Advanced Credit Controller/Debt Collection Specialist

Key Information

Level 3
Typical Duration 24 Months
Delivery Model Workplace visits with guided Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM) learning (via virtual class or tutor-led self study)
Delivery Location Workplace
Start Date Flexible (can be arranged to suit the employer, subject to CICM availability)

Programme Summary

Credit management/debt collection is a dynamic function, found across all sectors of UK and international commerce. Given the importance of credit management and debt collection, roles are central to many operations, typically setting policies, facilitating sales, managing financial risk and customer relationships. Credit management typically manages and protects cash flow, while debt collection focuses on overdue, late or unpaid money owed to the organisation. Roles are generally fast-paced and target driven, requiring detailed knowledge of law, regulations and the business environment, and skilled practitioners possess excellent technical and interpersonal skills. They are rewarding career choices for self-motivated and enthusiastic individuals who would enjoy a varied role working at the centre of operations.

Knowledge What is required (through formal learning and applied according to business environment)
Credit Management/Debt Collection Good understanding of the principles of credit management/debt collection together, with a sound understanding of organisational policies and techniques used in their role.
Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Good understanding of the legal, regulatory, risk and compliance framework within which they operate, with a sound understanding of relevant legal, risk and compliance requirements for their role, e.g. relevant commercial or consumer credit law, credit management policies, data protection, treating customers fairly, complaints handling, potentially fraudulent transactions, including anti-money laundering arrangements and relevant financial/sector regulatory requirements depending on the focus of their role
Industry and Organisation Understanding Understands professional standards, the commercial context, nature and priorities of the organisation they work in, the end-to-end customer journey, how customers manage their money, e.g. as individuals or businesses, organisational ‘values’ and where their role fits in the organisation, understanding the different areas of the organisation that they need to work with to deliver the best solution for the customer and business, and the nature of interactions with them, e.g. with sales, customer services, and underwriting.
Products and Services Broad understanding of the products and services offered to customers by their organisation, together with sound knowledge of the products and services that they support, including their features and benefits, together with how their role supports the delivery of these products and services.
Systems and Processes In-depth understanding of the systems, tools and processes used in the role (see examples in the Standard), together with the standards to be met, including IT tools.
Skills What is required(through formal learning and applied according to business environment)
Managing Relationships with Customers Delivers excellent service, identifying and meeting customer needs. Develops strong, positive and sustained relationships with customers, recognising the business context of their relationship and their importance to the organisation while dealing with a difficult topic. Uses questioning effectively to fully understand the customer’s financial situation or specialist needs/requirements (as identified through triggers or other recognised frameworks) and develop acceptable solutions. Able to identify, defuse, and resolve difficult and sensitive/vulnerable situations professionally when they occur, e.g. relationship breakdowns, fraud, disputes, mental health problems, insolvencies, working to sustain a positive relationship with the customer.
Communication Actively listens to understand the customer’s circumstances. Communicates effectively with customers/colleagues at all levels, building rapport and defusing emotive situations. Uses sound interpersonal skills, a range of media, e.g. phone, email, SMS, letter and face-to-face and appropriate language, e.g. avoiding jargon.
Negotiation and Decision Making Uses a range of negotiating skills to work with customers to identify mutually acceptable solutions/outcomes to credit/debt issues, within organisational and compliance guidelines, e.g. negotiating sustainable repayment plans. Follows through and re-negotiates sensitively in difficult situations, e.g. defaults. Takes ownership through to resolution, escalating where necessary.
Delivering Results Uses a wide range of systems and processes to deliver services to customers. Takes the initiative to meet challenging individual and team performance measures in line with organisation policy, values, standards and legal/regulatory requirements. Carries out a range of tasks which may include proactive contact with customers to collect outstanding balances/debt, cash allocation, journals and reconciliations; managing ledgers, producing required reports, maintaining accurate records of communications/actions, dispute resolution, actioning/recommending write-offs. Plans and organises work to meet their commitments/KPIs. Takes ownership through to completion, escalating when outside the boundaries of their role, e.g. potential legal issues, customers in vulnerable situations.
Teamwork Consistently supports colleagues/collaborates to achieve results. Builds/maintains good working relationships within teams and with other business areas, e.g. sales, compliance/quality team. Aware of own role in the team and the impact on others.
Continuous Improvement Identifies opportunities to improve work practices. Takes ownership of specific changes through to implementation where appropriate.
Personal Development Seeks feedback and acts on it to improve their performance. Builds their own capability through ownership of their own development, in consultation with their manager. Keeps up to date with relevant changes. Supports others in their development through mentoring/coaching where appropriate.
Behaviours What is required (acquired and demonstrated through continuous professional development)
Integrity Truthful, sincere and trustworthy in their actions, shows integrity by doing the right thing, maintains appropriate confidentiality at all times.
Flexibility Adapts positively to changing work priorities and patterns when new tasks need to be done, or requirements change.
Resilience Displays energy and enthusiasm in the way they go about their role, dealing positively with setbacks when they occur, stays positive under pressure.

Additional Qualification

Chartered Institute of Credit Management (CICM): Diploma in Credit Management Level 3

The apprentice will be enrolled on to the next available CICM virtual class module, and be assigned a personal CICM tutor.

The referred CICM route is:

Module What does the syllabus include? How is this module assessed?
Credit Management
  • Role and effect of consumer credit
  • Organisation of the credit function
  • Marketing of consumer credit
  • Credit risk control
  • Credit documents and systems
  • Collections methods and recovery methods
Online multiple choice exam
Business Environment
  • Collections methods and recovery methods
  • The economy
  • The organisation
  • Organisational management
  • The market environment
  • The competitive environment
  • The macro-economic influences on the organisation
Online multiple choice exam
Business Law
  • The English legal system
  • Law of contract
  • Sale of Goods and related topics
  • Agency
  • Other contractual matters
Online multiple choice exam
Accounting Principles
  • Accounting principles and techniques
  • Trial balance and financial statements
  • Differences in financial reporting
  • Budgetary control
  • Business performance 
Three hour written exam

Other study options are available, such as an assignment route, but these can affect progress opportunities for further CICM study.

What will you learn?

Learning targets will be set by the Training Associate, mentor and apprentice to fit in with development required in the workplace.

Learning will take place on topics such as:

  • Negotiation
  • Communication
  • Supporting learning of colleagues
  • Teamwork
  • Managing personal development (including creation of a CPD log, obtaining feedback)
  • Dealing with complex queries

 Wider knowledge will be gained in the following areas:

  • Credit management
  • Business environment
  • Business law
  • Accounting principles
  • Inclusion of learning around job role, a specialist option (usually advanced collections can be selected)
  • Opportunity to undertake further study with the CICM

How is it delivered and assessed?

An Individual Learning Plan (ILP) will be agreed with the apprentice, mentor and Training Associate. Short, medium and long term targets will be set, and this will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. The targets will be based around the knowledge, skills and behaviours detailed in the standard. They will also take in to consideration development goals or actions that the learner already has in place.

Monthly visits with the Training Associate will be arranged, and this will run alongside study with the CICM and attendance of virtual classes.

In addition, every 8-10 weeks a progress review will be completed with the apprentice, mentor and Training Associate. This will look at progress towards all elements of the apprenticeship, and also cover discussions around topics such as:

  • Health and safety
  • Equality and diversity
  • Prevent and British values

Once all prerequisites have been met, the apprentice can be submitted in to gateway. Gateway is the period during which end point assessment is booked and prepared for.

Mandatory Qualifications

  •  Functional Skills Level 2 in English (unless previously achieved)
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in mathematics (unless previously achieved)
  • CICM Diploma in Credit Management Level 3

End Point Assessment

Assessment Method Description Grading Weighting Area of Standard Covered
Assignment A structured assignment, marked as per the mark scheme set by the independent end point assessment organisation. The apprentice will cover the whole standard, provide work-based examples and evidence. The assignment will be used as a starting point for the professional discussion (the end point assessor may want to question around areas that are “weaker” – they may also want to stretch and challenge in order for the apprentice to reach distinction. Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction 50% Whole standard
Professional Discussion This is a structured interview between the apprentice and an independent end point assessor. As above, the apprentice will be asked about the knowledge, skills and behaviours, and the assessor will also probe around some of the assignment answers. Fail/Pass/Merit/Distinction 50% Whole standard

Entry Requirements

Leve 1 English and mathsis required for this programme. 

Apprentices must be in suitable employment have the opportunity to develop all required knowledge, skills and behaviours aligned to this apprenticeship standard.

Interested in this apprenticeship? Apply now.