I'm nearing the submission date for the CeMAP Diploma coursework. (It’s 12 noon on the day to be precise).
Having sat lots of exams over the years, the coursework part of the CeMAP Diploma has a very different dynamic to other exam-based qualifications. Unlike preparing for an exam in which you attempt to assimilate lots of information hoping to reproduce it in a two hour period, the time spent preparing coursework goes much more slowly. It involves a lot of preparation, research, and independent thought to make sure the final report will make sense to my fictitious mortgage client.
In fact, it feels like one big exam spread out over 3 months…During this period most of us CeMAP Diploma students would have been a) wondering where to start b) working out the order the report should be in’ and most importantly c) trying to fit it all into 4,000 words, yes, just 4,000 words!
I mentioned in my previous blog how useful the Student Forum has been, and has continued to be my first port of call for reassurance since I began drafting the coursework report. The forum manages to take the ‘distance’ out of the distance learning experience, as it makes you feel part of a group. There is a real sense of community as everybody helps each other to achieve the desired result (50% or more is enough for a pass). It makes studying feel like a team effort, and if I’m successful much of it will be thanks to the student forum and of course the web tutor.
The real value of the CeMAP Diploma for the practitioner is that the coursework element involves preparing a generic, client-friendly mortgage recommendation, as opposed to a complicated thesis. In the real world, providing a written recommendation is a major part of a mortgage adviser’s role, and certainly one the FCA attaches great importance to, judging by the result of its recent thematic review, in which it noted that a large majority of financial adviser’s reports left a lot to be desired.
So my 4,000 word ‘masterpiece’ is now almost complete, and as a result the time I need to devote to the CeMAP Diploma has gradually reduced. Although with 20 days to go it’s always tempting to have one last look at the Student Forum before I submit my work, just in case I’ve missed something…
Finally, it’s worth noting that The London Institute of Banking has cleverly used technology at the final submission stage too; I can still go in and change my report right up until the submission date, even after I've submitted it.
So plenty of time to add the final touches as the weather starts to improve!
- Michael Nicholls is a Relationship Director at The London Institute of Banking & Finance.