After nearly 37 years at NAB, and having never taken a formal exam before, Rona Bell is a proud graduate of NAB’s new professional banking program called Career Qualified in Banking (CQiB).
“I joined NAB at the age of 21 and have never undertaken a course or qualification like this,” said Rona, a NAB Mobile Home Lending Executive.
“As someone who has been in the banking sector a long time, the course refreshed a lot of things for me, but it also gave me deeper insights into other elements of banking.
“The best thing about the course is the customer focus. This course definitely helps you to be the best banker you can be,” Rona said.
NAB is the first Australian bank to set a qualification standard for its entire permanent workforce.
CQiB was launched by NAB CEO Ross McEwan last year. More than 7000 people across NAB have already enrolled in the course. All of NAB’s permanent staff, including Ross and his executive leadership team, will take part.
By supporting colleagues to obtain a financial services qualification, Ross said he aimed to foster discipline and a commitment to professionalism.
“We want all colleagues to feel proud to work for NAB, and proud to be in banking, and we want our customers to be confident they are being served by the best bankers in the industry,” he said.
The program is run in partnership with the Financial Services Institute of Australasia (FINSIA).
Leonhard Hopkins, a Graduate in NAB’s Corporate & Institutional Bank, has also completed the course.
“Being in a customer-facing role, the holistic understanding of the Australian banking industry that I gained from completing CQiB is something I use every day,” he said.
The program outlines the guiding principles of the Australasian Banking Industry including the regulatory and legal environment, serving customers, lending, and risk management. The course also covers ethics and conduct in the industry.
“Being new to the workforce as a graduate, it’s great to understand the ethics behind everything we do,” said Leonhard.
Upon completing the course, all colleagues receive a globally recognised professional qualification accredited by the UK Chartered Banker Institute (CBI).
NAB Group Executive People and Culture, Susan Ferrier, said colleagues were able to apply what they learned in their everyday roles.
“The overwhelming feedback from participants in the course so far has been one of pride in working for an organisation that is investing in our colleagues. Many express how relevant it has been in their roles of supporting our customers, especially during these challenging times,” she said.
“The course is very comprehensive and requires a significant level of commitment and study and I am proud of how our colleagues have risen to the challenge.”
Susan said the CQiB program was designed to suit all types of learners.
“We have a diverse workforce with different needs and the program can be completed in a way that suits the individual. We have facilitator intensives or study at your own pace options,” she said.
“Hearing from colleagues like Rona and Leonhard, it reinforces that this program is great for NAB customers, but it is really valuable to our colleagues too.”