Astute Financial is urging advisers to get their required qualifications done sooner rather than later, particularly as the length of time that it takes to complete them can be easily underestimated.
Astute recently launched a 12 month programme aiming to coach advisers through the new regime over the two year “safe harbour” period, and business development and operations manager Joe de Sousa said that many newer advisers are feeling nervous about the higher standards of the new regulation. He noted that getting the qualification can take many months to complete, and so any advisers unsure of where to start should reach out to a broker group as soon as possible.
“When we started the programme, we had five advisers on the course who were all fairly new to the industry,” de Sousa said.
“The whole reason we started the course is because of the changes that came in on March 15, when the qualification requirements were increased. The idea behind this is to encourage advisers to start now, and to make the training available to them.”
“To become fully qualified you need at least six months, so we wanted to create a 12-month programme where we could actually go through the whole qualification process with the advisers and help them along the way,” he explained.
“We don’t do it for them, but we do help them if they have any questions about any of the requirements, or anything in the modules.”
Advisers in transitional licensing are not required to hold a full Level 5 certificate in financial services yet, but must hold one by the time the full licensing regime begins. de Sousa noted that Astute’s training programme also touches on key pieces of regulation in detail, and is a great place to start for any adviser trying to wrap their head around all of the industry changes.
“It’s not just the Level 5, we’re also offering training on other things - we have 22 compliance modules which talk about the Code of Conduct, and about what an adviser needs in order to give advice, the privacy of customers, etc.,” de Sousa said.
“The whole purpose is that when they are actually qualified and they’re going out there to their customer base, they do a really good job and look after them really well. Ultimately as a Financial Advice Provider, we want to be keeping them safe and making sure that we do the right thing by them.”
“We encourage advisers who are worried about the qualification requirements to come and talk to us,” he added. “That’s what’s taking most of my focus at the moment, just listening to the things that are worrying our advisers the most, and then going from there.”