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High-profile courses cancelled

Even the promise of a big lift in profitability hasn’t been enough to entice advisers to start the year with a CPD course.

Wednesday, January 23rd 2013, 8:30AM 9 Comments

by Niko Kloeten

A number of courses have been cancelled due to low take-up by advisers.

Cost and timing are suggested as possible reasons for their failure.

Education provider the Strategi Institute has canned one of its three "Summer School" programmes, the two-day course “How to increase business profitability by 20%” scheduled for the end of this month.

The course, which cost $998, offered a money-back guarantee to advisers if it didn’t show them how to achieve a minimum increase in profitability of $10,000 a year.

Meanwhile, a roadshow to be presented by Australian financial advisory consultant Jim Stackpool in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch during February has also been cancelled due to lack of interest.

Stackpool roadshow organiser Tony Vidler couldn’t be reached for comment but Strategi Institute managing director David Greenslade offered a number of reasons why the business profitability course failed to attract sufficient numbers.

“One, the date- it was running the first week many advisers were returning to work,” he said.

“Two, the cost- those advisers who most need to attend the course probably do not want to spend money on a course that has a money-back guarantee if their investment of less than $1000 cannot be proven to turn into $10,000.  I suspect these advisers would prefer to attend a course that is free of charge that might be provided by a product supplier.

“Three, many advisers are reluctant to admit that their business is not performing at as good a level as what it could potentially perform and they may feel nervous to attend a course such as the one provided.”

Greenslade said failure to invest into high-quality training was an industry-wide issue.

“Some advisers are very good technically but are not experienced business owners and do not appreciate the benefits of investing into training and up-skilling if they want to get better results.”

PAA professional development manager Jenny Campbell said cost was an important consideration for advisers, who were “quite picky” about which CPD courses they attend.

“It’s about relevance and them feeling they are getting value for money out of it.  It’s always a challenge for CPD providers because financial advisers are such a diverse bunch it’s hard to get CPD that’s relevant to all of them.

“We’ve had a huge take-up; it’s been fantastic and we’ve had to turn people away but people haven’t had to pay much for it or it’s been included.  However, people will have to pay for CPD.”

Niko Kloeten can be contacted at

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Comments from our readers

On 23 January 2013 at 10:05 am Colin D said:
Its not surprising that there wasn't enough interest in the Strategi Institute course. Obviously many advisers are a bit financially tight this time of year. But more importantly, why would an adviser want to pay $1000 for a course and training that they could get elsewhere for free?

I joined a dealer group called Newpark last year for this very reason. They had some excellent and ongoing training courses that were absolutely free to members. What makes me chuckle though is it didn't even cost me to join or be part of them, which I think is great.

I think courses like this Strategi Institute one are a great idea if advisers want to get ahead, but they need to be more affordable for the average adviser.

My advise to people looking at these sorts of training courses is to do what I did and check out what the Dealer groups offer and join the one who ticks the most boxes and provides the best support in this area.
On 23 January 2013 at 11:53 am Amused said:
CPD points are NOT a requirement of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 for an RFA to be able to operate in the industry. ONLY AFAs must to do CPD as mandated by the Act (as spelled out via section 37 and Code Standard 17 & 18)

If it's not a legal requirement to be compliant within the Act then RFAs have better things to do with their time and money than worry about which CPD courses to attend thank you!

Training organisations and other parties (all with a financial agenda at stake I might add) need to stop the scaremongering and misinformation that has persisted since regulation first came in to force.
On 23 January 2013 at 1:33 pm brent sheather said:
The issue here is how on earth improving a financial planners profitability could count as CPD. Totally ridiculous.CPD desperately needs sorting so this nonsense doesn't continue any longer.
On 23 January 2013 at 3:32 pm R1 said:
Surely this is "taking the micky". How is learning to make more money from your clients CPD (Continuing PROFESSIONAL Development)? Surely this is business development and should not qualify as CPD. This industry has to (be seen to) take its obligations to its clients seriously and focus on building professional knowledge under CPD.
On 23 January 2013 at 3:57 pm Independent Observer said:
I actually agree with Brent on this one…

I have attended some extraordinarily robust sessions that have included CPDs, and left feeling satisfied that my learning & knowledge has been enhanced (or perhaps tested). These were all in the area of investment insights, market knowledge etc, and were delivered without sprucing, vested interest or product promotion.

To have these events on an equal pegging (at least from the issuance of CPDs) to business development days makes a mockery of the issuance of CPDs.

As it seems that the industry (once again) has managed to find an exploitable opportunity, I guess it will be up to the Regulator to preside over this aspect as well (sigh)
On 23 January 2013 at 4:39 pm John Milner said:
Colin D I suspect your free training is probably worth just that. In reality though you waive any over-rider that is available which goes to Newpark. Therefore, no it's not for free. I don't have an issue with that as I too belong to Newpark.

I'm attending the Strategi SoA course today. Poor turnout considering it was catering for the whole country and the level of very poor SoA's out there. Your clients deserve better guys.
On 23 January 2013 at 7:30 pm traveller said:
"it's about relevance and them feeling they are getting value for money out of it" says Jenny Campbell. Isn't this exactly what the clients want and are those issues being addressed in these CPDs. Perhaps the content is the problem. I've attended many of these over the years and in my experience, a focus on the client/customer comes after the focus on making more money.
On 24 January 2013 at 1:47 pm Amused said:
Guys - I think you’re missing the REAL reason for the lack of attendance at these CPD courses. As I said in my earlier comment (see above) only AFAs MUST accumulate CPD points to be compliant within the Act. With the vast majority of advisers in the industry been RFA then only those RFAs who see "real" value in attending these courses will ever do so of their own free will voluntarily. AFAs have to accumulate/evidence CPD points by law but that’s always been the case from day one and I guess then AFAs (and rightfully so) will be very picky as to those courses that can actually offer them “value for money”

So let’s not beat around the bush on this subject then. No one is monitoring the CPD points that individual RFAs may happen to be accumulating voluntarily (certainly not the FMA themselves that's for damn sure!) for the very simple fact that RFAs do NOT have to accumulate/evidence them in the first place. Whether certain RFAs are religiously accumulating CPD points because they “think” they have to or they like paying money/taking time away from their business for no good reason is another story.

I belong to a broker group whom I am very happy with in terms of IT and support etc. but even they are spewing the same garbage now, telling members (who are almost all RFAs) to attend PD days to get CPD points in order to be compliant within the Act. Its absolute baloney and everyone (well the smart ones in the room anyway) know it!

CPD has become (at least as RFAs are concerned)a cash cow/scare tactic for certain associations/training organisations etc. who want to try and demonstrate their continued relevance to advisers and their businesses. It’s time the façade around CPD was ended once and for all. We have all got better things to do with our time than jump through unnecessary hoops just to suit other people’s agendas!
On 25 January 2013 at 4:20 pm Alistair Holt AFA said:
For what its worth I for one have just attended the Strategi SoA course in the past two days. Without exception I have found it to be one of the most informative sessions I have attended since compliance has come into effect. So well done to Strategi and I suggest those of you that think you are fully compliant to think again. This course was very enlightening,David Greenslade and his team have done a great job at putting it together. I personally have gone to aa lot of trouble to ensure our processes compliant and still found arears that require improvement. So my suggestion is just embrace the change people its not hard. If you think about it whats wrong with raising the bar especially if you want to be seen as a professional? The choice is yours!

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