New brokers say they are choosing to join the FBAA rather than meeting the MFAA’s ‘unreasonable’ education requirements.
Debra Caruana, who joined the broking industry a little over a year ago, says she initially joined the MFAA, but switched after she was told she would have to study for her Diploma in Financial Services.
“I paid for the membership and after all of that I had to start with another and redo all of the justifications and police checks. I would have spent probably about $1500-2000, as well as all of the time and effort in doing the documentation.”
While Caruana does intend to study her diploma, as well as a business management degree, she says it should be her choice to study when she feels ready.
“I’m not interested in shirking the principles of education, I just think it should be applied in context and not forced on you,” she says.
“The diploma covers a lot of bases and has a lot to do with commercial lending, SMSF investments and the like and to just kind of brush over that without having the basics down first or having any context or experience to hold that up against is unreasonable.”
Aaron Russell-Smith, who came to broking from a construction background seven months ago, says the reason he joined the FBAA is because he doesn’t feel ready to tackle the diploma yet.
“I feel as though for someone who is from a non-finance background, who is trying to learn about the industry, to throw them straight into a diploma doesn’t make any sense.”
“For aggregators that have the industry requirements of the MFAA, it’s a lot to expect you to get your Cert IV and then start doing your diploma after a few months.”
FBAA president Peter White says the sentiments of Caruana and Russell-Smith are not uncommon in new brokers.
“For those that are new to the industry, doing the diploma is like jumping into the deep end of the pool before you learn to swim. The diploma has its place but doing this straight up without any or little industry experience or knowledge isn't the way to go. Learn the basics first and work up from there.
“There is only so much one can learn at one time and that is in part why we have always held what is now the same view as ASIC in that the entry point should be Cert IV, and is why we are seeing in part people taking up FBAA Membership.”
MFAA president Phil Naylor, however, responds that new brokers who undergo a mentoring program under a MFAA Certified Mentor do not need to hold their diploma immediately, but instead complete it during the first 12 months of mentoring.
The diploma programme has also proven to be popular amongst younger brokers, says Naylor.
“We are inducting over a 100 new broker members each month, and we have found that younger people are far more keen and willing to get the diploma qualifications than those a bit older.”
The MFAA is serious about attracting new brokers to the industry, says Naylor, and is involved in programs aimed at university career days and skill expos which have received a good level of interest from a range of age groups.