Etienne Hirsch (Director, Head of PwC Academy) shares his thoughts about the shift made by PwC Academy to virtual learning solutions and the important role of webinars. 

What is the biggest challenge that PwC’s Academy faced during the Covid crisis, and how did you manage to break down the barriers?

The crisis has been an unprecedented business challenge since client proximity is at the heart of our activity. However, we had taken action prior to the start of the lockdown to ensure service continuity and further open communication channels with our clients, i.e. we switched to the webinar format, offered dedicated support to learners and trainers and launched our new website with a dedicated “Remote Learning” section showcasing our webinar and e-learning solutions.  

Did you notice a dramatic shift to virtual learning solutions during the last 2 months, and how did you adapt your offer?

We have been delivering all our inter- and intra-company training courses under webinar format since the beginning of the lockdown. As we were already used to delivering virtual training, we were confident that clients would easily switch to this format. And indeed, we have been observing a continuous increase in registrations. Our range of e-learning solutions provides a foundation level on several hot topics such as financial crime, sustainable finance, GDPR, MiFID II and many others. Webinars provide a deep dive into the related topic and favour interaction between the audience and our subject matter experts. We are increasingly blending webinars and e-learnings in tailored curriculums addressing the needs of specific roles within our clients’ organisations.


Which kind of learning or coaching was the most requested by your clients?

On the technical skills side, financial crime, regulatory compliance, risk management, data privacy, DAC 6 and sustainable finance are amongst the most demanded topics. On the soft skills side, the “training in a virtual world” and “new ways of working” series have been a great success and we have been reporting a strong interest around remote team management.

When it comes to remote management, clients request  coaching tools that will help their managers secure engagement from their teams. This type of coaching helps managers transition into a communication that not only focuses on the WHAT but also on the HOW.  

On a more global note, we report a continuous increase in the demand of tailored training programmes since the onset of the crisis, for specialist and senior management audiences.


Are there any takeaways that you would like to share from the current situation?

Learning never stops and the sanitary crisis should not hinder the upskilling agenda. On the contrary, the crisis accelerates competence gaps between organisations and within their value chains. We are continuously interacting with our clients to find the most effective training-learning solution given their pedagogical agenda and considered audiences. In order to best leverage virtual learning technologies, we recommend this pedagogical agenda to be precisely defined and the audience to be as homogeneous as possible.


Communicated by PwC

Publié le 28 mai 2020