Is Your P-Card Training 5-Star Worthy?

Having good Commercial Card/P-Card policies and procedures is not enough for fraud prevention and detection or, for that matter, an efficient program. If the training component is poor, even good employees can fail at their roles and damage your card program in the process. Does your training yield the desired results, such as high cardholder compliance? Does it deserve a closer look? Following are four attributes of effective training (although there certainly are more than four) and related questions to help you assess where you can improve.

A Clear Purpose

Have you documented the goals and objectives—what participants should be able to do as a result? Unfortunately, this step often gets missed or the wording is too vague/not measurable. For example, for the training that occurs prior to card issuance, list specific outcomes, such as cardholders should be equipped to:

  • Articulate when to use a P-Card versus a different purchase-to-pay (P2P) process
  • Use the card appropriately for acceptable business purchases
  • Utilize approved suppliers
  • Take action to resolve issues that might occur, such as declined transactions
  • Effectively reconcile/review transactions
  • Compile the required supporting documentation

The purpose of the training should drive the content.

Appropriate Content and Length

  • Does the content align with the training goals and objectives?
  • Is the content tailored to the target audience? I recommend developing separate training for each unique group (e.g., manager-approvers) to make it more meaningful. 
  • Is the content concise? A long list of topics and/or too many details can overwhelm participants. Instead, ensure they know where to find more information within the policies and procedures manual.
  • Does the content reflect presentation design best practices? Recharged Education offers resources to help you create better presentations.
  • To further help bring the content to life, are there examples of common scenarios participants might face?
  • Does the training consume an hour or less? In today’s fast-paced environment, even an hour can feel long unless the training is highly interactive. It is typically better to break down the content into shorter modules.

Diverse Formats with Interactive Elements

Do you offer different options to address the diverse needs, preferences, and skill levels of your audience (cardholders, manager-approvers, others)? Take a blended approach that includes classroom training, virtual options, and self-paced electronic programs.

Is the training interactive? With all formats, engage the audience throughout the training. For example, ask them how they would respond to different scenarios. Polling or quiz questions also provide an indication of whether participants are learning.  

Opportunity for Feedback

Do you encourage participant feedback, allowing them to provide anonymously if desired? Offering an electronic survey with a combination of multiple-choice and open-ended questions can be valuable. Be sure to ask how the training could be improved. 

Do you make changes to the training when the feedback reflects a trend (versus reacting to every random comment)? Satisfied participants naturally contribute to card program success.

More Resources

Access the Training & Communications page for more resources, including tips related to manager training, quizzes, and annual refresher training. 

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About the Author

Blog post author Lynn Larson, CPCP, is the founder of Recharged Education. With 20 years of Commercial Card experience, her mission is to make industry education readily accessible to all. Learn more