Training & Development
There is a general licensing condition in the legislation that requires all representatives and responsible officers to be trained adequately for the jobs they undertake. This applies to advisers dealing with wholesale and retail clients as well as managers, administration and customer service staff.ASIC has set specific minimum training standards for licensees and responsible managers and retail advisers in Regulatory Guide 146.
ASIC requires representatives to meet training standards in two areas:
ASIC recommends that licensees use their standards as a guide in planning training for representatives providing financial services other than retail product advice.
NIBA College plays an important role in education for the broking and intermediary sector, providing specialised broking qualifications for everyone from new entrants right through to Responsible Officers and Licensees.
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Licensees need to nominate managers to be responsible for all staff qualifications and ongoing training. This involves:
ASIC require all licensees to keep records of the training participation of their representatives. Licensees need to ensure that there is verifiable evidence of participation to back up these records. Evidence is to be kept for two years and includes: certificates of attendance, receipts, enrolment records, attendance lists and detailed diary notes.
NIBA College provides licensees with access to an online record keeping system that allows training officers to manage individual and company training records. This system keeps training records up to date and in one place.
The system automatically updates the practitioners training record for seminars attended and qualifications done through NIBA College.
Training managers can use the NIBA College system to:
Call NIBA College for advice on compliance training on (02) 9459 4310.
Checks must be made to ensure that representative and responsible officer educational qualifications meet regulatory requirements. The table below summarises the current ASIC qualifications standards.
Representatives who are required to meet set standards must complete an ASIC accredited course or workplace assessment program i.e. one listed on the Training Register on the ASIC website at www.asic.gov.au.
NIBA College programs have been approved by ASIC as satisfying the qualification requirements for Tier 1 and Tier 2 advisers, licensees and responsible mangers.
Retail representatives can be authorised as either Tier 1 (higher level) or Tier 2 (lower level) advisors. The tiers are differentiated according to the products the representative advises in and the context in which advice is given. ASIC has specified the skills and knowledge that must be covered in training courses and assessments for Tier 2 and Tier 1 advisers.
Tier 2 level qualifications are suitable for those providing advice in products that are:
Tier 2 advisers can be restricted to giving general advice only. In this case they only need to undertake product knowledge training and not personal advice skills training.
Life insurance and superannuation and investment products require Tier 1 adviser competency. However, where a Tier 2 product such as general insurance is not standard the adviser may need to be trained to Tier 1 level. In addition, although an adviser may use a Tier 2 product, where they provide specialist advisory services like insurance broking or financial planning Tier 1 level competency is required.
Responsible manager qualifications are higher than those for retail advisers. Managers must complete the relevant industry qualification for their sector at a minimum full Diploma in Financial Services level. In some cases, such as in broking or financial planning, the competencies set by the industry at the management level are at the Advanced Diploma level.
Support personnel who do not provide advice or deal in financial services do not need to complete qualifications to achieve Tier 2 or Tier 1 competency. They must undertake appropriate induction training relevant to their job role. NIB College has a number of short courses and full qualifications for support staff.
Support roles include Customer service representatives handling initial client enquiries and factual information on your products and services; assistant brokers delivering advice under the direct supervision of an accredited Tier 1 or Tier 2 adviser; and those providing administrative services to clients.
Retail advisors and responsible officers must complete an annual Continuing Professional Development training plan sufficient to maintain their competencies. This may include training to update knowledge in areas where there is continual change, e.g. legislation, regulatory policies/guidelines, economic and financial developments, new products and new market practices. I f the representative is taking on a new job role their CPD can cover study towards qualifications that develop competencies in these new areas. For example a Tier 2 adviser may upgrade to Tier 1.
There is no minimum number of hours per annum that an advisor should spend on CPD. The time required will vary according to the activities they perform. Licensees are able to nominate an appropriate figure for Tier 2 or Tier 1 advisers but ASIC have indicated that the NIBA College CPD requirements are suitable guidelines for broker representatives.
NIBA has set a minimum of 25 hours of CPD to be undertaken annually by individual College members. At least 16 hours of the total must be structured training. NIBA College CPD includes details of the range of training topics and formats that count towards the annual CPD requirement.
There are many training resources licensees and representatives can use to fulfil the annual CPD requirement. NIBA College continuing professional development programs are available to members and non-members. However, NIBA members receive special discounts on all training program fees.
Training plans can be organised for a whole group of representatives. However, licensees still need to monitor individual learning outcomes to identify if individuals within the group require a variation to the group training plan. Training activities can be recorded manually or on an electronic system such as NEO.