A new certificate offered by The American College for Financial Services aims to make financial advisers think more about their clients’ overall needs than just moving investment products.
On Wednesday, the organization launched the financial services certified professional designation. It is aimed at registered representatives, insurance specialists, independent advisers, wealth managers and others who engage in sales. Training focuses on ensuring that advisers’ recommendations are suitable for the client.
The new certificate replaces the life underwriter training council fellow, an insurance sales training program. Although advisers cannot earn the new financial services certificate until 2014, they can begin the coursework now. Those who hold the insurance designation will have until the middle of 2015 to switch to the new credential.
After earning the designation, advisers have to adhere to a code of ethics and continuing-education requirements every two years to maintain it.
“Most consumers are very satisfied with the knowledge and professionalism of their advisers, but we also know that many advisers only complete company training programs without an objective landscape of what consumers expect,” American College president and chief executive Larry Barton said in a statement. Through the FSCP program, students “can study … what is most suitable for a client, rather than what is ‘the best sale.’”
To earn the certification, students have to complete 10 elective units, a requirement called The Ethical Advisor and an eight-week live webinar course. They also must pass an exam.