A new protection qualification has been launched by the London Institute of Banking & Finance (LIBF) to fill a “gap” in the advice sector.
With no current requirement for protection advisers to be qualified, the certificate seeks to fill a gap in the advice landscape and should provide confidence to advisers and consumers, according to the financial education provider.
The Level 3 Certificate in Protection (CertPro) will cover areas including the different financial protection needs in the event of death, illness or disability.
It will also introduce students to the range of protection products available and their suitability, the application and underwriting process, and various property-related protections.
The self-study, distance learning qualification will take 130 hours on average to complete and is accredited into CeMAP.
Mark Heaton, managing director, professional education at LIBF, said: “As the leading provider of mortgage advice qualifications, we regularly get feedback from the sector about the challenges and issues advisers face. Protection has always been a hot topic, but even more so in the current climate.
“There’s a real need to build consumer resilience but they often don’t understand the value of protection products and need confidence that advisers have the knowledge and skills to ensure they have appropriate protection in place.
“This certificate will help advisers meet the demands of a growing market. As an entry-level certificate, it can be the foundation of a professional career as a financial adviser and further develop the skills of mortgage advisers.”
Jiten Varsani, mortgage and protection adviser at London Money, commented: “When considering the importance of protection within financial planning, the introduction of a protection-specific qualification is a great step forward.
“I hope the increased professionalism will allow this side of planning to be recognised in importance, amongst both clients and fellow industry advisers, and not an add-on to say, mortgages.”
Mr Varsani added: “It will be interesting to see if advisers will voluntarily sit the exam or if it will have to be made compulsory by the firm or even the FCA."
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