All new collection associates are required to complete formal training and pass tests in FDCPA compliance, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) compliance, and Professional Telephone Collection Techniques. The collection manager and collection team leader facilitate training. Once an associate meets the requirements, they are formally tested for certification with both the ACA International and Consumer Data Industry Association (CDIA). The collection staff is re-tested annually for re-certification.
In addition to introductory training, monthly sessions for developing/enhancing associate's skills are conducted on skip tracing, handling disputes, motivating debtors to pay, insurance billing, healthcare collection issues, patient privacy and other healthcare regulatory issues, etc. Throughout the ongoing training process, all collection associates are made aware of the sensitive nature of healthcare collections and the importance of maintaining the dignity and self-respect of the patient in assisting them with the financial healing process regardless of their social or economic status. All collection associates are trained and encouraged to be progressive in their collection efforts as opposed to aggressive.
Additionally, SCI policy and procedure manual requires all associates to abide by federal and state regulations, as well as maintain professional conduct at all times. Each associate signs an agreement to adhere to that policy. Violations of the policy have specific penalties, depending on the severity of the violation. Any act, which puts SCI or any client of SCI at risk is considered a serious offense and can result in immediate termination. The collection associates are aware of their own personal liability in performing consumer collections.