What about the tricks & traps?
Well, I'm afraid to say that, as in most industries, hidden among the quality training operators,
there are a number of companies that I wouldn't want to expose anyone to. Let's take a look at a few
points that might be important to you when looking for a training provider.
- How much experience does the trainer have?
Assuming you would be reassured to know that the person teaching you has many years of experience
within the financial services sector, how would you feel to learn that your tutor has no financial
services experience whatsoever?
It might surprise you to know that there are a number of providers who have never worked as a
mortgage adviser or a financial adviser, nor have they held any role within the financial services
industry. You might wonder how they can claim to be the best people to prepare you for an industry
that they have no experience of themselves. Well, the truth is that most of these individuals have
only attended the courses quite recently themselves, and after passing they decided to set up as
How do I know this?
I know this to be a fact because they were students on my courses! When making enquiries, you
might ask the name of the trainer and then ask to see a copy of the trainer's CeMAP® or CeFA® certificate. This will show you the date that s/he passed the exam. They should have nothing to
hide - right?
- Which module should you take first?
If we are talking about CeMAP® then you just need to be careful. The majority of providers will
encourage you to do a combined CeMAP2&3® course before doing the CeMAP1® course.
Now, I'm not saying that this is always a bad idea, but it certainly can be if the trainer doesn't
have much experience. This is because, although CeMAP3® draws most of its questions from CeMAP2® knowledge, some knowledge is also drawn from
CeMAP1®. Clearly, if you are taking the CeMAP3® exam
before completing the CeMAP1® course, there could be some gaps in your learning. If a combined CeMAP2&3®
course includes even a single student who hasn't completed CeMAP1®, the trainer must
always build in the essential CeMAP1® knowledge.
So why don't these companies always teach CeMAP1® first?
Well, when in doubt, follow the money. It is widely recognised that CeMAP1® is significantly more
challenging than CeMAP2® and CeMAP3®. If a training provider wants to maximise its chances of taking
fees for two courses from you, it might well recommend that you complete the easier (CeMAP2&3®)
course first. There's a better chance that you'll come back later for the second (CeMAP1®) course -
- Should I pay up front for all courses?
While it is true that an attractive discount might be offered if you pay for more than one course
at the outset, there might be a catch. We have always taken the view that if we do a proper job
for you with your first course, you wouldn't dream of going elsewhere for your other courses. A
training provider with less confidence in its ability to earn customer loyalty might
choose to buy it instead, by offering a discount for a non-returnable up-front
payment. Let's face it, how valuable is the discount if you are unhappy with the service on the
first course and you cannot claim a refund of the second course fee?
If you have no past experience of the training provider, I think it would be wiser in the long run
Who would be my Blue Cherry mentor?
Anthony Judge would be the person responsible for your initial development towards
success with the CeMAP® and/or CeFA® qualification. Anthony is the managing director of the Blue
Cherry group of companies but his background is quite varied.
As a former systems analyst with a large, multi-national, computer company, he spent much of the
1980s in Germany, where he gained a reputation as a problem solver and lateral thinker. Skills that
are invaluable in all business sectors.
From the beginning of the 1990s, he began to apply his skills and experience to the business world and
achieved early success in the field of personal development and coaching. Since becoming qualified as
a financial adviser and mortgage broker, he has achieved success as an independent operator and
has held directorships within multiple national networks and brokerages, the largest of which gave him
responsibility for the development of over 2,500 advisers scattered throughout all the regions of the
UK. Imagine the size of the task in guiding these 2,500 advisers through these qualifications when
they first became compulsory in the late 1990s.
As the principal of Blue Cherry Financial Training, a key part of his role is to oversee the
training and development of every individual who entrusts us with this task. For those who want it,
this support and guidance continues way beyond the CeMAP® & CeFA® qualifications, including, where
required, guidance on job placement. When the opportunity arises, as it often does in a busy, highly
sought after company, he also continues to conduct some of the courses himself, always providing a lot
more than the qualifications require. In case you're wondering, it doesn't cost any more if he is
running the course.