Adviser education tool shortlisted for innovation award

Adviser education tool shortlisted for innovation award

The Society of Later Life Advisers (Solla) is one of 12 projects shortlisted in the Innovation for Ageing industry competition.

Run by Just and The International Longevity Centre UK, the competition aims to find solutions to address the challenges faced by vulnerable consumers in later life.

Solla will be creating a computer-based training programme to educate advisers about how to handle vulnerable customers, which it aims to roll out in 2019.

This will tie in with the Financial Conduct Authority's (FCA) consultation on guidance for firms on the identification and treatment of vulnerable consumers expected to be published next year.

The 12 shortlisted entries developed solutions to specific problems identified by experts as common causes of vulnerability.

They include Imperial College London care planning spin off Digital Care Planning, and a model for assessing vulnerable customers from medical underwriter for pensions Morgan Ash.

Stephen Lowe, group communications director at Just, said: "Throughout the project I have been consistently impressed by the insightfulness and passion that institutions, charities and individuals have applied to our challenge – to make life easier and simpler for vulnerable people in society.

"There is clearly lots that can be done to make life easier, safer and more enjoyable for vulnerable consumers, and we want to demonstrate this through Innovating for Ageing.

"It’s a tremendously strong shortlist and the judges have some difficult decisions to make in picking the final candidates to present their solutions at the Awards Ceremony in 2019."

A total of 77 submissions were entered and judges will now choose a selection of the 12 finalists to be entered into the Innovating for Ageing awards ceremony in early 2019.

Finalists will be competing for a share of £10,000 in cash prizes and specialist business support to help develop their proposition.

The Innovation for Ageing competition was established in January of this year. Its objective is to identify and support the development of products that will address the challenges faced by ageing consumers at risk of vulnerability, be it due to physical disability, illness, dementia or financial exclusion.

The campaign group said it would feed back to the participants on public policy implications and promote better understanding of the issues involved.

The campaign was launched in response to the FCA’s scrutiny of how financial services companies are addressing vulnerability.

David Sinclair, director of ILC-UK, said: "Innovating for Ageing was set up to ensure the best new ideas are applied to problems known to have the worst impact on vulnerable older people. The response has been superb, as has been the quality of submissions received.

"Narrowing the 77 entries down to a shortlist of just 12 has been very difficult and we are hopeful that the finalists’ ideas will bring real benefits for people who find themselves in a range of difficult circumstances in later life.

"Our expectations are high based on the submissions received so far and after hearing the candidates bring their ideas to life in their pitches."