, and this setup also allows them to discover the role and department that plays to their unique strengths and preferences.”
“Flexibility is a huge part of the DNA of the Academy,” agrees Pete. “If a recruit finds a department they love working in early on in the programme, we’ll tailor their experience so they can spend more time doing what they enjoy.”
Listening, learning, and laughing along the way
While you might associate training sessions with classroom-based activities, our training team takes a different approach across all of our L&D programmes. The overall aim? Creating a fun, engaging experience that gets people excited to learn.
“We have to mention our board game first,” exudes Claire, “It’s gone down incredibly well!”
The board game is our innovative approach to compliance education, harnessing the power of gamification to engage employees on complex topics like money laundering and the GDPR.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg! As Laura explains: “We’re constantly evolving our education programme, gathering feedback from our colleagues about what they enjoy. We deliver a mixture of quizzes, eLearning modules, in-person sessions and more.”
With such an extensive curriculum, it’s fair to say our team are experts in creativity and collaboration.
Pete shares, “No idea is too whacky! We’re a very close-knit team. We bounce ideas off each other and encourage each other to try new things.”
2023: The training team’s best year yet
It’s hard to imagine how our amazing training team could improve their fantastic L&D programme, but they are steadfastly ambitious.
As true lifelong learners, they’re excited to reach more educational milestones in the future. And the next big idea on their lists is Academy 2.0!
“Going back to what I mentioned at the beginning, listening and learning is really important to us,” concludes Lisa. “We’re really pleased with the first iteration of the Training Academy, and we’re excited to use the feedback we’ve received to refine it and make it even better in 2023.”
As we head into the new year, we have complete faith our stellar team will continue to pioneer more trailblazing L&D initiatives.
Meanwhile, we want to celebrate Lisa, Laura, Pete and Claire for their exceptional contributions to our business. Their accomplishments and achievements are so well deserved, and we’re tremendously grateful for their work!