FAQs: Understanding your options with the closing of NCFS level 5 to new registration

These FAQs have been prepared to assist financial advisers to understand the issues around:

  • Why Strategi Institute will no longer be accepting registrations for the old Level 5 courses (National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) (Level 5) – referred to in this document as NCFS).
  • Whether to complete other standard sets of NCFS if some have already been completed.
  • Whether to obtain the actual Certificate.

You can download a PDF version of these FAQs if you prefer.

Why have you closed registration to NCFS?

This is a decision outside the control of Strategi Institute. The unit standards relating to Standard Sets A, D and E expired in December 2017. Strategi Institute closed enrolment into these sets on 31 May 2017 to make sure advisers had sufficient time to complete their study before the end of the year. Contact us for more information.

The Code of Professional Conduct for AFAs prescribes that the minimum level of education is no longer the NCFS and it is now the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services level 5. There is a transition period through until 31 December 2018 during which NCFS will, with some conditions, still be recognised for authorisation.

Why have you not told me of this earlier?

For 8 months in 2016 and early 2017, Strategi Institute heavily promoted via the industry media, conferences, professional development days, website and ezines that this change is coming. We also wrote to our clients and students informing them of this change.

Other training providers also closed off registrations for NCFS. Strategi Institute kept registration open until the last possible moment to help our clients.

How hard is it to do the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5?

The New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services level 5 is academically no harder than NCFS. However, it is significantly larger. Depending on the strands you select, it could be 72% larger (based on number of NZQA credits) than the NCFS. The good news is it is better structured and more up-to-date than the NCFS so although it is more work, it is often easier to complete.

I have completed all the unit standards I need for NCFS. Do I need to get the actual Certificate?

Strategi strongly recommends that all those who qualify for the Certificate, apply to do so. It is likely that Level 5 will soon be the minimum level of education for ALL financial advisers, and those who have the NCFS qualification will be ‘grandfathered’ through into the new regime.

Furthermore if you want to be authorised, it is only the qualification itself (not the unit standards) that are recognised as an alternative for some components of the NZ Certificate. See the Code of Professional Conduct for AFAs for added clarification.

How do I get my Certificate?

You can apply directly to NZQA – download the application form and send the completed form with your payment ($15.30) to NZQA.

I have completed Sets B, C and E of NCFS and have a degree in economics (or similar). Can I have my degree recognised for the Certificate?

No. If you wanted to complete the Certificate you needed to complete ALL the unit standards that make up the Certificate.

I have completed Set A and Set E and don’t want to get authorised. Do I need to finish the Certificate?

Strategi recommends you finish the Certificate. You will always have the Certificate on your learning records. It is likely that Level 5 will soon be the minimum level of education for ALL financial advisers, and those who have the NCFS will be ‘grandfathered’ through into the new regime.

If you don’t complete the NCFS, you will likely have to start again on the new level 5 qualification called the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services level 5.

I work for a company and there are over 10 of us who need to finish NCFS. Can Strategi help us, as a group, to do this quickly?

It depends on what Standard Sets are left to complete. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss what you and your advisers need and how we may be able to design a solution for you that is cost-effective and timely.

I have done some or all of Set A, Set D and Set E. Can I credit these towards completing the new NZ Certificate?

The standard sets are not part of the new NZ Certificate. Strategi Institute has closely looked at whether we can design a simple, short and cheap course to enable those with completed NCFS standard sets to cross credit part of those to the new level 5 strands and be awarded the new unit standards. However, the content of the old qualification does not ‘map’ easily across to the new qualification so while the answer is yes, there would still be a substantial amount of additional study and assignment work that the adviser would need to complete.

Strategi recommends you try to complete the NCFS instead as:

  • It will be the quickest option.
  • It is most likely the cheapest option.

I have completed Sets A, B and D or E but am not working as an adviser yet so don’t have client files. Can I still complete Set C and get my Certificate.

Yes. Strategi Institute can help you do this. Contact Strategi Institute for advice.

I started my study for Level 5 some time ago but have not studied with Strategi Institute before. Can you help me to finish the Certificate?

It depends on what you have previously completed. Contact us today to discuss your options. Note there is some flexibility with dates for large/corporate groups, and mandatory completion dates will also apply.

Contact us urgently so we can work with you to identify what you have already completed with the other training providers then provide you with a solution to enable you to obtain NCFS.

How do I find out about the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5?

View details on strands, training options and prices.

Is Strategi Institute the best training provider to use?

We believe we are but naturally we are biased. There are a number of unique benefits in training with us and reasons why studying with Strategi Institute is the smart choice.