We have been approached by a number of members recently to clarify what will be acceptable to meet the forthcoming code of conduct for financial advisers.
The difficulty is that the new code is yet to be published, although we understand it will be finalised sometime in the first quarter of this year. There was an initial draft published last year for consultation and this does give some indication as to what the code will contain.
Of particular interest are the competency requirements. The draft made it clear that the benchmark would be the NZ Certificate in Financial Services (NZCFS), level 5. Achieving level five will be the simplest and easiest way to attain competency, however it also indicated there may be other ways of proving compliance.
Unfortunately, it was not clear how these alternatives would work, particularly in the absence of a final version of the code. Some other organisations are suggesting alternate options be taken, but they are at best guesses as to what might be acceptable.
For example, recognition of prior learning (RPL) has been promoted as a solution, but there is no certainty this will be acceptable. We know RPL alone will not achieve equivalence to the NZCFS, as additional
study will be necessary e.g. in regard to legislation and the regulatory environment.
Undertaking the RPL process gives no guarantee it will prove competence. Much depends on what learning has been undertaken and how recent it was. For RPL to succeed you need to provide detailed evidence of learning that bridges the gap between what you learnt in the past and what is in NZCFS, and then prove ongoing training in order to remain current. All this needs to cover the same subject matter as the qualification.
For insurance brokers under the new code, Professional IQ College as an NZQA accredited training organisation, (unlike some other organisations in this field) is the best option to avoid an expensive and uncertain outcome.
The college is preparing workshop solutions to simplify the qualification process and less expensive than the alternatives.
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