A short introduction to the Financial Ombudsman Service’s training academy.

Building new skills through our first-class training programme

Wondering whether to apply to be one of our investigators? Here’s some information about the training programme and what to expect when you first join us.

As an investigator, you’re the first person a consumer will talk to when they contact us. You’ll be helping people resolve their financial problems. It’s a busy, interesting and highly rewarding job. But it’s sometimes tough. Our investigators say the job satisfaction they get from being able to sort out people’s problems – and improve the situation they’re in – is like no other.

We won’t throw you in at the deep end though. Before you officially become an investigator, there’s a six-month training programme, which we call the academy. This will build on your experience, develop your skills, and give you new ones – so that by the end you’ll have all the skills you’ll need, whatever your background.

Everyone who joins the Financial Ombudsman Service is well-supported from the outset. Over the first four to six months you’ll learn all you need to know before you move into one of our case-handling teams, where you'll be fully supported by a mentor. After six months you'll begin managing your own caseload of 15-25 cases at any one time.

1

First month

You'll take part in classroom-style training on a range of different things, including the products and services we cover and the history of our organisation...

and you'll get the time to put new knowledge and skills into practice.

2

Second month

Through case study examples, investigators in the academy find out how to approach complaints.

After that, and with the support of trainers and mentors, you'll start looking at actual complaints, learning how to resolve them using a combination of mediation and investigation skills.

3

Third month

You'll begin listening to and then taking incoming calls from our helpline, and you'll learn how to set up new complaints, taking the details we need to get the complaint started.

You'll be fully mentored and supported by colleagues during this period of your training.

4

Fourth month to graduation

By the end of month four, you’ll be taking calls from people who contact us to make enquiries or to register a complaint, and you will work a three hour "shift" each week on our consumer helpline.

At the end of month four, you move from the "classroom" to learning "in-role". We’d expect you to start managing your time, working closely with a mentor on each case, and towards resolving around two complaints each week.

As well as learning about our approach to cases, you’ll also receive...

  • immersive call-handling training (with the help of business "actors")
  • an introduction to the products we work with most often
  • training in how to use our systems
  • in-depth training on a specific, more complex product area
  • mentoring and guidance on the challenges associated with reaching fair outcomes
  • an opportunity to take part in Q&A sessions with our senior leaders, including our chief ombudsman

Once you graduate

During your time in the academy, you’ll have received lots of help to make sure you, and your fellow new investigators, understand fully the Financial Ombudsman Service’s statutory obligations, our aims and values, and our approach to the cases we see. You’ll also be confident that you’re able to meet our commitments to timeliness and customer service.