The content of finance and insurance training has evolved over the years, reflecting new products and regulations. Now, the format of the training also is evolving, reflecting dealers' changing standards and preferences as well as changing educational styles.
Today, some F&I companies, deviating from what had been the standard one- to two-week off-site courses, favor a more customized approach that blends in-person and remote training. That method has picked up steam as online universities have gained broader acceptance.
Others have moved away from lectures and PowerPoint presentations. For example, some F&I training companies rely on students to provide the answers. They say doing so better measures the students' understanding of concepts.
"Traditionally we've been kind of a weeklong heavy training company, but now we're moving down the customization path," said Chris May, director of the performance development center at JM&A Group, part of JM Family Enterprises Inc., of Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Some of JM&A's dealership clients want extended classes, with a variety of topics covered. Others want more remote, digital options, so JM&A designed online classes — including some with a game-playing element — depending on what the company seeks to accomplish. When determining the training method, JM&A thinks about "how to most efficiently get them the results they need," May said.