How to get qualified

To advise or refer clients on lifetime mortgages, you’ll need to be appropriately qualified. If you’d like to advise directly, we can support you. You’ll need a Certificate in Equity Release to meet the FCA’s requirement for mortgage advisers and those advising on equity release schemes.

What to expect from the certificate

  • Develop your advisory skills.
  • Gain a better understanding of equity release regulation.
  • Learn everything you need to know about the products, market practice, and customer needs.

To find out more, visit the CII's official website on the View - Certificate in Equity Release.

Taking the equity release qualification

Our Affinity Relationship Manager, shares her tips for studying and exam success.

"Being qualified gives me that extra level of credibility in my job. There’s never been a better time to get involved in this market" - Sadie Russell

Taking the equity release qualification

Taking the equity release qualification video

Transcript: Taking the equity release qualification

Running time: 5.01

Sadie: So I’ve worked for Legal & General for 12 years now and in April 2016 I heard about the Legal & General Home Finance business which sounded like an exciting and evolving part of the business to be in, so I made the move across and the rest is history. In my role I look after our relationships with external partners.

So I’ve recently taken my equity release qualifications. I had to start from scratch, so I took the CF1 module first which is all about regulation and ethics. Following that I took the CF6 which is around mortgage advice and then once I’d done that one I took the ER1 which is the equity release module.

I decided to take the qualifications to embed what I’d learned since joining the Home Finance business and also to learn more about the market and the wider financial services sector.

Being qualified it gives me more credibility in my job when I’m talking to people about what we do, it just gives me that extra level of credibility.

So the hardest thing about taking the qualifications was probably the first module, the CF1, that’s all around regulation and ethics in the wider financial services arena.

So there’s a lot of stuff in there that I’d not come across before and whilst it was quite challenging, actually it was quite interesting, so things like taxation and things that I’ve never been exposed to so I got to learn about those which was quite interesting.

So the practical exams, you get one exam for each module which typically take around two to three hours each.

You go along to a test centre and you take the exam online, they’re multiple choice, so you do have to be careful you’ve read the question correctly because I think they do try to trip you up a little bit there.

You need to get 70% to pass so you can afford to get a few wrong, but they are generally straightforward if you’ve done your homework.

Once you click the submit button you get your result immediately so you get told if you’ve got a pass or a fail and then you get your postal results about 10 days later and that comes along with your certificates if you’ve passed.

So leading up to the exam I’d set aside around two hours a week for studying. With my role I have to do quite a bit of traveling so if I was going on a long train journey I’d take the study text with me and do some extra learning then.

As we got closer to the exam I’d try and fit in a bit more and the online study mate exams are a really good way of embedding the learning as well so I’d make sure that I completed those at the end of each chapter and then revisited them again closer to the exam.

I would definitely recommend that advisers get qualified. Whilst they can introduce business to other firms that are qualified they then run the risk of giving their client away to somebody else. So I would definitely suggest that they take the exam themselves and advise themselves.

There’s never been a better time to get involved in this market, it’s growing massively, everyone’s getting older, there’s massive untapped opportunity. Advisers will have customers that are aged over 55 which these products are designed for.

So these products are no longer an area of last resort. They help people improve their lives. They could spend the money on things like home improvements, clearing existing mortgages, going on holiday, or even gifting money to children and grandchildren to help them get on the property ladder.

The qualifications definitely help advisers get prepared to go out there and advise on these products but there is still work to be done following the exams as the next thing that they should do is familiarise themselves with the different product providers that are out there.

There’s only a few so they could speak to the providers themselves or there are some really good mortgage clubs out there which will help advisers place business.

There’s also lots of industry events that go on up and down the country that advisers can go along and attend and they’re really good networking opportunities.

They can speak to the product providers, ask all their questions and learn about the products that are available and also about the wider market place.

A lot of those events are usually CPD accredited as well, so that’s really good for them. And recently Legal & General have started doing breakfast briefings as well that advisers can come along to and learn about our product offerings and the wider market, and again, those are CPD accredited.