Study options 'discriminatory'

Long-standing advisers say they are being discriminated against by education providers who have prematurely opted out of offering the old level five certificate.

Friday, March 3rd 2017, 6:00AM 5 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

One, who did not want to be identified, has been in the industry almost 30 years.

He said he decided in 2010 to upskill, and did an Adviserlink course.

He received 38 level five credits, sets A, B and C towards the National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) level five.

Under the Financial Advisers Act, he qualified as an AFA for set D with his Massey diploma, gained in the 1990s.

He would like to finish the certificate off in full by doing the unit standards for set D.

But he cannot find a training organisation that offers the course to give him the remaining credits. 

Instead, some have encouraged him to the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services' investment strand, and then a bridging programme.

The New Zealand certificate has replaced the National Certificate as the required standard for AFAs.

The adviser said he wanted the qualification to help with his professional development plan (PDP), under the new continuing professional development (CPD) requirements.

"I am being discriminated against."

David Greenslade, of training provider Strategi, agreed many providers had given up the National Certificate. The Professional IQ College no longer offers the required course.

Strategi stopped taking new enrollments last year. Anyone who does not complete the National Certificate by the end of next year has their credits wiped.

But while Strategi no longer offers classroom courses for the qualification, because of a lack of demand. But he said online options were still available for those who had already begun and needed to finish it off. 

“If [the adviser] has been in the industry for ages, has ABC and a Massey Diploma then [he] should be able to breeze through the online or distance learning SSD," he said.

“Most advisers are now doing the new level five but we have probably about 1000 students on our books that could obtain their old level five qualification by completing the missing old level five standard sets then doing our online or half-day Closing the Gaps workshop to meet their knowledge competency and skill obligations.”

He said it was important that advisers got a qualification, whether it was the old certificate or the new one. He said even those with a degree could benefit from the more practical certificate.

Code Committee chairman David Ireland said, as the regulation currently stood, the adviser was not compelled to undertake any certificate.

“His focus now shifts to his PDP, and identifying gaps in learning/areas for improvement against the learning objectives now required for new AFAs. It is quite likely that his Massey Diploma and subsequent CPD will cover off all the learning objectives relevant to his practice, so other than noting his rationale for not needing to include anything extra in his PDP, it could well be business as usual. Completing Set D or attaining the investment strand would give absolute certainty as to coverage, but there are other options for constructing a PDP to reflect the change in what is recognised.”

He said, if the adviser were concerned about the need for a level five certificate under the new legislation, he could submit on the consultation paper asking for certainty over the transition relief.


Tags: qualifications

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Comments from our readers

On 3 March 2017 at 7:22 am Murray Weatherston said:
I disclose that I know this adviser.
Two points from this story.
First as I understand Strategi Institutes's public marketing, because this adviser was not enrolled with SI prior to December 2016, he would not be able to enrol for on-line learning for his two missing unit standards.
Second the story says "Anyone who does not complete the National Certificate by the end of next year has their credits wiped" How can that be - the unit standards that make up Sets A B and C are awarded by NZQA and as far as I know sit on an awardee's NZQA record forever.
On 3 March 2017 at 7:53 am w k said:
interesting observation mw. i sense there're some $$$ up for grabs in education.
On 3 March 2017 at 9:44 am Murray Weatherston said:
Sure is w k. If only 5000 advisers need to spend only $1000 each, that's only $5 million of revenue for our education sector.....
On 3 March 2017 at 9:58 am w k said:
i think target is more like 10k advisers @$5k each = $50m. the $5m or more is the net profit after tax into the pocket for the educator/s.
On 3 March 2017 at 2:42 pm Tash said:
I'm sure this is infuriating and inconvenient but it's not discrimination. Fuzzy comments and thinking does not help improve the collective quality our advice or the legitimate expectations of clients and regulators.

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