Key information

  1. Reference: ST0175
  2. Date updated: 22/11/2022
  3. Level: 3
  4. Route: Legal, finance and accounting
  5. Regulated occupation: No

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Details of the occupational standard

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T-Levels logoT Levels focus on vocational skills and can help students into skilled employment, higher study or apprenticeships. Each T Level includes an in-depth industry placement that lasts at least 45 days. Students get valuable experience in the workplace; employers get early sight of the new talent in their industry.

Occupation summary

Credit management and debt collection is a dynamic function found across all sectors of UK and international commerce. Given the importance of credit management and debt collection, roles are central to many operations, typically setting policies, facilitating sales, managing financial risk and customer relationships. Credit management typically manages and protects cash flow, while debt collection focuses on overdue, late or unpaid money owed to the organisation. Roles are generally fast-paced and target driven, requiring detailed knowledge of law, regulations and the business environment, and skilled practitioners possess excellent technical and interpersonal skills. They are rewarding career choices for self-motivated and enthusiastic individuals who would enjoy a varied role working at the centre of operations. Role Profile: Within this, the focus of the Advanced Credit Controller and Debt Collection Specialist role is typically to work with internal and external customers, both commercial and/or consumer, to ensure that the cash flow of their organisation is maximised while achieving fair customer outcomes. This requires proactive complex interaction with customers who are high risk due, to e.g. having multiple debts, consistently reaching credit limits or breaching credit agreements, missing repayments to minimise and/or recover bad debts while retaining positive sustained relationships. The range of activities is outlined in the examples contained in the Standard below. In addition to the core requirements of the apprenticeship, one of three specialist options must be completed. These are: Credit risk – advising on credit policy and making decisions on credit limits and in some cases complex and non-routine credit arrangements. Advanced Collections – managing complex customer relations to resolve payment issues or identify potential customer vulnerability through the use of recognised relevant assessment frameworks (e.g. TEXAS Model, Common Financial Statement, understanding of insolvency legislation). Examples might include significant corporate business or customers in complex financial difficulties or vulnerable circumstances. Enforcement and recovery – applying in-depth understanding of statutory and/or non-statutory enforcement solutions in the recovery of debt

Typical job titles include:

Collections agent and Collections adviser Credit and collection representative Finance controller



K1: Credit Management and debt collection: Good understanding of the principles of credit management and debt collection together with a sound understanding of organisational policies and techniques used in their role. Back to Duty

K2: Legal, regulatory and compliance: Good understanding of the legal, regulatory, risk and compliance framework within which they operate, with a sound understanding of relevant legal, risk and compliance requirements for their role, e.g. relevant commercial or consumer credit law, credit management policies, data protection, treating customers fairly, complaints handling, potentially fraudulent transactions, including anti-money laundering arrangements and relevant financial and/or sector regulatory requirements depending on the focus of their role. Back to Duty

K3: Industry and organisation understanding: Understands professional standards; the commercial context, nature and priorities of the organisation they work in; the end to end customer journey; how customers manage their money, e.g. as individuals or businesses; organisational ‘values’; and where their role fits in the organisation. Understands the different areas of the organisation that they need to work with to deliver the best solution for the customer and business, and the nature of interactions with them, e.g. with Sales, Customer Services, Underwriting. Back to Duty

K4: Products and services: Broad understanding of the products and services offered to customers by their organisation, together with sound knowledge of the products and services that they support, including their features and benefits, together with how their role supports the delivery of these products and services. Back to Duty

K5: Systems and processes: In-depth understanding of the systems, tools and processes used in the role (see examples in the Standard), together with the standards to be met, including IT tools. Back to Duty

K6: Technical requirements: Understands the detailed technical requirements and organisational policies and/or procedures that apply to their role. (For a Commercial role this may include understanding and interpreting contractual and company information, including accounts; dealing with multi-site organisations. For a Consumer role this may include understanding income and/or expenditure information; multiple debt situations; how to identify and handle vulnerable customers). Back to Duty

K7: Regulatory and organisation requirements: Understands the business environment, regulatory requirements and organisational policies and/or procedures that provide the framework for assessing credit risk. Understands and know how to use relevant information and specialist tools. Back to Duty

K8: Regulatory and organisation requirements: Understand the legal and/or regulatory requirements and organisational policies and/or procedures that provide the framework and trigger points for enforcement and/or recovery action. Know the range of options, both internal and external, that are available. Back to Duty


S1: Managing relationships with customers: Delivers excellent service, identifying and meeting customer needs. Develops strong, positive and sustained relationships with customers, recognising the business context of their relationship and their importance to the organisation while dealing with a difficult topic. Uses questioning effectively to fully understand the customer’s financial situation or specialist needs and requirements(as identified through triggers or other recognised frameworks) and develop acceptable solutions. Able to identify, defuse, resolve difficult and sensitive and/or vulnerable situations professionally when they occur, e.g. relationship breakdowns, fraud, disputes, mental health problems, insolvencies, working to sustain a positive relationship with the customer. Back to Duty

S2: Communication: Actively listens to understand the customer’s circumstances. Communicates effectively with customers and colleagues at all levels, building rapport and defusing emotive situations. Uses sound interpersonal skills, a range of media, e.g. phone, email, SMS, letter and face-to-face and appropriate language, e.g. avoiding jargon. Back to Duty

S3: Negotiation and decision making: Uses a range of negotiating skills to work with customers to identify mutually acceptable solutions and outcomes to credit and debt issues, within organisational and compliance guidelines, e.g. negotiating sustainable repayment plans. Follows through and re-negotiates sensitively in difficult situations, e.g. defaults. Takes ownership through to resolution, escalating where necessary. Back to Duty

S4: Delivering results: Uses a wide range of systems and processes to deliver services to customers. Takes the initiative to meet challenging individual and team performance measures in line with organisation policy, values, standards and legal and/or regulatory requirements. Carries out a range of tasks which may include proactive contact with customers to collect outstanding balances and/or debt; cash allocation, journals and reconciliations; managing ledgers; producing required reports; maintaining accurate records of communications and actions; dispute resolution; actioning and/or recommending write offs. Plans and organises work to meet their commitments and/or KPIs. Takes ownership through to completion, escalating when outside the boundaries of their role, e.g. potential legal issues, customers in vulnerable situations. Back to Duty

S5: Teamwork: Consistently supports colleagues and collaborates to achieve results. Builds and maintains good working relationships within teams and with other business areas, e.g. Sales, Compliance and Quality team. Aware of own role in the team and the impact on others. Back to Duty

S6: Continuous improvement: Identifies opportunities to improve work practices. Takes ownership of specific changes through to implementation where appropriate Back to Duty

S7: Personal development: Seeks feedback and acts on it to improve their performance. Builds their own capability through ownership of their own development, in consultation with their manager. Keeps up to date with relevant changes. Supports others in their development through mentoring and coaching where appropriate. Back to Duty

S8: Managing complex relationships: Able to deal with relatively complex customer relationships, resolving issues (including complaints) and making recommendations outside standard processes where the customer’s situation requires this. (For a Commercial role this may include dealing with significant corporate or other third party relationships. For Consumer roles this may include dealing with customers in vulnerable circumstances identifying their ‘state of mind’ and developing appropriate solutions with them.) Back to Duty

S9: Analysis and decision making: Able to review and analyse customer applications, seek additional information where necessary and make decisions on credit limits in line with regulatory and organisational requirements, referring upwards where necessary. Back to Duty

S10: Analysis and decision making: Able to review and analyse the customer’s situation and make decisions on appropriate enforcement and/or recovery action in line with regulatory and organisational requirements. Takes decisions that maximise the outcome for the organisation and are appropriate given the customer’s engagement. Back to Duty


B1: Integrity: Truthful, sincere and trustworthy in their actions. Shows integrity by doing the right thing. Maintains appropriate confidentiality at all times. Back to Duty

B2: Flexibility: Adapts positively to changing work priorities and procedures when new tasks need to be done or business requirements change. Back to Duty

B3: Resilience: Displays energy and enthusiasm in the way they go about their role, dealing positively with setbacks when they occur. Stays positive under pressure. Back to Duty

T Level in finance

Qualification type: T Level

Qualification level: 3

Awarding organisation: Pearson

Approval date: 16/09/2021

Available from: 01/09/2022

Occupational specialism: Retail and commercial banking analyst

Product page

Aligned occupational standards

ST0182 Mortgage adviser

ST0177 Financial services administrator

ST0185 Senior financial services customer adviser

Options: Team leadership

ST0175 Advanced credit controller and debt collection specialist

Options: Advance Collections , Credit Risk , Enforcement and Recovery

ST0185 Senior financial services customer adviser

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