One of the top debt management firms in the country, Baines and Ernst, has supported a number of its advisors through The IMA Certificate in Money Advice Practice, which only became available for the first time in November 2011.
The certification is seen as an important step for the fee paying debt management sector, as it provides consumers with the confidence and reassurance about the knowledge of the advisor. For this reason, it is seen as key for the industry and integral in gaining and retaining trust with consumers, during a time when many firms within the field of finance are floundering.
The course takes 16 weeks to complete and covers a number of vital topics, such as income maximisation, budgeting, priority debts, managing caseloads and insolvency. Students are also expected to study legislation, such as the Consumer Credit Act.
Advisors in the free debt advice sector have been able to study for a similar qualification since 2010 and to date, 300 have chosen to study for it. Supporters hope that the examination for the fee based debt advice sector will prove to be equally as popular.
Baines and Ernst are members of DEMSA and take the professional development of their staff very seriously. Despite the qualification being launched less than a year ago, the group has already had several members of staff gain the certification during the initial round of examinations. They have also committed to providing ongoing support for their employees to gain the necessary knowledge and experience, in order to continue to provide every customer with the best possible service and debt advice.