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Advisers ask: Are qualifications worthless?

Some financial advisers have been left wondering about the value of their qualifications after a provider decided to pull out of the New Zealand Qualifications Authority accreditation process.

Friday, April 5th 2013, 6:00AM 8 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

The Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) has decided to discontinue delivery of the National Certificate in Financial Services Level 4 programme and the National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) Level 5 programme.

The qualifications are the minimum standard for authorised financial advisers.

A spokesperson said: “The New Zealand insurance market has proven to have little appetite for these NZQA qualifications, a fact that is reflected by less than 20 enrolments generated in these two programmes across the industry over the last two years.”

The programmes were suspended effective March 29.

“We will continue to monitor industry appetite for these programs, and if it transpires that in the future there is sufficient market interest we will reconsider our position," the spokesperson said.

But Gene Bekker, principal of the Insurance Brokers of New Zealand college said that left advisers who had done the qualification through the institute unsure of what their qualifications were worth. “They are not recognised by the NZQA as they are not NZ qualifications and don’t appear on the NZ qualifications framework.”

She said it seemed that advisers who had ANZIIF qualifications would need to provide proof their competence through an assessment of “current competence”.

But that could be an expensive process. “At the moment the credits are not transferable as to transfer or report the credits the provider needs to be registered with the NZQA. We are looking to The Skills Organisation to help us with a solution as they previously approved and gave ANZIIF permission to cross credit their certificate and diploma programmes to two (out of the fove) standard sets within the Level 5 programme."

About 500 members of IBANZ may be affected. Bekker said: “As you can imagine, for those who have just completed their Certificates or Diplomas with ANZIIF and spent between $3000 and $5000 on qualifications, this is not a happy time.”

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Comments from our readers

On 5 April 2013 at 9:41 am Murray Weatherston said:
This story seems very confused.

If an adviser completed National certificate Level 4 or Level 5 through the provider ANZIIF, then surely they still have this NZQA qualification. So why would they be worried.

There are at least 2 possible reasons why demand for these course through ANZIIF-

The first is their offering was competitively unattractive; or

The second is there is not much demand at all for these Nat Certs.

Why don't you survey all the accredited providers to see how many are currently enrolled?
On 5 April 2013 at 1:07 pm Karen said:
NCFS [Financial Advice] [Level 5] and [Level 4] are NZQA registered qualifications, so why would it be a worry to the advisers who have used ANZIIF as a provider? The provider is leaving. Not the qualification. If ANZIIF’s programs were not NZQA registered, that causes a different concern altogether: should they have called their programs by the same name as the NZQA registered programs?

It’s a shame ANZIIF has not found ground here as they are a great link keeping the Trans Tasman Agreement accessible in respect of the minimum standards for (authorised) advisers. I suspect it’s a competitive issue with the likes of the Open Polytechnic, (former) Adviser Link and Strategi taking more market share in the beginning stages of minimum competency adoption.
On 5 April 2013 at 1:47 pm Karen said:
Just rechecked ANZIIF's website and they confirm the programs are NZQA registered.

Link here:
On 5 April 2013 at 6:19 pm 6ftndr said:
So this isn't really a story then other than that a provider has ceased trading......
On 6 April 2013 at 10:10 am brent sheatherr said:
Some are worse than useless as they teach absolutely the wrong thing. When I did my stupid AFA papers I had to rewrite some of the papers for adviserlink..they had wrong answers for basic questions. Total waste of my time unfortunately.
On 8 April 2013 at 9:22 am Graeme said:
Like many who completed their original study under the New Zealand Insurance Institute in the 1980's and 1990's I am disappointed that the New Zealand Government chose to only recognise prior learning on the life and investment side. Prior learning on the Fire and General side does not count.

Why is it that the Diploma in Business Management (Insurance) a Fire and General qualification via Massey is not recognised while the equivalent life one is? Why is the old CLU qualification recognised but the CII qualification is not?

ANZIIF members are more interested in qualifications that provide real benefits to the consumer rather than hypothetical theory many of which offer little or no benefit. The reality is that there has been little or no change in most of the law and doctrines in Fire and General insurance in recent years. All ANZIIF members are required to undertake continuing education.

Many ANZIIF members are probably not doing the Level 4 and 5 as a protest at a system that was set up by the Government in hand with the life and investment training providers. I do not think there was any transparency. Training providers working to set up what training will be required ~ I ask you.
On 8 April 2013 at 2:03 pm Neil said:
Brent, you are so right.

My colleague and I (with over 70 years experience between us) found over 100 errors in the Fire and general Insurance course notes. Some information was over 7 years out of date!!!

The tutor, whilst a qualified tutor, did not know the subject (to tutor now you must hold a qualification in Adult Education but the need to know what you are talking about is not a pre-requisite) and thankfully allowed us to virtually run the course.

We still had to sit the exam AND answer the questions WRONG to pass!
On 8 April 2013 at 6:56 pm brent sheather said:
That's bad isn't it. In the multi choice you had to guess which wrong answer the fools who put it together that was right. Half the stuff was crap cut and pasted from Oz or text books..yes it seems that the prerequisite qualifications for administering this thing are sociology degrees gained over the net rather than anything relevant. This whole area needs a purge starting with some members of the code committee. If this sort of scandal broke in China some people would just disappear.....

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