Home' MFAA Prosper : Mortgage and Finance Brief 19 Contents 24 Mortgage & Finance brief
Over the past 20 years, I
have seen a shift in public
perceptions of mortgage
and finance brokers because
they have been willing to
the industry to be included in existing
[degree] qualifications. That way,
if graduates want to move into this
industry, at least they have had some
exposure to how it operates."
A long-standing advocate of education
in the wider industry is Ray Hair,
CEO of ALI Group. The company is
a specialist provider of risk insurance
sold through the mortgage and finance
broking channel and already benefits
from highly educated brokers.
Hair and Edge are in line with
Eldridge's thinking behind bachelor level
education and agree that it's not the way
forward for the mortgage and finance
"I don't think a bachelor degree is
necessary -- even though a bachelor
requirement would put mortgage and
finance broking on a similar path to other
professions. Broker self-interest should
drive demand for education," Hair says.
Edge is adamant that a diploma is the
right level for credit advisers. "The MFAA
is also building a pathway to a certified
credit adviser designation, which will be
offered in 2013. This requires further
development, but it will not be at a
degree level and will not be compulsory."
Citibank's Coburn throws up an
interesting point when she says that
mortgage and finance broking could
look to other professions to provide an
"A good example is the accounting
profession, where there is str uctured
learning and internships," she says. "At
Citibank we do a lot of internal training
on aspects such as credit, looking at
credit quality and what banks want so
brokers can give better advice. That's the
sort of training people need."
And then there are MFAA preferred
vendors such as Kaplan who lead from
a unique position. Rather than ser vice
incoming requests, Kaplan asks how it
can help achieve career goals.
Knight says that Kaplan provides a
one-stop training solution for a Cert IV
to masters level across financial services
disciplines. "We are more than an
RTO; we are also a higher education
provider," he says.
A certain amount of
push back by industry
veterans about the need for
compulsory education is
predictable. But, says
Cobur n, experienced mortgage and
finance brokers can still benefit from
regular training. Even those in the
business for 25 years recognise that there
are new trends, new regulations and new
media to navigate.
"Training should be done in modules
covering lending criteria, sales,
customer ser vice, how to get started,
how to build partnerships, work/life
balance and managing a small team,"
Coburn states. "And the idea is to let
people pick and choose."
When the MFAA rolled out its
diploma standard it was to a divided
membership -- some mortgage and
finance brokers were adamant that they
were already skilled enough to operate
as they had been but, as Hair reiterates,
it's simply an excuse.
"The old chestnut is that, if you've been
doing business for 10 years, why do you
need a qualification? There's certainly no
substitute for experience and any training
should build on that," he says.
"Even experienced mortgage and
finance brokers can and should benefit
from training. It's about being open
to lear ning that goes beyond technical
mortgage and finance broking skills.
There's a need in the industry to build
small business management skills and
that's what the diploma contributes to."
Kaplan's Knight agrees, and says they
direct candidates to the training they need
to become experts in their profession.
"Our corporate clients tell us they
are looking for candidates who possess
more than the minimum standard,"
he says. "Getting the right guidance
and choosing an appropriate education
provider is cr ucial to meeting the
challenges and expectations of one's
It's worth noting that there are options
for veteran mortgage and finance brokers
to have prior lear ning and experience
recognised by a registered training
organisation (RTO). Brokers who want
to know how experience translates to
a for mal qualification should speak to
an MFAA preferred vendor (all details
available via w ww.mfaa.com.au).
There is also a 'Fast Track' program,
designed for mortgage and finance
brokers with more than five years'
experience. It's an online case study that
is externally assessed and is a mechanism
to achieve credit adviser status.
MECHANISMS AND CONTENT
And when it comes to the
right training mechanism
for mortgage and finance
brokers? Hair says it's all
about "horses for courses".
"MFAA Pathways is all about easy and
convenient access to education," he says.
It's also about making training more
accessible so mortgage and finance
brokers in more remote locations have the
same opportunities for learning.
"We all learn in different ways,
so the right training mechanism
will depend on the individual. Certainly,
online education can make training more
effective and accessible," Hair states.
Citibank's Coburn is a fan of role-
playing and says that an extremely
important part of broker training is based
on real-life scenarios. While theory is
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