Partnership aims to set up qualification framework
CAFBA, the peak industry body representing commercial and asset finance brokers in Australia, has long been committed to the ongoing education of its members and to providing a pathway into the profession.
The CAFBA Education Council was founded in 2020 as a joint initiative between CAFBA, the Australian Finance Industry Association (AFIA), and leading financiers and aggregators in the Australian commercial finance market.
The aim of the council is to facilitate a consensus agreement among lenders, aggregators and commercial brokers on the establishment of a common qualification framework across the entire commercial finance sector and to ensure content and training are consistent and relevant throughout the industry, whether it is provided to lenders or brokers.
All the major lenders and aggregators have joined the council with this common goal of ensuring we have an educated and qualified industry. These members work together in alignment as key industry participants to foster education as a foundation to facilitate professional standards and maintain trust within our sector. The members of the CAFBA Education Council are: CAFBA, ANZ, CBA, Westpac, NAB, AFIA, BOQ, Macquarie, AFG, Shift, Judo, Connective, Loan Market Group, Flexi Commercial, ZIP, NFC Aggregation, Pepper Money, Earlypay and ScotPac
Education as a means of best practice in commercial finance
CAFBA has long held the belief that a self-regulating framework founded upon education ensures the best outcomes for commercial borrowers. CAFBA developed two industry specific courses to demonstrate standards within the commercial and asset finance industry. These are:
- The Certificate IV in Financial Services: Specialising in Commercial & Asset Finance (FNS 41815); and
- The Diploma of Financial Services: Complex Issues in Commercial Lending
The Certificate IV is the entry level qualification which provides an excellent understanding of key issues and product information in the commercial and asset finance industry. The 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 or financier in their day-to-day activities. It includes all the essential skills such as product knowledge, legal and taxation aspects, credit assessment and documentation required to implement a commercial or asset-based loan.
The Diploma of Financial Services takes a more in-depth look at the complex issues in commercial lending, including writing and presenting a credit memorandum, advanced methods of evaluation for selecting capital (discounted cash flows and NPV) and the legal structures and the impact to the evaluation of finance options (trusts and SMSF structures). These impacts include GST and income tax implications of using specific products as well as accounting standards required for reporting any of the debt liability alternatives. The diploma content has been reviewed by selected AFIA members to ensure it meets their requirements.
The Certified Lease & Finance Professional Designation
The Education Council expands CAFBA’s professional education program with the introduction of the Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) designation, the preeminent credential for equipment leasing and finance professionals throughout the world. The learnings from the certificate and the diploma lead into the qualification of the CLFP.
CLFP designees demonstrate competency through testing of knowledge, continuing education and a commitment to their business practices and dedication to the industry.
Prior to partnering with the CLFP, CAFBA looked at offering specific commercial finance courses through Australian tertiary institutions, however, after discussions it was felt that it would take too long to commence, would not provide content control and would not have recognition outside the tertiary institution. There are many advantages in being part of an internationally recognised accreditation that is industry specific.
Traditionally professional bodies such as CPA and CA accounting bodies lend weight to the professional qualification by requiring additional development and training. By its nature these require annual updates and certified professional development activities to maintain professional accreditation. Universities tend not to focus on these aspects and generally deliver the baseline qualification – post nominal – with an expectation that graduates join a professional association.
The CLFP is relevant in all jurisdictions, as it demonstrates competency in a range of subjects in commercial finance. There is a real advantage of having and being part of a recognised international designation. The CLFP is the only commercial asset finance industry certification program in the world. The subjects covered include all facets of commercial asset finance.
Creating professional pathways
CAFBA wants to fund and fuel the future of commercial finance through education. Having designated credentials creates a structured career pathing into and through the commercial finance industry.
If you are a residential broker looking to enter commercial and asset finance, the way to diversification is through education with CAFBA’s Education Council. As the industry moves towards further professionalisation, CAFBA’s credentials will reflect the education and professional standing of the entire sector.
With education comes power, the power to deliver commercial and asset finance loans that help fund businesses to boom, fuelling the economy. We invite you to join CAFBA and be involved at the forefront of an exciting transition towards a more professional commercial finance industry. A better educated, well regulated, deeply engaged industry will deliver better value to borrowers, lenders and the Australian economy alike.
For more information, check out the CAFBA website: CAFBA
This article was supplied by CAFBA