Choosing a career as a money adviser
The traditional path into working as a money adviser is by joining a local legal advice centre, typically a Citizens Advice Bureau, initially as a volunteer adviser. Following an interview and induction, volunteer advisers undergo generalist adviser training which usually lasts between six and twelve months. This training is essential in order to become approved as a generalist adviser. A generalist adviser will then be considered capable of giving general and legal advice across the whole spectrum of issues and is usually expected to volunteer for a minimum of six hours per week on an ongoing basis. Once established as a generalist adviser, an individual may decide that there is a particular area of advice within which they would like to specialise, and this can be discussed with their supervisor.
This specialism will depend on the agency’s resources and capacity, but may involve shadowing and providing administrative or casework support. As and when the agency feels that it is suitable, advisers can begin to undertake more specialist training in a specific area. Money advice training is run by Money Advice Trust under the wiseradviser label. Although this training is free, the agency will still be required to authorise an adviser’s suitability to take the training and, according to their own expenses policy, decide whether they are willing to pay for their travel.
Money advice posts can be applied for as they become available, but advisers are usually expected to have completed some training and have had some experience of casework beforehand.
New Developments in Professional Qualifications
The legal advice sector is currently at the beginning of developing a stronger workforce structure, including clearer career pathways to becoming a money adviser. In order to do this, the sector has created a set of National Occupational Standards in legal advice. Using these NOS as a framework, the IMA has developed the Certificate in Money Advice Practice qualification. For more information on our qualifications follow the link to IMA Qualifications.