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Equity Release Council partners with Later Life Academy

Equity Release Council partners with Later Life Academy

Adviser members of the Equity Release Council will have access to accredited training as part of a partnership with the Later Life Academy from April.

The partnership will offer a programme of accredited training for Equity Release Council adviser members and is designed to support advisers and provide a low cost option to continuing professional development needs.

According to the Equity Release Council, with continued growth of equity release as a key mainstream option with retirement planning, the need for advisers to have a solid understanding of factors influencing financial services has grown.

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Through the new initiative advisers will have access to a number of training modules including on pension freedoms, estate planning, benefits and taxation.

If members choose to work through the development programme to become fully graduated members of the Later Life Academy, they can complete modules in pensions and guidance, and additionally in long term care.

Additionally, a module on equity release and housing wealth is designed to support the best practice advice standards set out in the Equity Release Council’s rules and guidance.

Three events will be run to offer a day’s training on best practice, consumer outcomes and how to develop a more robust client proposition and in across April and May.

The Later Life Academy training programme is accredited by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and is open to all Level 3 equity release-qualified advisers and above and the initiative is designed to support adviser firms of all sizes.

A series of events will be hosted in Spring 2016 to promote the partnership.

Donna Bathgate, chief operating officer at the Equity Release Council said: “Partnering with the Later Life Academy will strengthen the support for existing and new advisers in a rapidly growing market.

“High standards of advice have been fundamental to giving consumers confidence to use equity release as a source of retirement income. This new initiative offers a clear channel to support best practice and increase the scope of advice to help meet extra demand.

Stuart Wilson, managing partner at the Later Life Academy said: “There are a great many advisers authorised in this sector who want to see an established support programme to enable them to deliver more solutions to more consumers.

“It is clear the later life market is not only growing but evolving, and this strategic initiative will assist advisers in developing and moving their business forwards, enabling them to deliver a stronger consumer proposition.”

Dan Farrow, director at Chelmsford-based SBN Wealth Management said: “There is already adequate provision for equity release education through the CII examination group and various providers. This is a niche market, but any education provision is welcomed.”

ruth.gillbe@ft.com