Money and Pensions Service – Assured case study

Supporting financial wellbeing through their Assured Money Guidance training programme.

10 November 2023

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) is an arm’s-length body, sponsored by the Department for Work and Pensions. Launched in 2019, it’s on a mission to help people – particularly those most in need – to improve their financial wellbeing and build a better, more confident future.

Money plays such a huge role in the fabric of our lives. When people reach out for help with challenging life events, conversations about money often form part of a wider, holistic service provided by charities and public sector organisations.

The ability of frontline workers to deliver good quality money guidance is becoming ever more important, especially for those supporting vulnerable customers and lower income individuals or families.

The Money Guiders training

A key offering from MaPS is their Money Guiders training and development designed to upskill those who provide money guidance as part of their role, such as mental health clinicians, food bank volunteers, and housing support officers. Their job roles and organisations are incredibly diverse; money guidance is just a ‘slice’ of what they do.

Working through over 250 partner organisations, practitioners can access a library of self-guided e-learning modules covering topics including budgeting, saving, debt and benefits. The interactive modules and online assessments help learners gain in-demand knowledge and skills for supporting the financial resilience of their service users or customers.

Money Guiders also provides ongoing professional development and resources through a UK-wide programme of networks, events and a growing community of practice.

The programme has seen increased demand and to date they have certified over 4,000 practitioners.

Looking for independent recognition from a trusted brand

money and pensions service crednetialFiona Ellis, Sector Skills Strategic Learning Lead at the Money and Pensions Service has spearheaded the e-learning courses.

Back in 2018 it became clear that there was a lack of clarity around money guidance from a skills and training perspective, and so MaPS decided to build the Money Guidance Competency Framework involving a national consultation with stakeholders.

Once the framework had been created, they started to look for a partner that would provide external validation and credibility.

“The e-learning that we have built is fantastic, but it was clear that we also needed independent recognition and endorsement from a well-recognised brand that was trusted, credible and, most importantly, valued by practitioners across the UK - and that’s when we found City & Guilds”

The last three years have been a tumultuous time for the economy, with the pandemic closely followed by high inflation. Personal debt and financial struggles touch many corners of society, with people increasingly turning to trusted community organisations and frontline workers for help with budgeting, bills and debt payments, pensions, and more.

Many professionals find themselves having challenging and complex conversations about money even without formal training. The need and demand for practical “money help” is growing rapidly. As Ellis reflects; 

“Many practitioners, whether they were social workers, health professionals or working for grass roots community organisations, were already giving a level of money guidance without even realising. Our programmes give definition around this and recognition of their skills and knowledge in this space. For us, embedding a layer of quality throughout the programme through City & Guilds Assured status was really important.”

Recognising a distinct skills-need

Proving money guidance has become a common facet of many frontline roles. Practitioners in local councils, job centres, social action charities, the police, probation services and other third sector organisations regularly assist people facing financial hardship or seeking to improve their money management.

Quality money guidance requires specific skills and knowledge. Recognising that is the first step to getting it right for customers. Organisations and individuals can use what MaPS has to offer to as part of their wider training and development plans. It can help them provide up to date, impartial money guidance, to feel confident they’re doing the right thing, and to empower customers to improve their financial wellbeing.

As Ellis explains;

“Most of our learners are highly experienced and well qualified practitioners in their specialist areas but the money guidance aspect of their work isn’t necessarily well supported. Our courses help them upskill and develop, and to be part of a community of lifelong learners dedicated to making a difference. The digital credentials provided by City & Guilds really help with this, rewarding them for their achievements, surfacing their skills and making them visible to their online networks.”

Making a positive impact through skills

Money struggles compound or cause other issues like unemployment, food insecurity, and unstable housing. Helping people build strong financial foundations creates widespread positive impact.

With financial issues affecting wellbeing and productivity for many people, the skills that MaPS teaches are invaluable.

MaPS leads the charge in improving people’s financial wellbeing by providing free money and pensions guidance and by working in partnership with others. The Money Guiders network of organisations and community of practitioners looks set to keep growing.  Fiona adds;

“The programme has a great profile internally; in fact our CEO congratulated us recently on awarding our 4000th City & Guilds Assured credential.”

“It is very rewarding to see the skills of our learners recognised through this assured programme. And also, to think that the guidance they provide can have such a positive effect on people facing financial challenges. That’s an impact to be really proud of.”

Find out more about MaPS and Money Guiders

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