Australian Broker TV

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War of words: Brokers divided over qualifications

The debate continues over MFAA-mandated education requirements, with many asking how much further will it go? We speak to JOHN MOHNACHEFF of Liberty Financial and SALLY RICHARDS of Smartline for their thoughts on the future of broker qualifications.

Video transcript below:

Donna Sawyer, Australian Broker TV
Donna Sawyer:  The war of words rages on about the value of industry body mandated education after the MFAA recently announced it would extend its diploma deadline.  While some argue the diploma will help to professionalise the mortgage broker industry, others like Sally Richards of Smartline says the qualification is not useful particularly for those with degrees.  
 
Sally Richards, Smartline
Sally Richards:  It’s very controversial.  I’ve got a Bachelor of Commerce, I’ve got a post graduate degree in Securities Institute.  So for me I feel like I am as qualified as I would need be.  Wasn’t very happy about having to do the upgrade to this diploma and I actually thought the diploma itself idea, that’s fine.  Taught me nothing, didn’t learn anything I hadn’t already covered in the years I have been in the banking industry and my tertiary education I had already done.  I felt the recognition of the prior formal education was not sufficient, it just wasn’t counted at all.  So a lot of the stuff I was doing I had already done.
 
John Mohnacheff, Liberty Financial
John Mohnacheff:  People trust people who are qualified.  We go to an accountant because they are qualified, they practice in there.  You go to a solicitor to seek professional advice.  I really want to see mortgage brokers in that same space.  
 
Donna Sawyer:  John Mohnacheff of Liberty Financial says raising the bar when it comes to education standards is good news for mortgage brokers.
 
John Mohnacheff:  Education is knowledge and the more knowledgeable you are, the more opportunities there are for you to grow your business and that’s what it’s all about.
 
Donna Sawyer:  And while the MFAA also announced it recently secured government funding to subsidise the cost of the diploma that doesn’t help those like Sally Richards of Smartline who completed the training early.
 
Sally Richards:  I can understand why they have extended the deadline, but now all of a sudden it’s cheaper than it was, which makes me who got mine done first and early I think great, you know and there is no government assistance if you’ve already got a tertiary degree.  I am thinking well if you don’t get any assistance because you already got a tertiary degree, there is a reason why because the government actually don’t think you should redo something you’ve already got.
 
Donna Sawyer:  If it’s diplomas now, it begs the question what next.  John Mohnacheff of Liberty Financial says a degree may well the next step.
 
John Mohnacheff:  If you are going to call yourself a professional, you can’t have an accountant and not have a degree, you can’t have a solicitor or somebody without a professional qualification.  I really do want to see especially our young people coming through, a definite career as finance professionals.  And so I think for the younger people coming through, it is a, a degree is absolutely imperative.
 
Donna Sawyer:  This is Donna Sawyer reporting for Australian Broker TV.