AMP Changes…Mostly Good But…

CAAMPCAAMP is making several changes to its Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation, effective Saturday.

In case you’re a mortgage broker and haven’t seen the changes, here’s the list.

Most of the tweaks are fantastic and add strength to the designation, except this one:  Elimination of the two-year experience rule.

Previously, those without two years in the industry were unable to get an AMP. The 2-year rule:

  • Established AMPs as having a minimum level of exposure to the business
  • Established a degree of staying power (most brokers give up before two years if they’re not successful)
  • Afforded a measure of exclusivity
  • Gave the public confidence that not everyone could get an AMP

Starting January 1, that will change. CAAMP will now award AMPs to brokers with less than two years experience if they demonstrate industry competency. CAAMP hasn’t specifically defined what “competency” means. (We asked them before the holidays but they weren’t able to respond in time.)

The primary reason for the change is simple. CAAMP wants to give hard-working new brokers a chance to be recognized. That’s understood. But eliminating a major objective standard to get more people into the program has repercussions.

Experience is categorically essential for properly advising mortgage clients. Until you’ve been in the business a few years, you don’t even realize what you don’t know. And what a broker doesn’t know can cost a client. Prior to now, the AMP provided at least a rough measure of a broker’s experience.

Virtually every other professional certification of value has a significant and clear-cut length of service, experience and/or educational requirement. The AMP should be no different.

Truth be told, it was disappointing to hear about this change. Hopefully CAAMP reconsiders the move, or establishes some other objective standard in place of the two-year rule, be it a volume minimum, number of deals closed, or something else. Barring that, a part of the AMP’s distinction will be lost.

 


More About the AMP:  The Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation is a national proficiency standard for Canada’s mortgage industry. It was launched in 2004 as a way to promote professionalism in the mortgage industry. Learn more…

 

  1. Fully agreed. CAAMP radio commercials will no longer be able to say an AMP has the proper experience to provide a valuable service.Because now they wouldn’t…

  2. I completely agree. When I saw the changes, this was the one that stuck out for me. It took me time and hard work to obtain the AMP. 7 years in and there’s days that go by and I think, wow there’s never going to be a day where I know everything as things change so much.

  3. I can’t believe people actually take the AMP designation seriously. It’s very easy to obtain and in no way reflective of the education or experience of an individual holder. It’s designed to fill the coffers of CAAMP rather than enforce professional standards. Some of the brokers in my office, including the principal broker, have over 20 years experience doing every kind of mortgage imaginable. They don’t have any designation. Does it make them less competent than someone who does mainly triple-A stuff and has been in the industry for a few years?

  4. In my opinion, the experience rule was never effective at adding confidence to the AMP designation. I have been in the industry for just over 3 years, with previous experience in the financial industry. I refuse to obtain my AMP designation, because the barriers to receiving the designation are so few that I view it merely as a money grab by CAAMP. Our brokerage has an e-mail program that allows agents to ask deal related questions to other agents province or nationwide. At least once a day, I will see a question from an AMP that nobody in the industry should ever have to ask (let alone an experienced agent with a professional designation)- eg: “Which lender is currently doing insured HELOCS at 95% LTV”??!!- from an AMP agent who has been around longer than me.

  5. I think you should have some kind of minimum experience level to call yourself a “professional” mortgage advisor. It takes 5000 hours of apprenticeship to be a carpenter. Two years doesn’t seem like much experience to advise someone on the biggest liability of their lives.

  6. You are so right Lior. I have yet to meet a client who knows what AMP means, much less cares. It is a money grab by an organization that has no reason for existing other than to perpetuate its own existence. I don’t know about other provinces, but in BC, we already have a trade organization that monitors the competence and ethics of mortgage brokers. CAAMP is a waste of money and I resent them for existing.
    Sorry for ranting. Hey…I feel better now!
    Joe

  7. I completely agree. The point of a professional designation is to set one apart and the association, if anything shoud constantly be raising the bar. I certainly hope CAAMP will reconsider this decission. I feel CAAMP needs to model itself after bodies that govern the CFP or CMA or other well established designations.

  8. In my view, Lior & Nick have it right. There is probably some sensitivity out there that now new brokers are on the same playing field as new FI lenders. There is no doubt that CAAMP is filling their coffers in order to justify themselves with another ra ra convention or golf tournament.

  9. Come on lets be honest okie. AMP has nothing to do with competence.In fact its good that Agents get acquainted with Ethics like the ones working as Financial Planners.They can do the Ethics/Handbook too and dont need to put in any years.
    As a matter of fact, CAAMP must check the money making business of brokers who are charing like $750 for joining up and they dont offer nothing except add up the agnets name.No formal traing, no meetings with lenders and they even charge you for the visiting cards.

  10. Without the experience AMP mean All Most a Professional. Then again., none of my clients care about an non-government regulated designation.

  11. I concur and think removing this requirement is a horrible idea. The minimum enforcement of being in the industry for two years shows experience in the AMP designation. Now it just looks like a cash-grab.

  12. Hello there,
    I recently learned that brokers have to track their own AMP credits and record them online. Even though they receive our pay for attending the events, record our names and check for attendance, they miss the last step to simply record our points. This is certainly an error in your process and could be easily fixed.
    Happy New Year everyone and check out my new online magazine if you have a minute: http://www.ownyourlife.ca
    Cheers!

  13. I think that removing the 2 year experience rule is in part a good thing as there are many professionals out there who may have extensive knowledge of the industry (be it through school, previous job, family involvement in the industry, etc) who should definately be given the advantage that AMP has to offer. With that being said, I agree that CAAMP should impose some sort of strict requirements that individuals with less than 2 years must satisfy. If they are just going to remove the 2 year rule, then by my interpretation, any licensed originator who takes the ethics & responsibilities course and has a couple hundred bucks to spare can get the AMP.

  14. I would have liked to see a combination of education, experience and time in the industry – with the option to weight one more than the other for those with relevant skills/knowledge. For eg. those who have demonstrated some knowledge (eg a relevant degree or other certification) could get their cert after 1 year instead of 2. Or, if you’ve worked in real estate and finance for decades, only 6 months in the industry…or something along those lines. Even better- how about an apprenticeship program??

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