Over the past sixteen years, I have had the good fortune to work with many organizations to bring International Foundation programs to their places of business. We have done this from coast to coast in the U.S. and Canada, across all the sectors we serve, including single employer, multiemployer and public sector plans. These arrangements allow for simultaneous training of entire teams and not only fulfill the need for technical benefits training but allow for team building and strategic planning to occur in ways that don’t always happen when one or two individuals attend an off-site program.

When talking about our on-site education experiences, I’ve often heard comments like “I didn’t know the Foundation does that.” Perhaps you’re thinking the same, so allow me to tell you how on-site education has benefited many organizations and could benefit yours.

The Process

The needs of every organization vary, so before we start planning an on-site education program, I spend a great deal of time learning about each organization. Together we discuss their business, mission, challenges, goals, strategic plans and workforce demographics. From that information, we are able to design a unique learning experience that is tailored to the need of the organization and, more importantly, to the individual learner. And we are able to do this without travel expenses and with limited time away from the office or worksite.

The Education

In some cases, we are able to offer our most popular programs either “off the shelf” or slightly modified. In other situations, we have developed completely customized solutions to deal with unique situations. We have also offered our training in a variety of formats including face-to-face, e-learning or a blended approach. Having so many educational products and subject matter experts at our disposal gives us great flexibility in meeting the training needs of those in our industry. And you can always count on the quality education and seamless execution that the Foundation is known for.

Some of the recent projects we have been involved in include:

  • Developed a customized onboarding program that blends e-leaning and webcasts to train new hires in brokerage and outsourcing firms.
  • Facilitated fiduciary training and strategic planning for the board of trustees of a new plan.
  • Delivered a customized Customer Service in Benefits program for the call center staff of a TPA.
  • Delivered our popular Certificate in Retirement Plans to the Retirement Department of a state agency.
  • Delivered our popular Certificate in Health and Welfare Plans to the call center staff of a major outsourcing firm.
  • Designed and delivered technical benefits training to government employees who have a role in the enforcement and regulatory activities surrounding employee benefit plans.
  • Designed a training program to help apprenticeship coordinators, directors and trustees understand how to operate their training fund as a business and understand their fiduciary obligations.
  • Delivered Canadian trustee education, including FTMS and ATMS to public sector trustees in Saskatchewan.

The Flexibility

From time to time, we are approached by organizations that have had the need and desire for training but lack sufficient numbers of people to make the training cost-effective. In those situations, we have sometimes been able to bring together different groups to share in the training and associated costs. The bottom line is that we are always thinking outside the box to find training solutions that work.

As a mission-driven organization, providing on-site educational opportunities is just another way we deliver on the promise to be the premier educational organization dedicated to providing the diverse employee benefits community with objective, solution-oriented education to ensure the health and financial security of plan beneficiaries.

Interested in exploring on-site education options for your organization? Contact me by e-mail at tomd@ifebp.org or phone (262) 373-7648.

Tom DeRoche
Director of Educational Programs at the International Foundation


Tom DeRoche

Director of Educational Programs at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation service/product: Face to face conferences

Favorite Foundation conference/event moment:  The US Annual Conference…so many members, so many friends, gathered by their commitment to education, to their participants and the benefits industry.  It’s hard not to be inspired.

Benefits related topic that interests him most: Retirement Security 

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