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FAIS training - what hurdles lie ahead for advisers in 2007?

16 February 2007 Intec School of Insurance

With many long- and short-term insurance advisers now compliant with the Financial Advisory and Intermediary Services (FAIS) Act, the emphasis shifts to those advisers offering more complex products with more risk attached who are expected to achieve a minimum of 60 credits by October 2007.

According to Intec School of Insurance, the majority of advisers requiring 60 credits should by now have registered for skills programmes which work towards a NQF5 Certificate in Financial Services Wealth Management.

"While such skills programme will deliver 60 credits in time to meet FAIS deadline of October 2007, advisers in this category should pay particular attention to industry changes in this course," says Nikki Wouterse, CEO of ICG Learning Solutions, the division of Educor working with Intec School of Insurance to upgrade national skills.

"South African Qualification's Authority (SAQA) has reviewed NQF5
Certificate Financial Services Wealth Management. While this  qualification will remain recognised by the National Qualification Framework indefinitely, what this change means is that no new people can begin this qualification and students currently registered for skills programmes have a three-year teach out period to complete their full qualification.

"Those most vulnerable are advisers who intended only to do 60 credits now in order to meet legal requirements and to complete the full qualification later. They will not be able to register to complete this qualification after August 2009 and may land up having to begin a new qualification and repeat some studies."

Intec's advice to these people is to think beyond the 60 credits and to try and complete the full qualification within the three-year timeframe.

'Once you have a full qualification on the NQF framework, nobody can take this away," says Wouterse. "Your qualification is uploaded on the National Learner Record Database (NLRD) and it will remain nationally recognised.  Whereas skills programmes are building blocks to a full qualification, the skills programmes in themselves are not qualifications. They are study units which allow people to become employed and to generate income while completing their studies."

Wouterse is careful to point out that the discontinuation of the NQF5
Certificate in Wealth Management is not an Intec School of Insurance
discontinuation and rather a national discontinuation, so  vulnerability applies no matter which institution you are registered with.

New advisers in the NQF5 Certificate Financial Services Wealth Management category are advised to wait until April before registering for any skills programme. By this time most training providers will be ready to take enrolments on the new NQF5 Certificate Financial Services Wealth Management.

As for advisers who were required to obtain 30 credits by October last year and who met this deadline, 2007 can be considered a FAIS breather in legal terms. However, Intec School of Insurance urges these advisers to also consider continuing their studies to obtain a full qualification. While the teach out period does not apply to the NQF4 qualification, advisers remain vulnerable to changes in legislation until they have completed a full qualification.

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