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New Survey: CUNA Tracking Training Trends
MADISON, Wis. (4/16/13)--Like their counterparts in the corporate world, credit unions report that they are increasing their training dollars, according to a new Credit Union National Association State of the Credit Union Training Industry Survey.

In 2012, the amount budgeted for education specific expenses (conferences, training materials, online training) averaged $46,574, while education-related expenses (travel, meals, lodging and so forth) averaged $30,592. That compares with $42,101 and $27,697, respectively, spent on these in 2011.

These averages grow as assets increase, ranging from $20,000 among credit unions with assets of less than $100 million to nearly $150,000 among those with assets of $1 billion or more.

CUNA surveyed more than 100 credit union training professionals about their budgets, training challenges and methods. The survey forecasts consistent or increasing training budgets, with less than 10% of credit unions surveyed planning any cutbacks.

Credit unions' training results largely mirror those found in national corporate world surveys by the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD), said Marlo Foltz, CUNA's director of blended learning.

One finding: Executive management teams and volunteer boards adopt tablet training, but that trend has not seeped to nonmanagement staff yet. "Nonmanagement staff is still heavy in the face-to-face training," Foltz said.

"Credit unions are slower in adopting online and blended training," she said. "That's likely because more credit union trainers come up through the ranks. Their experience is with one-on-one, face-to-face course skills training. Now, more trainers are coming from outside with experience in the education industry and who have experience with instructional design."

She noted similarities in the studies about the barriers to adopting blending learning. ASTD found that for corporations, the main barriers to adopting blended lending are budgets, a lack of understanding from senior management leaders, and a lack of an information technology (IT) structure. In CUNA's survey, credit unions' top barriers were budgets, security and a lack of IT infrastructure.

CUNA has made several adjustments in its learning programs. It will:

  • Continue meeting the needs of executives and boards by offering tablet-ready instruction;
  • Provide more tools so credit unions can create their own training programs;
  • Partner with course authoring tools for CUNA CPD Online subscribers;
  • Offer a Blended Learning white paper from CUNA Councils;
  • Expand Take-Charge Ideas for Trainers Webinar Series; and
  • Develop in-depth topics for CUNA HR/TD Council Conference and CUNA Experience Learning Live!
CUNA Experience Learning Live! in October will focus on how trainers can measure their success with training metrics so they can take actual numbers to their boards to show the value of the training to the bottom line and focus on the business of training, Foltz told News Now.

"Nationally, and in credit union-specific industries, the training outlook for 2014 is a positive one," Foltz said.  "Credit unions will offer more training, and devote more of their budgets to training," she added, noting that the improving economy is a factor in the training growth.

For more information, use the links.

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