“No man is an island entire of itself”
— John Donne
Dealing with the unexpected
The Assured Support Team are not epidemiologists, but we still recognise that COVID-19 presents a rapidly evolving risk to the health, well-being and safety of our people, our clients and the broader community.
In this context, we need to prioritise public health while managing client needs.
Accordingly, we adopted new working arrangements in March 2020 and shifted to working, and supporting our clients, remotely.
Initially, we continued on-site attendances but now, consistent with government advice, we’ll work remotely unless our attendance is absolutely essential and there are no appropriate alternative arrangements.
Rest assured that given our focus on technology, risk and innovation we’re well equipped to work remotely and access all critical applications and documents.
In reality, this is only a minor change to the way we ordinarily conduct business, but one that is delivering unexpected benefits; we seem to be more responsive, more communicative and have more time to analyse and innovate.
We appreciate your understanding as we, like you, adapt to these challenging conditions.
What this means for you
- It’s “business as usual”. Our capability to provide you with advice and support has actually improved but, be warned, you might find that isolation has made our team much more talkative than normal.
- On-site attendances will be postponed until, at least, 1 May 2020. We’ll continue to engage with our clients using alternative arrangements, such as Google Hangouts, or other applications that allow remote meetings. Subject to your risk appetite, we’ll even use Zoom.
- We can still be reached using our usual contact details. Our phone, email and direct numbers will still operate as normal.
- We appreciate that a remote review lacks the intimacy of an on-site review but our reviewers are making additional efforts to ensure it’s still an effective and engaging process.
- Although our sartorial splendour has been slightly affected by isolation and DIY haircuts, we’ve used this time to implement some significant improvements to our systems and processes.
- We’ve doubled down on our digital training capability. If you follow this link you’ll notice an expanded range of webinars available to you.
- ASIC is also adapting its processes and requirements in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have announced that they are:
- delaying work on life insurance advice;
- delaying work on conflicted remuneration; and
- allowing participants additional time to respond to ASIC Notices.
- In addition to announcing these delays, and reiterating that the law provides you a degree of flexibility about how advice is provided, ASIC have declared that “as difficult as the operating environment is, advice licensees must remain focused on … the oversight of advice.” ASIC suggest conducting remote reviews, instead of on-site reviews, and we’re well-positioned to help you.
- We’ve spent some time considering risk management and traditional approaches and responses to risk and uncertainty. During the course of our research, we stumbled upon this very short article (one page) titled “Ethics of Precaution: Individual and Systemic Risk”. The authors suggest that individual panic – immediate and exaggerated responses – may be essential for avoiding systemic or collective harm. It’s a reassuring thought to consider, and a provocative paper to read, while you’re encased in your bunker surrounded by dried pasta and 10,000 rolls of toilet paper.
Read “Ethics of Precaution”.
Supporting you and your business
We want to assure you that while we’re working remotely, we remain committed to delivering exceptional service. We’re confident that we can continue to support you and your business and assist you through this challenging period.
We understand that you, and your business, are responding to the same risks and challenges as we are. If, because of the current conditions, you need to change existing arrangements or request more support, let us know and we’ll do what we can.
If you have any questions about our business continuity plan, or need help with yours, please contact me directly.
PS – If you’re residing in NSW and are unclear about the scope and extent of the restrictions on movement – we’ve got you covered.
restrictions on gathering and movement