Money Advice Trust > For creditors > Training and consultancy for companies > Understanding and supporting customers with a serious illness

Understanding and supporting customers with a serious illness


A serious illness can have a devastating effect on a person and their family, and staff can find these disclosures particularly challenging.

Recent research shows that frontline collections staff will receive an average of 15 disclosures a month about a customer with a serious illness.
Equipping staff to have these conversations and identify and support people who have a serious illness is a vital part of achieving the right outcomes for your organisation and your customers.
Course outline
To develop your staff to;
  • understand why it’s important to take a customer's serious illness into account;
  • handle disclosures of serious illness; and
  • deal with potentially difficult circumstances
The training will also help your staff to achieve outcomes that are best for both your customers and your business.
Who is it for?
All front-line, customer-facing staff, management, specialist teams, back office staff and relevant suppliers.
What’s covered?
  • What is a serious illness?
  • What affect does serious illness have on your organisation?
  • Common conditions
  • How to handle a customer’s disclosure – from initial response to managing the disclosure and adhering to the Data Protection Act
  • How to better understand a customer’s situation
  • The five components of the TEXAS acronym as a tool for dealing with vulnerable factors
  • The four points of the IDEA technique as a tool for understanding the significance of the vulnerability presented
  • Strategies for dealing with challenging circumstances, including customers who are in shock, angry or low, customers who may be disabled or carers who make contact
Benefits to you:
  • Improve your reputation as a responsible organisation that treats customers fairly
  • Gain the skills, tools and confidence to handle customers in vulnerable circumstances fairly and consistently
  • Improve your debt recovery rates and Improve broken repayment arrangements, and minimise the likelihood of additional financial costs, and a worsening of the customer's mental health
  • Meet your legal and regulatory responsibilities under the Mental Capacity Act and Data Protection Act
  • Supports all parts of your business (lending, customer service, fraud, retention, collections and digital)
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  • E-learning: a device responsive 30-40 minute e-learning package
  • The e-learning will help your staff to recognise what a serious illness is and the impact it can have, as well as equipping them with different strategies for talking with and supporting customers who have a serious illness
  • Consultancy: we can work with you to develop training, policies and principles that take your workplace practices into account
Contact us for more information
More information on new research on customers in vulnerable circumstances can be found in Vulnerability: a guide for debt collection​, published in March 2017 by the University of Bristol Personal Finance Research Centre, Finance and Leasing Association and UK Cards Association.

 Content Editor ‭[1]‬

Why choose our training? 
  • Our expertise: Our training is led by senior consultants Chris Fitch and Colin Trend who created industry-wide models, including TEXAS and IDEA, to identify and support people in vulnerable circumstances. We also train the majority of the debt advice sector
  • Commercially realistic: Our training is designed with your staff in mind, and the roles they occupy. It is more than ‘awareness raising’ training as it describes how to practically respond to everyday challenges in your sector
  • Decades of experience: Our training draws on the insight we’ve gained across our National Debtline and Business Debtline services that support hundreds of thousands of people yearly
  • Proceeds go to the Money Advice Trust: Your money is reinvested into the Trust, and our National Debtline and Business Debtline services
  • Up-to-date content: Our courses are updated regularly with the latest research into vulnerabilities

 Content Editor ‭[2]‬

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