Equity Release Council launches competency framework for advisers

The Equity Release Council has launched a new competency framework to support financial advisers in the equity release and later life lending market.

An educational syllabus with three pathways based on advisers’ levels of experience will be provided by the new framework.

The Council suggested the move is designed to guide the development journey for advisers by benchmarking their knowledge and skills, as well as signposting materials to support their progress.

Six in-depth modules encompass the areas needed to advise consumers effectively, the Council added, focused on understanding the industry, market, clients, soft skills, products, and processes.

Equity Release Council chief operating officer, Donna Bathgate, commented: “Property wealth is increasingly part of consumers’ thinking when they make later life financial plans, so it is vital to ensure the service they receive is of a consistently high standard as the market grows.

“The potential for unlocking property wealth should be on every homeowner’s retirement checklist to consider alongside appropriate advice to weigh up all the options and implications.

“The competency framework is the Council’s latest initiative to help firms and their advisers develop a 360-degree view of today’s market and ensure the best possible outcomes for consumers.”

The Council has worked closely with specialists across the sector, including Canada Life, which played a leading role in developing the framework’s modules.

Canada Life Insurance head of marketing, Alice Watson, added: “We are delighted to support the development and launch of the competency framework. With property wealth playing an increasingly important role in later life funding, it’s more important than ever to ensure that we continue to deliver a high standard of advice and ensure best outcomes for clients.

“This framework supports this objective, allowing new, supervised, and competent advisers to assess their own knowledge and identify potential gaps in their learning.”

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