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By Donia O'Loughlin | Published May 23, 2012

PFS rolls out seminars to boost IFA protection knowledge

The Protection Review has teamed up with the Personal Finance Society to roll out IFA protection training sessions aimed at improving knowledge and understanding of the protection industry at all levels.

The news comes on the back of predictions that many IFAs will seek to move into commission-paying protection distribution post-Retail Distribution Review - and subsequent concern over how much understanding advisers will have of this complex area.

In a recent FTAdviser article, protection advisers were divided over whether a level 4 qualification is needed to prevent mis-selling.

Peter Chadborn, director of Plan Money, said: “My concern is that, yes, there may be IFAs moving into this area that want to operate like a broker. Perhaps wittingly, perhaps unwittingly... maybe a way to write business but I think it will happen, although it won’t be widespread.

“Life offices should be offering education in this area. Protection Review does excellent training and it has been very well received.”

Phil Jeynes, head of account development at PruProtect, told FTAdviser that a protection specific qualification would be “a good idea”, but he pointed out that in the short term the responsibility will fall to providers.

He said: “The onus is on us as providers to make sure that intermediaries who are active already or new to our market have the skills to sell our products. This is why PruProtect has over 100 face-to-face broker consultants across the UK.”

The PFS sessions will cover all aspects of the industry on an interactive/debate basis including an overview of the market, products, sales, underwriting, claims, technical product details and technology, as well as looking at the need for protection, how to introduce the subject and how to overcome objections.

The following IFA training dates have been agreed across the UK: 25 July, Bristol; 11 September, London; 18 September, Bournemouth; 2 October, Exeter and 9 October, London.

Kevin Carr, chief executive of Protection Review and managing director of Kevin Carr Consulting, said: “For a variety of reasons we are seeing a growing focus on protection from advisers, however, while there is lots of good training, there is very little independent training, which is where we come in.

“The aim is to improve overall protection knowledge at all levels, including products, underwriting, sales and much more, without specifically promoting any individual companies or products. The training is delivered by current and previous advisers, such as Peter Chadborn, Roy McLoughlin and myself.”

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