Designation Aims to Reassure Consumers

The American College of Financial Services created the Financial Services Certified Professional (FSCP) designation, which seeks to help advisers understand client concerns.
The program was designed to teach advisers to serve a range of client needs instead of directly “selling product” without due diligence, the college said in a statement.

The FSCP succeeds and replaces LUTCF, a sales training program, and retains sales advice with more detailed content and choices for on topics including social media use, health care reform and financial planning during a divorce. The first year of credentialing will be 2014, but professionals may begin taking courses now to fulfill program requirements.

The college shifted its format from moderator-led to online learning, which allows students to study at their own pace and immerse themselves in case studies, video scenarios and discussion options about what is most suitable for a client, rather than what makes the best sale, said Larry Barton, president and chief executive of The American College. 

The FSCP designation requires 10 elective educational units across a variety of topic areas and completing “The Ethical Advisor” requirement. Candidates must complete a final eight-week webinar course and take a proctored designation exam at a testing center, adhere to a Code of Ethics, and satisfy ethics-related CE requirements every two years to continue using the designation.

The FSCP program offers a choice of live classroom learning, live online classes, asynchronous online classes and self-paced modules.  Students may mix and match learning choices by schedule and preference.

Financial services professionals need an increasing number of skills, according to Barton. The FSCP program was designed for independent advisers, wealth managers and registered reps, among others, who want to sharpen their knowledge. “We know that their productivity, upon completing The American College designations, can soar as much as 72%,” Barton said. “This is the ultimate win for consumers and advisers who believe that learning is integral to career success and especially to how to differentiate themselves from their peers.”

Those who hold the LUTCF  designation have until mid 2015 to take a completer program and achieve the new designation. 

“Most consumers are very satisfied with the knowledge and professionalism of their advisers, but we also know that many advisers only complete company training programs without an objective landscape of what consumers expect,” Barton said.

More information about the designation is at The American College’s website or by calling an educational counselor at 888-263-7265.