AMPWhen people deal with mortgage brokers they want to know that they’re competent. But it’s hard to assess that if you don’t know a broker well.

That’s where industry accreditations come in. A credible industry designation shows that a broker has met minimum standards of proficiency and professionalism.

Canada’s most common mortgage designation is the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP), established by CAAMP in 2004. In the opinion of many, however, (including this author) the bar for getting those three letters behind your name has never been high enough.

That’s about to change.

Effective July 1 the AMP is undergoing a wholesale transformation. It’s the third major revision of the designation since its inception.

Earning an AMP designation will now require:

  1. Completion of a regulator-approved licensing education course
    • For provinces without current mandatory agent/associate licensing courses (New Brunswick, PEI, Newfoundland/Labrador and Nova Scotia), brokers will have to meet educational requirements equivalent to a province with such standards.
  2. A valid mortgage agent/broker licence
  3. Completion of a National Competency Exam
    • This new test will be administered by the University of British Columbia, Sauder School of Business.
    • People will take the exam in-person in proctored facilities.
    • Subjects include underwriting, product knowledge, ethics, professional conduct, mortgage suitability assessment, regulations, compliance, and so on.
    • It’ll have a 70% passing score with multiple choice, short answer and essay-style questions.
  4. A minimum of two years’ industry experience
    • CAAMP is wisely bringing back this requirement after instituting exceptions to it in 2010. Letting brokers qualify without two years of experience weakened barriers to entry and drastically diluted the AMP’s perceived value.
  5. A minimum of 24 closed mortgages per year
    • Brokers will need their employer to attest that they’ve closed a minimum of 24 deals per year in the past two years. CAAMP may confirm this with lenders as well.
    • Supervisory brokers can qualify if they’ve overseen 100+ deals per year for the past two years.
    • This one change alone will be a profound difference maker in the AMP. Mortgage professionals all know what mistakes can happen in this business as novices. Now, at long last, consumers and lenders will know that an AMP broker has a standard amount of experience.
  6. Two letters of recommendation
    • One must be from a lender and one from the candidate’s employer.
    • One of the two must be from an AMP member.
  7. A signed annual attestation
    • This will confirm, among other things, that: (a) mortgage brokering is the individual’s primary line of work (no more accredited moonlighters), (b) he/she meets CAAMP ethics standards and (c) the broker has closed 24+ deals in the past 12 months.
  8. Errors and omissions insurance
  9. The completion of 12 continuing education credits every year

Items 1-8 above are either brand new requirements or they’ve been reinstated. These qualification criteria raise the AMP’s barriers to entry significantly and solidify its credibility. That should draw back some of the brokers who have been disenfranchised with the AMP in the past.

 

  1. This is certainly better than the current criteria (a pulse and a checkbook) but as someone who doesn’t have the AMP today I am still wondering whether clients will ever really know or care what it is.
    Without a public awareness campaign, all this does is give mortgage professionals even less reason to be bothered with an AMP designation. If it’s still useless in terms of public perception why would people jump through considerably more hoops to get it?

  2. I think letters after your name look more impressive than no letters, even if Joe public has no idea what they mean! LOL

  3. This is good. I won’t tell you how easy it was for me to obtain an AMP designation. At this time sadly, it’s a nice wall hanging. But now – or effective July 1st – it will rise in being perceived as a professional designation because one has to EARN it. The other designations I have – were earned with a lot more time and difficult effort – sometimes even having to repeat a course.
    Maybe this will keep out the riff – raff which proliferate every industry and profession.
    We must remember that change is inevitable and that other professional designating bodies have also increased and imposed requirements for obtaining them over the years.(too many too list here)More knowledge and experience is good. It is something that cannot be taken away. This will be better for clients. It is better for the broker. It is better for the lender. It is especially better for the industry!

  4. How about the AMPs that meet all criteria and have been given their walking papers due to the fact that not every agent or broker working under the brokerage license is a member of CAAMP? Regardless of how qualified these people are or how much they have supported their national association since inception of the designations, and no matter how competent they are, CAAMP could not care less.
    ?CAAMP has become a national organization for lenders and brokerages, not Accredited Mortgage Professionals. CAAMP as an national advocate and industry association should support all members that believe in and support the industry.

  5. Respect for any professional designation comes more from the actions and activities of the members, than from the 2 to 4 letters used. A strong group of AMP’s who provide quality leadership in how they practice their craft would be ideal.
    Having said that, setting some set of minimum standards is certainly a start.
    I would like to suggest two additions:
    1) one unique update course every two years that catered to enhancing the designation in its content
    2)a provision that each AMP provided proof of having “giving back”, either to the association or to the consumer in any renewal. This would be hard to police and open to interpretation, but it would at least enshrine an attitude of giving – something that many who love what they do, and do well at what they profess do regularly.

  6. Why as a lender, who will lose my amp with these changes, would I renew and pay my amp dues for this year?

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