A major bank is “reimagining the way learning is delivered” with a comprehensive education platform intended to help better support finance brokers in Australia.
Westpac Group’s Broker Academy is now live, offering thousands of modules of content on a tiered subscription basis.
The idea was born at an aggregator’s PD day more than two years ago during which Janelle Pearce, the bank's national head of commercial intermediaries, noted that broker engagement was low.
“What I observed – and it wasn’t the first time I’d seen this – was during the tea and lunch, engagement was incredible. All the brokers seemed to know one another. Lenders knew brokers. Lenders knew lenders.
“But, when we got to the professional development part of the day, the engagement just wasn’t there. Most of the brokers were on their phone. What was being delivered to them wasn’t development. It was the passing on of information. I thought, ‘We must be able to do this better.’”
The Broker Academy has been presented as the solution to this issue, providing integrated online learning and business knowledge covering everything from compliance, sales and marketing, to contract law negotiation and hard and soft skills training.
The Academy provides Continuing Professional Development (CPD) with points accepted by the key industry bodies, as well as access to Certificate IV modules and the Diploma of Financial Services.
“Broker education in Australia is undergoing significant change,” said Pearce.
“The Broker Academy supports brokers in the current disrupted finance environment, where technology advancement is creating demand for new sets of broker skills.”
“Education is no longer just about sustaining a job; brokers want clearer pathways to success – transparency and control of the future, which is at the heart of the Broker Academy.”
The resource was developed in conjunction with GO1.com to give brokers access to training on almost any topic in one place, helping support brokers with consolidated content tailored to wherever they are in their business-lifecycle.
The platform will utilise various forms of media, from interactive modules, to videos and podcasts. Brokers are able to fit the education into their schedule when suits, rather than taking the time off and swallowing the costs of attending professional development events that can so quickly turn into an “expensive day out.”
The platform can also recommend similar areas of study, based on the modules already accessed.
Later this year, industry and broker members will be named as part of the inaugural Broker Academy Council to help guide and inform the new content generated and posted on a quarterly basis.
While there are various packages available for purchase, the Broker Academy is offering an introduction pack which provides 15 courses for free.
GO1.com has also created a dedicated customer care team to support brokers who register, providing help, tips and navigation assistance during the initial launch period.
Pearce’s message to brokers is, “Go in and try it. You have the opportunity to do 15 free courses to test it out. Let us know what you think. We want your feedback.”
There will be more on this story in the next issue of Australian Broker