Getting a CEMAP qualification

by DannyUK

I’ve worked in the finance industry for over a decade now and have often thought abput getting a CEMAP qualification. That’s the qualification needed to give mortgage advice.


Given that I’ve always had a passing interest in property too, I’ve always thought that I should work in the mortgage industry. It has always felt that it would be as decent a fit as possible for me, work wise.

With that in mind, and with my current work being very slow at the moment, I’ve actually booked myself in for an intensive 5-day course to get my CEMAP 1 qualification. It doesn’t come cheap, and by the time I’ve paid out for the course and the exam itself, I’m several hundred pounds in debt to my credit card.

It was mostly thanks to Mrs DannyUK that I did something about it. I’ve often mentioned it to her, and earlier this year I paid the princely sum of around a fiver to get the course paperwork from eBay, but as ever I never really got round to getting through it.

My problem with learning is that I tend to do better when being shown things. Give me a book and tell me to self-teach and I won’t ever be able to take it on board and apply it, even if I read everything and feel like I understand it. But I’m hoping that going on a course and being in front of a teacher will make things far easier to understand.

No sooner had I paid for everything then I was sent the pre-course reading material which turned out to be a 99 page document all about finance. It has lots of long and important sounding words in it, and the fact that I choose to describe it that way should tell you how far into it I’ve managed to get so far.

Whether the CEMAP qualification will ever lead to anything for me remains to be seen, and there is a risk that even if I pass the course, it could just become a very expensive addition to my CV. I certainly don’t need CEMAP for my current role, which deals primarily with pensions. But given that work is so slow, I figure that I am better off adding another feather to my cap while I can and making the most of the holiday that work are forcing me to take before the end of the year (lest I not be allowed to carry it forward!)

If I pass CEMAP stage 1, then I have stages 2 and 3 left to do, which are normally done together. Stages 2/3 cost the same as stage one, so it’s yet another outlay if I want to go ahead. Given that it’s likely to be coming at a time when I am moving house too (assuming that goes through) then I will need to give some serious thought as to my future working endeavours.

Finding a CEMAP course wasn’t the easiest thing given that I didn’t even know where to start. A quick Google search revealed more companies than I could shake a stick at offering the courses.

I found one that I liked the look of - a company called Beacon Financial Training. Their website gave details of who they were and what they did, and a quick search on Companies House revealed that they were well established and up to date with their returns, which is always handy to know.

Digging a little deeper though and I couldn’t find any reviews of their services.

There was a vague post about the company on a consumer website, but nothing too terrible. I spent a good 20 minutes searching for information about them and gave up. When there is so little info about a company, alarm bells ring.

I started my search over and found another company called Simply Academy who did the same thing. There was a lot more information about them online, and I immediately felt more comfortable with them. I’ve now booked the course and paid my money, so time will tell how valid it all is.

The interesting thing that I did note was that the Simply Academy pre-course workbook that was sent through credits one Brendan O’Neill who is, in fact, the owner of Beacon Financial Training. Perhaps the reason there is so little information about Beacon is due to Mr O’Neill moving over to Simply Academy. Or maybe they have just nicked his stuff. Who knows.

All being well, when 2016 rolls around I should be better qualified and in a new home. That sounds odd given that it is less than two months away!


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