How Level 5 benefits the financial services industry, the client and you.

How Level 5 benefits the financial services industry, the client and you

With the introduction of a minimum qualification level for all advisers, the financial services industry is undergoing a period of unprecedented change. And it’s good news for everyone involved – for the clients, for the individual advisers, and for the industry at large. 

Here are some key benefits to look forward to, according to Professional IQ’s CEO, Rod Severn. 

For the industry: competency & talent development 

“Having a minimum level of competency and qualification in the industry is highly valuable. No one would use the services of an electrician or a plumber if they didn’t think these tradies had been trained properly, and they certainly wouldn’t go to a doctor or a dentist if they knew those had not successfully completed their studies,” Severn says.  

“All these professions are required to be highly competent and qualified, and now the financial services industry joins these industries. NZ Certificate Level 5 is about developing a benchmark credential for the sector, promoting the industry’s reputation, demonstrating its effectiveness and building customer’s trust. 

“With all this in mind, the Level 5 requirement might just be the start of something beautiful – turning the financial services industry into a profession. A real profession is recognised by society as a service that has public good attached to it, along with a unique and specialised body of knowledge. It is bound by a code of ethics, and now we have one called the Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services. And lastly, it has educational and experience requirements, so the public has the assurance that you know what you are doing.” 

For the consumer: an industry they can trust 

“An industry where all participants are qualified according to specific, Government-approved standards is an industry that consumers can trust,” Severn says. 

“Working with an adviser can be an important step towards financial wellbeing. When clients seek financial advice, they entrust the adviser with their most important assets and private information, and expect the adviser to competently assist them every step of the way. 

“Knowing advisers are appropriately qualified can give clients the peace of mind that they are being cared for by someone who has market strength, is experienced in their skills, and is also formally qualified to provide personalised advice relating to their goals and needs. 

For the adviser: self-promotion 

“The entire sector, and advisers in particular, can benefit from a qualification that does not require advisers to invest in a full-time degree or in an extended period of on-job practice like many other trades – although, of course, having practical experience can make completing the qualification a lot quicker and easier  due to being able to apply existing industry knowledge and experience to the tasks,” Severn says. 

“With effective goal-setting, the right attitude and good time management skills, the Level 5 certificate can be attained in a relatively short period of time and without having to sacrifice work commitments. 

“Many of our Professional IQ College students are able to complete their qualification in about 180-200 hours, which corresponds to a time frame of three to four months. Others choose to take advantage of our $550 rebate and get their Level 5 Certificate in exactly eight months. 

“At the end of the day, the duration of the training and assessment depends on how much time the adviser is able to squeeze in their busy schedule; our Level 5 online Training Programme is structured to help busy professionals gain or consolidate  the skills and knowledge relevant to them without having to put their business on hold. For those who prefer, classroom training or workshops can be arranged, to help gain or consolidate knowledge to complete assessments.

“Besides all this, obtaining the Level 5 certificate can give advisers a competitive edge in a changing market. The Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment estimates that around 900 advisers will exit the industry in the coming months, due to the changes brought about by the new financial services regime. This can create a big opportunity for new advisers coming into the industry, and for existing advisers who are looking to expand their businesses both in terms of client base and service offering. 

“Plus, the new benchmark qualification itself represents evidence of competence and good intent, putting advisers in a stronger position with the regulator.” 

Why now is a good time to get started 

With full licensing opening in mid-2020, and a myriad of new obligations and duties coming your way over the next two years, now is probably a good time to get your qualification underway. 

Professional IQ College offers Level 5 packages and programmes designed to provide a good mix of knowledge and practical application, to help participants excel in their role within the financial services sector. 

If you’d like to get your qualification started, please visit the Professional IQ’s website to learn more and contact the time on 09 3061731.  

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