Leading finance professional credential a game-changer

CFLP being adapted for Australian brokers, says CAFBA

Leading finance professional credential a game-changer

Introduction to the Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP)

It has been CAFBA’s strategy for some time to professionalise our industry and create an educational pathway for new entrants into commercial finance.

Some years ago, CAFBA recognised that there was a lack of specific training material for commercial finance, which was an inhibitor to attracting new entrants into the profession. Whilst there was lender specific training material, there was not a definitive, recognised industry curriculum.

Commercial finance can be significantly more complex than residential and consumer lending. The right analysis is paramount to delivering the right product. Whereas in residential lending, assessment can be backward-looking, commercial finance is often forward-looking, with cash-flow forecasting and upcoming contracts important to a historical analysis.

As CAFBA has successfully advocated for, and remains committed to, a self-regulating framework for the commercial finance industry, the question is: how do we ensure commercial brokers are qualified to best serve their clients?

CAFBA believes that higher education standards across the entire commercial finance sector will demonstrate the ability of our industry to uphold professional standards, and, with the additional benefit of designated credentials, provide a structured pathway into the profession to help attract new and more diverse entrants.                                                       

Since its inception, CAFBA has been an industry leader in developing courses specific to our members. These include:

  • The Certificate IV in Financial Services: Specialising in Commercial & Asset Finance (FNS 41815); and                                                                                       
  • The Diploma of Financial Services: Complex Issues in Commercial Lending

With the development of the CAFBA Education Council in 2020, CAFBA expanded its professional education program to introduce the Certified Lease & Finance Professional (CLFP) designation – the  pre-eminent credential for equipment leasing and finance professionals throughout the world. CLFP designees demonstrate competency through testing of knowledge, continuing education and a commitment to their business practices and dedication to the industry.

The curriculum is comprehensive and covers in depth the information that a professional commercial and asset finance broker needs to achieve exceptional standards of professional conduct and technical expertise, including:

  • A history and overview of equipment finance and leasing;
  • An outline of the participants within the industry;
  • An overview of industry sectors by transaction size;
  • Outlines of the competition to equipment finance;
  • A detailed examination of equipment finance products;
  • The five major drivers of equipment finance and the leasing industry;
  • A detailed look into financial accounting, tax accounting and leasing law;
  • Equipment finance origination channels;
  • Sales and marketing tools;
  • Detailed overview of the credit process, including its purpose and evaluation;
  • Documentation and due diligence;
  • Sources of capital;
  • Asset management;
  • Regulatory compliance;
  • Customer service,
  • Portfolio performance

This curriculum is currently being tailored to the Australian market from the United States. The CLFP is the only leasing industry certification program in the world, and in the US it is the qualification sought by all commercial finance professionals, including bankers and brokers. As the CLFP demonstrates competency in a range of subjects in commercial finance, the accreditation is internationally recognised, meaning that Australian CLFP holders will be able to work overseas to gain valuable international experience. CLFPs are now available in the US, Canada, South Africa, India and, shortly, Pakistan.

The CLFP has been endorsed by some of the leading international figures in commercial and asset finance.

Author and educator Sudhir Amembal, one of the world's most highly respected trainers and consultants in the field of equipment leasing and CEO of Amembal & Halladay, sits on the board as a director of the CLFP.

Ralph Petta, president and CEO of the US$1 trillion annual volume Equipment Leasing Finance Association (ELFA) has stated:

“We support the CLFP Foundation and will continue to help raise the visibility of its important work among the ELFA membership,” Petta said. “Our board and leadership support the CLFP program and the CLFP credential.  We are encouraging ELFA members who haven’t yet earned the CLFP designation to consider enrolling in this highly respected program to demonstrate their industry expertise and increase their opportunities for advancement in this great industry.”

The process of “Australianising” the CLFP

In late 2020, CAFBA  formed the CAFBA Education Foundation to fund and oversee the body of work to be undertaken to adapt the CLFP to Australia.

Changes to accounting, tax and regulatory regimes need to be reviewed and amended in line with Australian law and convention. CAFBA is confident this work will be completed by the middle of this year.

After the CLFP

Whilst the CLFP will be the acknowledged post nominal for commercial finance, CAFBA is in early discussions with tertiary bodies for students who have completed the CLFP to be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) for respective MBA finance courses for post graduate qualifications in finance disciplines.

For more information, check out the CAFBA website: CAFBA

This article was supplied by CAFBA’s Terry Moody (pictured). He is a founding partner of Moody Kiddell & Partners and past president and lifetime patron of CAFBA, where he currently serves as the Chair of Education.