Increasing trainee retention through bespoke training programmes

Kaplan-Altior-Anchor-Panel-Logo-rgb200Kaplan Altior has had a long working relationship with Mishcon de Reya delivering in-house professional skills courses (PSC) to the firm’s trainee solicitors.

The relationship has developed through Kaplan Altior’s long-standing rapport with Tracy Clegg whilst she was involved in the Inn Group PSC Consortium. Kaplan Altior secured the opportunity to pitch in a formal tender process to the organisation to deliver the Inn Group Professional Skills Course (PSC) and MC1.

When Tracy moved to Mishcon de Reya in 2010, the firm had an existing provider in place.  As part of the training needs analysis Tracy conducted for the trainee development programme, she turned to Kaplan Altior to deliver that training going forward. Having trust in the team’s ability to deliver high quality training, the team was brought in straight away with no formal tender process.

Since then Kaplan Altior has worked closely with Mishcon de Reya delivering all of the trainee training needs, including working on bespoke projects. Just one example of how Kaplan Altior has delivered a tailored approach to meet the niche requirements of the law firm is set out below.

The Challenge

City law firm Mishcon de Reya enrols around 15 new trainee solicitors each year, with each trainee undertaking the compulsory PSC training modules immediately prior to their induction at the firm.

On reviewing the industry-standard PSC training materials used by Kaplan, Mishcon identified they required something more bespoke.  To ensure new trainee solicitors could hit the ground running on completing their PSC, training materials needed to join up the theoretical learnings with the practical day to day applications and processes used at the firm.

Tracy Clegg, learning and development manager at Mishcon de Reya, explained: “All trainees have to complete PSC core modules, but we found inconsistencies between these learnings and the processes we use at Mishcon. For example, the internal language we would use differs from that in the training material. For both business efficiency and to aid effective training, we realised that to immerse trainees we needed to somehow bridge this gap.

“Our challenge was how to incorporate Mishcon’s processes and language into the PSC modules, which would not only create a more positive training experience, but also help to increase retention levels of new solicitors at the firm.”

Our Solution

Kaplan Altior, which has been delivering training solutions to Mishcon de Reya for more than five years, advised that developing a completely bespoke training programme for Mishcon was the most effective course of action. This would incorporate all of the compulsory elements of the PSC while using Mishcon specific content, such as the language used and details about the processes and procedures covered. The new training modules would also have the added benefit of containing references for the trainees that they could use to assist them in their practical workings at the firm.

The training approach utilised a blend of training presentations, trainer-led discussions and practical firm specific exercises to ensure learning for each element was understood and suitably embedded.

“Kaplan were very efficient in designing a new bespoke training programme and worked with us to ensure that the modules contained the most up to date legal learnings while keeping the programme Mishcon-specific,” Tracy recalled.

End Result

The participants developed a collective understanding of the running of the organisation, which helped them instantly engage with Mishcon’s policy and procedures manual. All trainees completed their compulsory training without the induction period needing to be prolonged, meaning that they were able to join their first seats on schedule, as planned.

Tracy concluded: “We have had much more positive feedback from trainee supervisors that trainee solicitors are much more knowledgeable and clued up on Mishcon procedures, which was seen from the very first year that this new training programme was implemented.

“In relation to the business, it is a much more cost effective programme as supervisors have to spend less time re-explaining core principles because our trainees now have a good base knowledge.

“The whole process of developing our tailored training programme with Kaplan has been a positive one with the team working closely with us to ensure that the new training materials meet the PSC criteria, while being very relevant to our organisation and how we do business.”

“I would recommend Kaplan Altior and its fantastic team who work incredibly hard to go above and beyond what is asked. They are adaptable and flexible to meet the needs of their clients and the knowledge they possess about skills training within the legal sector has always impressed me. Even when we have had a completely unique obstacle to overcome, they always have helped me to find a way.

“Working with Kaplan Altior is not just about receiving a good service but they become an extension of your team and listen and respond to feedback effectively.” Tracy Clegg, learning and development manager at Mishcon de Reya.

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