Advisers fear return to classroom

Enrolments for the Level Five financial services qualification are up “overwhelmingly” on last year, one education provider says – but some experienced advisers could face hurdles as they return to study.

Thursday, March 28th 2019, 5:00AM 5 Comments

David Greenslade

It is widely expected that the new code of conduct for financial advisers will require at least a level five qualification.

There may be some allowance for recognition of prior learning – but there have been warnings that could be a more onerous exercise than simply sitting the national certificate.

Rod Severn, formerly chief executive of PAA and now chief executive of the Professional IQ College said enrolments were well up on last year – although most advisers were still getting ready and the majority of the college’s contracts would begin in May or June.

A spokeswoman for the Open Polytechnic said, for the first quarter of 2019, the organisation had a 20% increase in students enrolling in its Level Five qualification compared to the first quarter of 2018.

But David Greenslade, executive director of Strategi, said he was not seeing the surge in enrolments that would be expected at this stage of the regulatory process.

“Registrations are definitely higher than 12 months ago but not exponentially. It would appear many advisers are holding off due to having received mixed messages from some organisations telling them to hold off on their training until version two of the NZCFS5 is out in the marketplace; and wanting to see the detail in the new code. Many in this camp believe there may be a u-turn in adviser qualifications so why start the Level Five if there is a chance it may not be required.”

Severn said the biggest hurdle for experienced advisers who had to return to study would be that they had not done any formal learning for years and were apprehensive about the assessments.

“I know quite a few who have said they are nervous at having to do the papers.”

They wanted guidance as to what to expect and the process that would be required.

He said that had prompted the college to develop workshops to help advisers get ready. The one-day workshops are designed to show advisers how the process will work.

Participants would still need to complete their formal assessments after the workshop, but participating in the workshops was intended to arm them with the skills and knowledge to transfer their technical knowledge and competence into the academic outcomes required of the formal qualification.

Severn said, by the end of the workshop, they should be able to approach assessments with understanding and confidence, which would lead to the ability to complete them more quickly.

Workshops will be available for Core, Fire and General, Residential Property Lending and Life and Health.

Registration includes the Level Five course material and fees, assessment fees, lunch and refreshments, an instructor and the assignment of a liaison manager to assist the adviser through the Level Five process.

He said there had already been enrolments for the workshops.

Tags: Professional Advisers Associations qualifications

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Comments from our readers

On 28 March 2019 at 7:20 pm RWAW said:
No thought by the vested interests that some Advisers resent the fact that they are going to be told how to suck eggs by a school teacher that couldn't sell a life raft to a drowning man?
I personally resent the fact that the powers that be seem to think that education will rid our business of the unethical practices that they are supposedly trying to stop. If the regulators and so called policemen of the industry, not to mention the Insurance Companies, had simply done their job over the past years then this nonsense would not be happening. It seems that, as usual the 5% of dirt-bags that cause the problems are effecting the 95% that simply want to do a good job for their clients and make a decent living. Just my thoughts.
Rohan Welsh
On 29 March 2019 at 10:15 am Ron Flood said:
Rohan, I totally agree. I have spent many years gaining qualifications including a GradDipBusStuds(personal Risk Management) and Chartered Life Underwriter, not to mention to 30hrs a year of CPD, and yet, it would appear I will still have to 'go back to school' under the new regime.

Great lobbying by the education providers to guarantee a steady stream of future income.
On 29 March 2019 at 11:13 am First Time Caller said:
GradDipBusStud(personal Risk Management) should 100% make you exempt (in my belief Ron). But one cant deny that a minimum level of "relevant" education should be required. I dont believe Level 5 is relevant at all, some of the content is irrelevant, although i did it some years ago so maybe its better targeted now. Doesn't mean their wont be scumbags, even the NRL has a minimum level of behavioral standard requirements!

In saying that their has got to be a minimum level of education if we are to call ourselves professionals
On 29 March 2019 at 11:25 am Davet said:
This reminds me of the same debate in the lead up to 2010. Those of us who did the Level 5 study then actually ended up quite enjoying it. Yes I have lots of letters after my name to and many years experience but the Level 5 is not difficult and it was actually a good refresher. So just get on with it, it's not hard and you might be surprised that you will learn something new notwithstanding all your grandiose qualifications and experience.
On 29 March 2019 at 8:11 pm Ron Flood said:
Davet. I am pleased that you enjoyed completing the Level 5 certificate. Perhaps now you can continue on and complete the more complex, and relevant qualifications I mentioned. But wait, you won't need to, as the lower, level 5 certificate is deemed to be a high enough standard.

Rather than being grandiose, the CLU is widely considered to be the most respected insurance designation around the world for those wanting to specialise in insurance for businesses or estate and financial planning.

Yes, if required I am prepared to be 'dumbed down' and do what is required.

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