Education changes drive knowIT, Monarch deal


By Sarah Kendell

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Fintech firm knowITdigital has entered into a joint venture with professional services training provider Monarch Institute that will allow the group’s Diploma and Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning courses to be offered through knowIT’s adviser software, wealthdigital.

The new initiative will offer incentive rates for the diploma courses to wealthdigital’s 4000 adviser users and will see knowIT work with Monarch to develop tailored versions of the courses that incorporate work-based use of the wealthdigital platform.

Launching the partnership at a media event in Sydney yesterday, knowITdigital chief executive Wayne Wilson said it was vital the financial planning industry got to grips with a surge in demand for education that was likely to occur in the coming months as incoming changes to professional standards for advisers were finalised.

“Once the standards board decides what the new standards are going to be, there is going to be a rush of half-qualified planners that have a five-year framework in which to get themselves up to the new standards, and we think the demand will greatly exceed supply in the first few years,” Wilson said.

“It’s part of our quest to take the thousands of pages of information on wealthdigital and get them into a useful environment, so we will be rewiring Monarch’s diploma courses to allow advisers to come out at the end qualified in the knowledge that comes from that course, but also how to use our software in a practical and business sense.”

Monarch chief operating officer Nick Chapman said the group’s shift towards educational content with a more practical application for advisers had been a driving force behind its decision to partner with knowITdigital.

“Part of our investment in our courses is embedding things people would use in the workforce to make sure our graduates are the best they could possibly be,” Chapman said.

“Monarch have got some ambitious targets about being there to deliver really high-quality education for this sector and knowIT certainly share that passion.”

Wilson added the opportunity for students to engage via mobile or tablet was also important given changes in the way knowledge and information were being accessed.

“These days more often than not most of us would reach into our pocket and want to access information through our phone, so part of the future is not only to digitise information but to digitise access to it,” he said.

“Ongoing learning needs to be in an environment where you can continue to push things out in different ways – it’s about a whole engagement with students, not only during the period they are in a diploma program, but after.”

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