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 no longer accepts registrations into the old Level 5 courses (National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) (Level 5) – referred to in this document as NCFS).
  • Whether there are still NCFS study options available.
  • Whether to obtain the National Certificate document.

Why have you closed registration to NCFS?

The unit standards for Standard Sets A, D and E expired in December 2017 and the qualification itself will finish in December 2018. Strategi Institute closed enrolment into Sets A, D and E on 31 May 2017 and Sets B and C (for authorisation purposes) on 30 April 2018 to ensure advisers had sufficient time to complete their study, apply for the certificate and then authorisation before the end of 2018. Note: If you only need to complete Set B and/or C to obtain the Certificate and don’t want to use the Certificate to apply for authorisation, we may still be able to help. Contact Strategi today for more information.

The Code of Professional Conduct for AFAs prescribes that the minimum level of education 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. Contact us for more information.

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 the 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, other than 25648 and 25649) 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. However, your degree may be recognised under the new Certificate for the purposes of authorisation. Please note, you would still need to complete your specialist strand. 

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

Strategi strongly recommends you do. Time is running out to enrol and complete it though. You need to apply for the Certificate by November 2018 at the latest. To discuss your options, please urgently contact Strategi.

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 and whether you want to use the NCFS for authorisation purposes. 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.

Contact Strategi Institute to discuss your options.

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, please contact Strategi today to see if we can assist before time runs out.

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.