FLA launches new SAF training options to improve industry skills

24 April 2019

The Finance & Leasing Association’s (FLA) Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) programme has been relaunched in partnership with The London Institute of Banking & Finance, with an improved range of training options for dealership staff that will further increase the professionalism, skills and knowledge in this sector.

From today, those who successfully pass their yearly SAF online test – now called SAF Expert – will accrue study credits towards the more demanding Level 3 SAF Advanced qualification which is accredited by the Institute.

SAF Expert will continue to be funded by FLA lenders, and provided free to users, as will SAF Essentials – a new set of basic modules that offer the perfect induction to motor finance by providing a broad overview of the industry and its products.

SAF Advanced, which at Level 3 puts the motor finance industry’s training on an equal footing with the professional courses required in other markets, is now also available on a new app-based learning platform, SAF Advanced Academy.

The app follows the established SAF Advanced syllabus, but presents the material in a more interactive game-format – users can also track their progress, then the app identifies those areas where more study is needed and will generate tests to check the user’s development.

 Commenting on the launch, Adrian Dally, Head of Motor Finance at the FLA, said:

 “Motor finance is the third largest market in the consumer credit sector, so the current level of scrutiny from regulators and the media should be considered the new normal.

 “Staff training is therefore more important than ever, and the new suite of SAF courses provides a training option for everyone, regardless of their level of experience. Now is the time to make sure that all customer-facing staff have the skills they need to help your business thrive.”

 Brian Wilkinson, MD of Corporate and Professional Qualifications at The London Institute of Banking & Finance, said: 

 “Many consumers lack knowledge – and confidence – about how best to fund their car among the numerous options available to them.

 “It’s critical that car-buyers get the right information and guidance from well-trained motor finance experts. A SAF-expert advisor is best placed to support the purchase decision and provide assurance that customers have made an appropriate choice.”

 The new SAF training options are online and ready for use.  

Notes to Editors

  1. The Specialist Automotive Finance programme has been running for 12 years, to increase the professionalism, skills and knowledge of dealership staff.
  2. Since 2007, more than 190,000 online SAF tests have been taken.
  3. SAF Expert is now accredited by The London Institute of Banking & Finance. This means that the Institute has reviewed and approved the standards and quality of the programme and considered the learning appropriate for credits. Holders of SAF Expert can claim an exemption from Unit 1 of SAF Advanced - the Level 3 Certificate for  Automotive Finance Specialists (CertAutoFS) awarded by The London Institute of Banking & Finance.
  4. In 2018, FLA members provided £137 billion of new finance to UK businesses and households. £104 billion of this was in the form of consumer credit, over a third of total new consumer credit written in the UK in 2018. £46 billion of it supported the purchase of new and used cars, including over 91% of private new car registrations.
  5. For media enquiries, please contact the FLA press office on 020 7420 9656.
  6. The London Institute of Banking and Finance was founded 140 years ago (in 1879) and is a registered charity, incorporated by Royal Charter.
  7. It provides accredited professional qualifications for the finance sector, helping thousands of people to develop their careers.  
  8. It has its own university, providing under-graduate and post-graduate degree courses for students aiming to pursue a career in banking, investment and finance at our university campus in central London, and it’s the only awarding body for personal finance qualifications for children and young people under the national curriculum, providing GCSE and A Level equivalent qualifications regulated by Ofqual.
  9. The app-based learning platform, SAF Advanced Academy, was created for FLA by learning and development agency RTS Group, which devises, designs and delivers learning solutions to improve the knowledge, skills and performance of people working in the automotive sector.



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