I am having a number of calls from people who want to complete the National Certificate: Wealth Management quickly as they are soon going to be debarred by the FSB and they become panicky when I am not able to help the immediately.

Today I had a call from a adviser who needs the qualification completed before the end of this MONTH?

The question is often asked”How long will it take to complete the qualification?” This is not an easy question to answer and this is a fairly complex issue and this is why we insist on completing a pre assessment and evaluation before providing advice to learners on this subject.

This qualification is a 120+ credit program at NQF level 5 and the notional hours of study to complete it for a brand new entrant to the industry who has little or no existing knowledge would be 1200 hours, which is made up of self study, class room workshops, research, assignments, assessment and other training interventions.

1200 hours equates to 150 days of study to complete the qualification. This is almost 6 months of full time tuition and this would need to be spread over atlas 12 months when done on a part time basis.

A beginner with little or no prior knowledge and experience will need at least 12 to 18 months to complete this qualification through facilitated workshops, self study or a mixture of both.

If the adviser has been working under supervision for a number of years and has a fairly broad range of experience in financial services – protection planning, retirement planning, investment planning and estate planning they will have gained relevant prior knowledge through in-house courses and workshops, product training, reading, presentations attended and from actually providing advice to clients on general  financial services.

The notional hours do not change but the make up of what needs to be done will change and these learners do not need to attend classes or do self study to learn knowledge and skills they have already developed through experience or attending relevant non credit bearing training.

This will greatly reduce the time required for them to complete the qualification as must of the notional hours of reading, study, learning, assignments and projects have already been done or replaced by possibly even more valuable time in actually applying this knowledge in the workplace over the years.

If the adviser has attended a lot of in house training and worked in financial planning gaining valuable work experience this “training” time can be even more reduced.

Some advisers have been in the industry for a long time doing a wide range of financial planning and they may have almost all the required knowledge, skills and attitudes required in the outcomes for their qualification and these people would only need to be assessed to ascertain if they do have the required levels of knowledge to be found competent for this qualification. They would only need to complete self study, reading and assignments in gaps in knowledge and skills discovered during the assessment process.

At RSC we conduct a pre assessment to ascertain current levels of knowledge on financial planning and an pre evaluation of their range of experience by examining existing credits, courses attended, certificates, qualifications and positions held from the learners CV. Based on this pre evaluation we are able to advice the learner on the type of program that should be used and the time frame to compete the qualificaiton.

This means that:

A brand new entrant to the industry who has no prior knowledge or experience will need to attend class room based training or a structured self study program made up of 3 skills programs of 40+ credits each, which will take at least 12 months and possibly 18 months to complete.

A learner with 2 to 3 years experience who has been working under supervision, in a narrow range of financial services advice roles(only life insurance or short term insurance or health), with a fair level of knowledge, could complete the program in 12 months

A learner with 2 to 3 years experience who has been working under supervision, in a broad range of financial services advice roles( Protection, Retirement, Savings and Investments), with a good level of knowledge, could complete the program in  6 to 12 months.

A learner with 5 years + who has been working under supervision, in a broad range of financial services advice roles( Protection, Retirement, Savings, Investments, Health and Group Benefits and Business Insurance), possibly in a management role, with an excellent level and very broad range of existing knowledge, could complete the program in 3 to 6 months.

The learners motivation, natural ability, intelligence  and application during the program will also impact on the time frame required to complete this program and a highly motivated and intelligent new entrant to the industry may complete the program in 9 to 12 months rather than 18 months but they will never be able to complete it in 3 months as they would need to complete the required reading, self study, class room assignments, research etc to complete the requirements for this qualification which requires them to meet the notional hours requirement.