Report of the Director of Finance
A report relating to the Staffordshire Pensions Committee Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and Training Policy 2023/24 was presented to the Pension Committee for consideration and approval.
The Fund was required to ensure that trustees of occupational pension schemes should be trained and have knowledge and understanding of the law relating to pensions, the role of trustees, the principles of scheme funding and investment, and the management and administration of pension scheme benefits. In May 2021, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) issued an updated Knowledge and Skills Framework (KSF) for LGPS Committee Members and LGPS Officers. The CIPFA KSF was something that the Staffordshire Pensions Committee had adopted for several years to demonstrate good governance and commitment to training.
The CIPFA KSF identified eight core technical areas where Pensions Committee Members were expected to have a general awareness and understanding. The Fund TNA measured against the same eight core areas of:
All Pensions Committee Members, Local Pensions Board Members and Senior Fund Officers were asked to complete a TNA during February 2023. The response rate for the Pensions Committee was 67% (8 out of 12), for the Pensions Board it was 67% (2 out of 3) and for Senior Fund Officers it was 75% (3 out of 4).
2023/24 Training Plan
Where appropriate, training would be incorporated into scheduled Committee and Board meetings in June, September, December and March and two dedicated training sessions for both Committee and Board members would be held in July and November.
Based on the output of the February 2023 TNA, the training proposed for 2023/24 was planned to include the following:
Aspire Online Learning Academy
Pensions Committee and Local Pensions Board Members had been provided with access to Hymans Robertson’s online LGPS Learning Academy, ASPIRE, which covered all key areas of the CIPFA KSF. Hymans had recently refreshed ASPIRE so that it offers more but shorter learning modules.
The Fund’s Training Policy was shared with the Committee for approval. The policy incorporated the requirements of the latest CIPFA KSF and also included a set of seven statements which the Pensions Committee formally adopted at the meeting on 25 March 2022.
a. That the results of the 2023/24 Training Needs Analysis in relation to the requirements of the CIPFA Knowledge and Skills Framework, be noted.
b. That the resultant 2023/24 Training Plan, be approved.
c. That the Staffordshire Pension Fund’s Training Policy, be approved.