For those of you that attended the recent Financial Services Council Get in Shape Advice Summits, I recall Sharon Corbett from MBIE commenting on the fact that the first meeting she had to start the review of the Financial Adviser Act was in late 2014.
I remember being at that meeting with Angus Dale-Jones, both of us representing the Professional Advisers Association at the time. Of course, Angus moved on to be the Chair of the Code Committee and eventually created a lot of the code we have today in the new Act.
I cannot believe how much time has gone by and how much has changed since then. This Act is about to kick in on March 15.
You should all be ready to give advice under your or someone else’s transitional licence now. Failure to do so will mean you cannot provide advice in New Zealand.
Another significant impact to business on this date is that anyone new to the financial services sector and is not on the FSPR by March 15 means they cannot give advice until they are qualified.
Whilst the NZQA recommended time to complete Level 5 is 10.5 months, we are finding the average completion time is around six months. But this is for experienced (albeit working full time) advisers.
For new to the industry, the recommended time frame is much more realistic. This will be an impost to many groups who suddenly find their pool of potential new employees and advisers dramatically reduced. The College is working hard to find a solution to this issue and will hopefully be able to announce something shortly.
Pastoral care is proving to be an extremely useful tool currently offered by the College. Every time someone enrols with us, they are assigned two permanent people from the College to assist the student right through their course studies.
Firstly, a Student Liaison Team member is assigned. Their role is to be available five days a week to answer any queries or questions to do with study, course material, keeping to the timetable, or other matters.
Secondly, we also assign an assessor from the beginning of the course. The assessor is there to assist with assessment queries or issues, how to respond to questions effectively, and give feedback to the student after each assessment submission. The SLT member also contacts the student monthly to ensure that everything is okay.
This permanent assignment really aids in establishing a relationship whereby the SLT member, assessor and student get to know each other over the course of their studies. The feedback has been positive in helping keep the student on track, reducing stress and improving motivation.
We have seen a big uptake in enrolments as advisers look to undertake their qualifications. If you have not started yet, or are unhappy with where you are currently studying, give us a call. We are here to help.
So, as we come out of our third lockdown in Auckland, remember to distance (socially that is!) yourself, especially from your fridge. Be kind, keep washing your hands, (my body has absorbed so much hand sanitiser I clean the bowl when I pee!) and stay well.
Rod Severn is the chief executive of Professional IQ College.