MAT > Training and resources > 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. Those whose life is under threat, significantly changed or who are expected to die due to poor health can be particularly vulnerable, and require different levels of understanding and support.

New 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:
  • Gain the skills, tools and confidence to work with customers who have a serious illness fairly
  • Improve broken repayment arrangements, and minimise the likelihood of additional financial costs, and a worsening of your customer's health
  • Improve your debt recovery rates and achieve commercial objectives
  • Help meet your legal responsibilities under the Equality Act 2010 and Data Protection Act 1998
  • Enhance your reputation as a responsible company that treats customers fairly
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  • E-learning: a 30-40 minute e-learning package that can be completed online. The course is divided into modules and also includes as assessment.
  • 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
Contact Henna Mian at the Money Advice Trust:
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.
About the Money Advice Trust
The Trust has played an important role in developing and promoting best practice advice, training and consultancy through our research and policy work.
Our courses are updated regularly with the latest industry standard policies and procedures.
We also gain insight through the work we do with our own services;
  • National Debtline - more than 400,000 people supported last year
  • Business Debtline - more than 50,000 people supported last year
Henna Mian
Learning solutions consultant
020 7653 9734
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