In order to work in the professional capacity of a mortgage advisor, you must undertake the appropriate training. As a minimum, you must obtain a pass in the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP), which is regulator recognised and the standard requirement of all financial services mortgage providers.
Once registered for the training, your study is broken down into three exams, covering separate areas of knowledge. The first one is the vast area of UK Financial Regulation, which is really an insight into the national financial services market. This section is often viewed as the hardest exam, due to the spectrum it covers, which is then condensed into a 50-question multiple choice paper, with a 70% pass rate requirement.
CeMAP 2 looks at mortgages and all things mortgage related – the laws surrounding them, types of product and repayments, as well as the application process. CeMAP3 covers the same topics, so they are generally studied alongside each other, and are both assessed simultaneously. The only difference is that CeMAP 3 is based on the assessment of a number of case studies, even though they still give multiple choice answers.
The difficulty of the exams has been likened to a standard similar to that of an A-level qualification. Everyone learns at a different pace, so it is important to devise a study plan that suits you, and can be implemented within your lifestyle – although some commitments may need to be rearranged, in order to achieve your study objective. Allow enough time to absorb the information in preparation for the exam. Choosing the right environment in which to study is vital, whether it be at home or somewhere separate, like the library. Many people take on the training and then take the end exam within a six-month period, but others may take longer. It is very much dependant on the individual.
The exam board states that generally, you need to put in around 200 hours of study and revision in order to learn all sections and feel confident in actually sitting the exam.
Once the exams have been taken and the relevant pass mark achieved, you will be in a position to work as a mortgage advisor. Often, your employer will arrange to pay for the study materials, training course and end exam in order to support you in obtaining the qualification, as it in their interests to help you to prepare and get ready to work as a qualified professional.
As well as being a regulatory requirement, being CeMAP qualified also instils a feeling of confidence in your customers. They will place their trust in you and your abilities to best establish their needs, and best advise the most suitable mortgage product. By finding out about them and their existing commitments, you can ascertain how much they can afford to borrow, whilst complying with the regulatory requirements set out by the Financial Conduct Authority.