Learning online for compliance training is gaining popularity in the Philippines. Here’s why..

For most people, going to a face to face event is the only way they are going to get access to training when at work. Normally this means a day off work, a travel across the city and an expense for food and drink. The thought of travelling across Metro Manila is enough to put some people off attending training already, let alone when the training is all about a compliance subject such as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) that would make most people sleepy within a few minutes!

 

Up until very recently, the only way you could get your AML training or AML certification was to attend a face to face event, or if you work in a large organisation, you might be lucky enough to get your very own compliance officer talk to you about changes to the law. In some rare cases your company might buy in a specialist AML training officer for the day and put you in the company training rooms togged you up to date with the latest AML regulations and requirements.Whichever way you look at it, AML certification costs are high, when you factor in the travel, training provider and loss of working time.All of that was how AML training was done in the Philippines, but thankfully it’s about to change.With the latest AML regulations there is a requirement that all covered persons are trained regularly. Since there are many thousands of covered persons, and not many AML trainers or subject matter experts, the Anti Money Laundering Commission (AMLC) has been busy finding online service providers, such as Framedia-inc, to develop online learning content for anti-money laundering. 

 

 Framedia-inc are the first online provider to be accredited by AMLC, and have been through a very detailed and rigorous process to ensure their AML courses, presentations and videos are at the right quality and cover the right topics. Whilst AML training provided directly by AMLC is free, the online version is not, and there is a cost for the AML certification. The good news is the fees are low enough to be very tempting, and well within the budgets normally spent on AML training for employees. Whereas your board of directors may want to go through their AML training in the comfort of some swanky hotel, complete with food and drinks supplied, that’s not the way the rest of us will have to do it. For the normal staff member, going to any compliance training event is hard work, but not if it is online, and not if you can get your AML certification using your mobile phone!

 

Those clever people at Framedia-inc have not only designed and built interactive training modules which meet the strict requirements of AMLC, but they’ve done it in a way that means you can do your AML training from your phone, laptop or desktop computer. All of your progress is stored online, so complete a module during your morning commute by using your phone, do another on your work computer, and then finish another one using your laptop in the comfort of your own home!

That’s right, AML training can be done at times and places to suit you, and you do not have to travel half way across Metro Manila to get it done, either. Of course, if you wanted to, you could – but you could do a few modules during your commuting time (assuming you’re not the one driving, of course!)

 

There are very few anti money laundering courses online and the ones you’ll see are from companies based outside of the Philippines. Framedia-inc are a Philippine based company and the first one to get through the strict accreditation set out by AMLC. This means AML training can be done in the Philippines, to the standards set by the AMLC regulations and achieved in the comfort of your own home if you wish. It’s not free, but it’s not too expensive either.

 

AML training online with Framedia-inc costs start from 2500 peso for a single user, with discounts available for bulk purchases. You can get to the shop by visiting certified.ph and buying either the single user AML CFT training or the multi-user AML training course.

 

The sheer ease of organising your own training at times and places to suit you, with the added bonus of using any internet enabled device is a sure way to please your customers. Anti money laundering policy and procedures is a fairly ‘dry’ topic, but made into online learning modules by Framedia-Inc they are both fun and informative. The interactive modules use a lot of specialist video so there is not a lot of reading to be done, but you’ll then sit an anti money laundering questionnaire for each of the modules, leading to your final AML certification. Your certificate is security coded so that it is only you that can claim it as yours. No amount of copying it will help – this AML certificate is protected, and can be checked at any time by a compliance officer or auditor.

Where before you only had to physically turn up to a training event to be guaranteed of getting your certificate, AMLC have set about making sure you also need to pass a relatively simple AML exam, or series of short exams, to gain your certificate. This is a really good thing, and means anyone getting their training will need to meet a minimum standard, making it far more reliable for employers to know who has been trained and at what level. Setting the standard for AML training is a key priority for AMLC, and the future looks to be even filled with even more rigorous approaches to training and certification will be adopted. It’s best to get it done online now, whilst it’s still new and relatively easy, and avoid the congested Manila traffic by doing so!

AML Online Training, Affiliate Program Up And Running, Become An Affiliate


The exciting thing about setting up new systems is you get to set up new ideas, too. And on this occasion, it’s the Anti-Money Laundering program in the Philippines, which we’ve been working on since April 2019.

It’s going well – we have become the first accredited online provider for AML training online, and we work closely with the Anti-Money Laundering Commission to get the content of the training to match perfectly with their face to face training.

Now we have also set up an affiliate program and we are inviting people to participate. However, there is a catch – you need to be actively working with the kind of businesses that need to be certified in AML within the Philippines! You don’t have to be employed by such a business (although it won’t hurt if you are), but i order to maximise your chances as an affiliate for anti-money laundering training you really ought to be able to refer people who will need to be certified. The online training is comprehensive and anyone successfully completing the course is awarded a certificate, fully accredited by AMLC themselves!

Affiliates earn a generous commission if they can refer people to the AML online training in reasonable numbers, and that’s why we only want people who have the networks into the target businesses to take part in this. For more information on taking part, please complete the application form online, and we will review your details.

 

Magical Mangosteens

 Today, after a pretty rough night spent mostly awake and mostly inconvenienced, I am not eating very much at all. I’ve decided to go on a bit of a detox for a day. Yes, those far more informed than I can wax lyrical about how bad that is for your body, but to be brutally honest, I no longer care. Anything I consume at the moment stays approximately 15 seconds before making a reappearance… so it is time to do two things:

1 – change my water filter cartridge
2 -eat things that only give you a really healthy benefit.

A third thing is to drink something to rehydrate myself… my poor and ageing body needs to recover!

So it is that I happened to have some Mangosteens in my refrigerator. I bought them not knowing what they were, and vowing to try them. Tropical fruits can be a bit hit and miss for me, so I was a little anxious and had thought to leave them a while. But then last night happened.

In reading about Mangosteens, most of the scientific evidence is completely inconclusive “not enough work has been done to verify the claims made about this food”… you know the sort of thing – totally non-committal, basically consigning it as a fad and whilst experiments in lab animals (seriously? They still do that?) have shown remarkable results it has to be pointed out that it wasn’t a simple fresh piece of fruit they used, but a highly concentrated version of it.

The anecdotal evidence, however, is compelling to say the least. Mangosteens, the leaves, the bark from the tree they grow on, the roots… all have considerable local folklore attached to them about what they can and cannot do. From helping with dysentery and diarrhoea to actively fighting bowel cancers, fast healing of wounds and so on… naturally, once you read these claims you are slightly cynical. But, given my state this morning, it’s a case of ‘any port in a storm’!

The edible part of the mangosteen is inside the rather fibrous outer shell. When you cut around the middle, you can pull the shell off easily, and reveal a small set of segments – like an orange has got… only these are white. The larger segments will have ‘stones’ in them, about the size of a stone inside a plum or perhaps a bit larger. These are the seeds for the plant. All you do is simply take a teaspoon and spoon out the segments and pop them into your mouth. And I have to say, they are simply delicious!

They have a citrus like tang, but a unique flavour – not unlike an orange, but certainly not the same. The ‘stones’ are easily dealt with – take the flesh off them with your teeth, and spit out the ‘pip’… It’s rather bitter in flavour so I wouldn’t recommend crunching it. The flesh, however, is simply wonderful! These native fruits of SE Asia (where I am as I write this) are so good! You could probably add them to a smoothie, blend with strawberries or even oranges, plus a banana and you’ll get a brilliant flavour. I cannot overstate this – they are delicious, and should be on your dinner tables as part of a fruit desert.

Now for the left over parts, the husky shell- you can simply cut them into smaller pieces and boil in a pan with water enough to cover them. the water will go a deep reddish-purple colour, and within a few minutes you’ve got a delicious drink. Add a spoon of honey (the shells can be a bit bitter) and use that for your morning brew.

Apparently, locals here in the Philippines cut into very small pieces and dry the shells first – naturally hot sunny days help with that – and then use that as ‘tea leaves’. They store for ages, and make a refreshing and healthy alternative to tea, coffee or other hot drinks. I’m game to try it!

Having eaten one, the taste is so good, I’ve eaten two more. Within the hour my gastric issues have settled down. This is not a scientific test, but all I can say is, given the choice of a difficult time with some tablets to help me, or a few mangosteens, I prefer to have the mangosteens. Try them!

You’ll be glad you did.

Live currency exchange rates in Apple Numbers

For a while now I’ve been looking for a simple way to have a spreadsheet look up a lie currency exchange rate. The various solutions offered included writing scripts to go and get the live values… but try as I might I couldn’t get Apple Numbers to work with this. As a result, I’ve been manually looking up the current rate and typing it manually into a cell that all other cells reference. It works, but it’s a bit manual and clunky.

It turns out I had the solution all along – it’s built in to Numbers, but isn’t obvious (at least not to me!)

All you do is click into a cell and enter a formula, so just choose your cell and type the ‘=’ sign to bring up the formula entry. Now type CURRENCY

(yes, it’s really that obvious)

There are three components to enter – the currency you want to convert from, the currency you wnat to convert to, and the price of that currency. The last part is what you will get dynamically.

Firstly, you need to know the currency codes for your conversion. For example, if you want to know how many US dollars there are to one GB Pound, you’d need to know the currency code for Sterling is GBP and for the dollar is USD. These are the first two things to type, and you have to add quote marks around both:

CURRENCY(“GBP”,”USD”,0)

The third thing is the zero at the end. This forces Apple Numbers to look up the current price. In the formula editor you can see a drop down list of possible values to use instead of zero, such as the name, or the current change in rate.. or the highs, lows and so on.

What you should get back, after a very slight pause when you enter the formula, is the cell showing you the current exchange rate (At the time of writing, this returned $1.31)

This is a really useful feature if you are trading in different currencies and need to do some basic calculations. Keep in mind that whilst this looks up the live rate, it is not the rate a bank will offer you! Use it as a guide… if you want to check it, go to https://xe.com and see what they say there. It’ll be pretty close!

 

Disable Gatekeeper on OSX

You know that annoying moment when you have downloaded an application – perfectly legally – from an ‘unidentified developer’ and your Mac decides you are not allowed to run it? Well that is pants! I realise Apple are only trying to protect you from the evils of the universe, but it really ticks me off that I don’t get an option to ‘open anyway’ right there and then. No… instead I need to go to system preferences and enable it, or right click the app icon to start with. This is just too tedious. It’s a feature called ‘Gatekeeper’, and it really is there to prevent malicious code being run on your machine.

In previous versions of OSX it was possible in System preferences to allow apps from ‘Anywhere’ to open, but in more recent versions that has ben taken away. Apparently we are not allowed to play with ‘Anything’ – only those from the App store or ‘identified’ developers (i.e. anyone who distributes through the App store).

OK – once again I get the need to protect us from our own stupidity, but it is taking it a little far, IMO.

So for all you geeks who want to return the option in system prefs to allow apps from ‘Anywhere’ just follow these steps:

  1. Quit system prefs if it is running
  2. Launch a terminal window
  3. type this:
    sudo spctl --master-disable
  4. Then enter your password.

that’s it – job done. Now you can open system preferences and see the welcome return of ‘Anywhere’ in your Gatekeeper panel.