How to get certified as a broker

Mortgage broker training is the very first step in becoming a certified mortgage broker.

Educational requirements have become stricter over the years since the overhaul of the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2009 (NCCP Act). What are the initial and ongoing training requirements of a broker?

What are the minimum training requirements?

The first step in becoming a mortgage broker is to complete a Certificate IV Finance and Mortgage Broking [FNS40815].

The requirement is set out by ASIC in Regulatory Guide 206 (RG 206) Credit licensing – Competence and training.

Bear in mind that the aggregator and the professional industry body you join may require you to have a Diploma of Finance and Mortgage Broking Management [FNS50315] as a minimum.

For example, the MFAA requires a Diploma as part of their minimum education requirements.

The MFAA and the FBAA used to have a “preferred vendor list” to complete your course but you can now complete the courses at any Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

We believe that the Cert IV is suitable to begin work as a mortgage broker and then once you’re experienced you can upgrade to a diploma to help you become an expert in commercial lending.

Who offers these courses?

Listed below are some of Australia’s largest and most recognised RTOs:

  • The National Finance Institute
  • Kaplan Professional
  • AAMC Training Group
  • Integrity Education Group
  • Walker &s; Miller
  • Australian College of Commerce &s; Management
  • Mentor Education
  • The Malka Group
  • Traineeship Management Australia
  • Holmesglen Institute
  • Australian College of Professionals
  • Australian Global College
  • Aviation Skills Training Academy
  • KPG Accounting Training and Education
  • Institute of Strategic Management
  • International Institute of Technology (IIT)

What are the costs?

Completing your certificate and diploma will come at your own cost and vary depending on the RTO you choose.

Luckily, the brokerage you work for may partner with an RTO which means you may get a discount.

To give you an idea, below are the costs that apply with the National Finance Institute (NFI):

  • Cert IV: $1,295
  • Diploma: $1,145 (in addition to Cert IV cost)

Course duration

As a general rule, you have up to 12 months to complete both the Cert IV and the Diploma or 6 months for each certification if you complete this by distance education.

We find most people complete the course much faster if they attend a workshop instead of doing a distance education course.

You can complete each course as fast as you want as you continue your training in the brokerage.

  • Cert IV: 3-day workshop depending on the training provider and typically delivered in a small group. During this time you’ll be guided through the learning material.
  • Diploma: 2-day workshop with similar delivery (in addition to the Cert IV 3 day workshop).

If you’re unable to find a local RTO, distance learning (correspondence) and online learning (at home study) options are available.

Note that recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) discounts are available to credit officers and other mortgage industry professionals.

Once you’ve complete each certificate, provide a copy to your brokerage manager if you’re PAYG or your aggregator if you’re self-employed.

What is the structure of the Cert IV certificate?

Both the Cert IV and the Diploma are delivered in-class and your knowledge is tested with assignments and exams.

The method of delivery and the order in which units are delivered will vary depending on the RTO.

However, as a regulatory requirement, you’ll need to demonstrate competency in 12 units: 8 core and 4 electives.

The certificate training schedule covers the areas of industry knowledge, business skills and the lending process. The 8 core units are as follows:

  • Design and produce business documents (BSBITU306).
  • Apply principles of professional practice to work in the financial services industry (FNSINC401).
  • Comply with financial services legislation and industry codes of practice (FNSFMK505).
  • Develop and maintain in-depth knowledge of products and services used by an organisation or sector (FNSINC402).
  • Process applications for credit (FNSCRD301).
  • Identify client needs for broking services (FNSFMB402).
  • Prepare loan application on behalf of finance or mortgage broking clients (FNSFMB401).
  • Present broking options to client (FNSFMB403).

Typically, the RTO will pre-select four elective units as part of their training program, chosen from a mix of the Certificate III and Diploma qualifications.

However, you may be able to negotiate with the RTO as to what elective units you would like to undertake.

See what four electives you may want to undertake from the below list:

  • Establish client relationship and analyse needs (FNSASIC301C).
  • Develop, present and negotiate client solutions (FNSASIC302C).
  • Settle applications and loan arrangements in the finance and mortgage broking industry (FNSFMB501A).
  • Prospect for new clients (FNSSAM403A).
  • Develop and nurture relationships with clients, other professionals and third party referrers (FNSCUS501A).
  • Deliver and monitor a service to customers (BSBCUS301A).
  • Manage personal work priorities and professional development (BSBWOR501B).

What if I don’t pass?

The Cert IV and Diploma units are competency-based.

If you fail one of the units, you will typically be given the opportunity to resit the exam or resubmit your assignment (depending on the RTO’s requirements).

What if you can’t meet an assessment due date?

Due to exceptional circumstances, life can sometimes get in the way.

Instead of cancelling your course and potentially losing your money, some RTOs offer a maximum of two deferrals per module up to a maximum of 6 weeks each.

What about continuing professional development (CPD)?

The MFAA requires members to complete 30 CPD hours per year while the FBAA requires 25 hours annually.

You can meet these CPD requirements in a variety of ways as long as the course or activity is relevant to mortgage broking or your career goals.

This could be through:

  • A structured course offered by an RTO.
  • Seminars offered by your mentor or aggregator.
  • Technical training with lenders or mentors.
  • Advanced qualifications in areas such as business administration or financial planning.

You can self-assess your CPD activities via your online membership portal with the MFAA or the FBAA.

The NFI offers several MFFA-approved seminars that will go towards meeting your CPD requirements including:

  • SMSF Lending.
  • First Impressions to Enhance Mortgage Sales.
  • Branding and Positioning Fundamentals.
  • How to Develop an Effective Client Retention Program.
  • How to Establish Profitable Strategic Alliances.
  • Service Guarantees: Guarantees to make your phone ring more.
  • Time Management: How to Find an Extra Two Hours Every Day.
  • Working from a Home Office.
  • How to Market Your Business on a Small Budget.
  • The Psychology of Selling Mortgages.
  • Investment Loans and Negative Gearing.

Work in an environment that supports learning

As you complete your Cert IV, Home Loan Experts puts new mortgage brokers through our intensive 3-week training course with an in-house trainer.

We continue to support you in your professional development goals so you can take your career to the next level.

Send through your resume to careers@homeloanexperts.com.au and check out the Home Loan Experts careers page to learn more about our training program and current vacancies.

Change the lives of your customers and build the life you want in the process.