What do mortgage brokers really think of CeMAP?

Brokers discuss whether CeMAP is enough and the need for post-examination learning

What do mortgage brokers really think of CeMAP?

The Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP) mortgage qualification is a requirement all brokers must undertake in order to become licenced to give advice.

However, brokers have questioned whether this accurately prepares advisers for the challenges ahead, and whether there is a lack of continuous professional development post-qualification.

Is CeMAP enough?

James Bull (pictured left), mortgage broker at JB Mortgages, said having obtained both the Diploma in Financial Planning which is the IFA qualification, and the CeMAP mortgage qualification, he can attest to the diverse challenges posed by these exams.

The Diploma in Financial Planning, Bull said, proved to be a formidable test of knowledge, requiring extensive knowledge.

“Its’ demanding two-hour written exams across multiple modules required a substantial understanding of the subject matter, with a pass mark set at 55%; the seemingly modest pass mark, however, belies the true difficulty of the examination,” he said.

On the other hand, Bull said the CeMAP mortgage qualification follows a different trajectory, characterised by multiple-choice exams. The nature of these exams provides candidates with a one in four chance of selecting the correct answer, meaning the qualification is overall easier to achieve.

“My apprehension centres around the perceived deficiency in knowledge among new advisers entering the industry,” he said.

While the rigorous IFA qualification adequately prepares professionals, Bull said, the relatively simpler CeMAP qualification may fall short in equipping mortgage brokers for the practical challenges inherent in their day-to-day responsibilities.

Read more: Certificate in mortgage advice vs. CeMAP: what you need to know

How important is continuous development post-qualification?

Scott West (pictured right), director at Propertyze Consulting Limited, said while the existing qualifications for brokers are relatively straightforward, there is a needed discussion around the continuous professional development of brokers post-qualification.

“It is essential for brokers to maintain detailed logs of their Continual Progressive Development (CPD) to demonstrate active engagement in staying updated on market changes and regulatory shifts,” he said.

The pertinent issue, however, West said, lies in the absence of concrete incentives or mandatory requirements for ongoing upskilling.

While qualifying exams undergo annual updates to reflect current regulations, West said, there is recognition that examinations alone have limitations in imparting practical, hands-on experience.

“The question arises, where does the incentive for continuous learning come from? This gap in incentivising ongoing professional growth may hinder the industry's ability to adapt swiftly to dynamic market conditions,” he said.

One proposed solution, West said, is to elevate qualification standards for specific areas of advice, introducing a tiered system that encourages brokers to deepen their expertise in specialised domains, such as equity release.

“This targeted approach ensures a higher level of competency within these crucial advisory areas,” he added.

Importantly, he believes this model could be extended to encompass a broader spectrum of both regulated and unregulated sectors, promoting a culture of continuous learning and expertise development.

In summary, West said the current emphasis on initial qualifications needs to evolve into a more comprehensive framework that actively rewards and requires ongoing professional development.

“By instilling a culture of continuous learning and upskilling, the industry can better equip brokers to navigate the complexities of a constantly evolving financial landscape and enhance overall service quality,” he said.

Do you believe CeMAP is enough to allow brokers to provide qualified advice and how important is continuous professional development within this space? Let us know in the comment section below.