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Quilter gives green light to fast-track academy course

Quilter gives green light to fast-track academy course

Quilter's adviser school is to make its fast-track programme a permanent feature in light of initial student successes.

The advice giant launched the programme in August last year in response to what the business warned was a “growing advice gap”. It allows students to achieve a Diploma for Financial Advisers in three months. 

Fast-track trainees complete the course in half the time allowed on Quilter's standard part-time programme, which takes 47 weeks. 

Now the school has been "given the green light" to continue the fast-track programme after the first cohort of students graduated last week with a pass rate of 100 per cent.

Julian Hince, head of training at the Quilter Financial Adviser School, said the course would "absolutely" stay as a permanent feature now the fast-track concept had been proven. 

Mr Hince took up his newly-created role at Quilter in November after spending eight years at M&G Investments as technical development director. 

He said: "The plan now is to continue what we’ve been doing and we are most proud of our pass rates, so we will be looking to maintain these.

"It's about getting the right students in, through exams and then enable them to continue in the broader Quilter group. My gut feel is we will see more demand for the Level 6 qualification." 

Mr Hince said the school expects to take in the next cohort of students in April. 

Under the fast-track programme Quilter covers the costs of a student's tuition fees, overnight accommodation and travel expenses if a graduate remains with Quilter Financial Planning as a restricted financial planner for two years. 

Last year the advice giant issued a rally cry for recruitment in the advice industry, warning it was preparing for 10 per cent of the current adviser population to leave the industry annually over the next three to four years. 

With about 26,000 advisers on the FCA register, Quilter said this would amount to more than a quarter leaving the profession at a time when demand for advice was only set to increase.

But Mr Hince said the school's graduates gave him "enormous hope" for the future of advice. 

He said: "An advice gap has been evident for some time and I think Quilter is putting its money where its mouth is.

"We are aiming to help people enter what is now quite a difficult industry to access, because the traditional avenues into the market through insurers and banks don't necessarily exist anymore."

Fast-track graduate Emma Prince said she would not have passed the course on the first attempt without the support of Quilter. 

Ms Prince said: "I wanted to become an adviser as soon as possible and the course gave me the opportunity to learn intensely. 

"My motivation for joining the course was as part of a career change and I am good with numbers and love working with and helping people. Quilter's support has been incredible throughout."