Back to School: professional development

by AB22 May 2018

Following the launch of a first of its kind certificate to attract a new generation of commercial brokers, CAFBA is on a path to international recognition

On 3 April, the Commercial Asset Finance Brokers Association (CAFBA) launched the Certificate IV in Financial Services: Commercial and Equipment Finance, the first dedicated curriculum for new entrants to the industry.

Two years in the making, the game-changing development has been created to attract a new breed of commercial brokers to the industry. Now approved by vocational training body ASQA (the Australian Skills Quality Authority) and supported by the Australian Industry Finance Association, the course is available online or combined with offline workshops.

It comprises four modules that train each student in the essentials of commercial and equipment finance, including the products used, tax treatments, legislative issues and regulation, marketing, pricing and credit. 

In launching Certificate IV, CAFBA has taken the lead at what is fast becoming a tough time for brokers, and its work to address the lack of specific training material for commercial finance has culminated in a definitive, recognised and industry-focused curriculum.

In expanding the educational tools available to brokers, CAFBA also believes the industry can raise its profile with millennial entrants, who are known to choose professions that offer a credible and structured career path. The result of a recent strategic review at the association, this approach forms the basis of the advanced Diploma in Financial Services, due for launch later this year.

“The launch of the Certificate IV is important for a number of reasons,” says CAFBA president David Gandolfo.

“Firstly, as we seek to recruit a new generation of commercial finance brokers, we need a structured career path, and the Certificate IV is the first step to this. The new curriculum is focused on learning about commercial finance, the products involved and many of the practical aspects of these that would be used by the broker in their day-to-day activities. Secondly, as we move towards professionalising the industry, having designated credentials recognises the education and professionalism of the commercial broker.”

Tried and tested

Far from expecting brokers to do all the work, in the name of research CAFBA CEO David Gill attended the Certified Lease and Finance Professional (CLFP) academy in Seattle last year, to undertake CLFP’s commercial lending course and experience its eight-hour examination first-hand.

“Whilst the program was very rigorous, the synergies in commercial finance between our countries are very similar, the major differences being some tax treatments and local regulations,” he tells Australian Broker.

The professional industry-wide qualification for both lenders and brokers, CLFP is the pre-eminent credential for equipment leasing and financing professionals throughout the world who have demonstrated competency through testing of knowledge, continuing education and a commitment to their business practices and dedication to the industry.

Work is now underway to localise CLFP as part of a formal partnership that will see CAFBA gain recognition as an international body. In May, Reid Raykovic, executive director of the CLFP Foundation, will arrive in Australia to begin drafting the qualification with CAFBA and will address brokers at CAFBA’s professional development days.