Broker doubts AMP changes are sufficient

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Disaffected brokers are now mulling over a seismic change to the AMP designation, although some doubt the plan is enough to bring them back into the fold – even with the promise of an exclusive certification.

“Probably not,” Dave Lytton, former AMP member and broker with Dominion Lending Centres White house, told MortgageBrokerNews.ca. “I was an AMP for two or three years and it didn’t get me anything extra so I said ‘screw it.’”

In an official statement from Jim Murphy, president and CEO of CAAMP, the organization outlined in broad strokes changes to the designation set to come into effect later this year.

“Now in its tenth year, the Accredited Mortgage Professional (AMP) designation is undergoing a transformation to ensure it continues to provide value and advance professional practice in the industry,” Murphy says in the statement.

The changes include changing AMP designation into a broker-only designation; establishing a new designation for other industry professionals, such as lenders and insurers; and requiring AMP hopefuls to pass a “national proficiency exam,” which will be administered by the University of British Columbia.

However, brokers still have questions about the changes, including what exactly the new designation for non-brokers will confer and if there will be a cost difference between it and the AMP.

“I guess I have to see what the new designation is and what the thought process is around that. If lenders and those types of people are going to be happy with it, OK,” Lytton said. “But if it (the AMP) is not going to really do anything different then I don’t see it acting as a catalyst to get more people to come out and I don’t think it’s going to get me any more business, anyways.”

When contacted for more details about the changes, Jim Murphy claimed they require no further clarification.

“I think the notice we sent out yesterday speaks for itself,” Murphy told MortgageBrokerNews.ca.
  • Jack on 2014-01-31 9:28:47 AM

    It's unfortunate that CAAMP didn't elaborate on that notice. It seemed very light on content and there's nothing on their website that I saw. I'd like to know the costs involved, how tough it will be, etc. Maybe they haven't worked out those details but if they have, I hope they share them soon.
    Might be worthwhile to get this new designation if it helps with my business.
    2600 AMPs in the country and 10700 CAAMP members. Interesting to see if this moves those numbers at all.

  • exAMP on 2014-01-31 9:40:20 AM

    I still don't understand why an association that calls itself the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals allows members who are not "Accredited Mortgage Professionals"? Does anyone else see the irony in this? If you are a member of CAAMP, why do you need to pay extra to be an AMP?

  • banker on 2014-01-31 10:20:59 AM

    funny, an org that relies on lenders to pay the freight, dumps those very same members

  • Nick Bachusky on 2014-01-31 10:25:37 AM

    I agree with @Jack, we want to see concrete changes from CAAMP, not the usual promises. This seems to be taking a very long time and many people have to wonder if they are serious about making this a legit designation. I hope they realize that if they want brokers to shell out income on a yearly basis to keep the designation that they have to be able to sell the program to us first before we can be proud about it to the public. I just do not want to see another cash grab designation.

    Jim- Please put up what you have as a syllabus for the course now if you have one.

  • Peter on 2014-01-31 10:40:50 AM

    Passed before years the entire broker course of Seneca Collage (ON). The course provides general knowledge, but not a single subject will teach a broker to put together a deal. 101+experince qualified me for AMP (was an AMP for two years), but did not see any benefit either for business, or for professional development.

    Cannot remember any (successful) lobbying on part of CAAMP that is relevant to brokers.

  • Pamela Wyant on 2014-01-31 10:46:19 AM

    I believe this is my 9th year as an AMP...hasn't really done anything for me but I suppose some clients may like that I have initials after my name? I find the CE requirements have next to no value - I spend WAY more time & effort on education than what they ask for and then, being forced to sit through the "required" education modules is painful as the information in the modules is so basic! I would challenge CAAMP to get some new material for those of us that have been in the industry for a long time so we aren't being required to "relearn" what we have known for years...just to keep the designation that does Zip for us in reality.

  • Nick Bachusky on 2014-01-31 10:50:21 AM

    Jim, if you want help in course development, I am here to help you. The comments from current AMP's are embarrassing and disastrous to your brand. Please bring me into discussions. I can fast track this for you. It sounds like you need some #HUSTLE on your board and I will bring this to you.

  • Jim on 2014-01-31 11:03:33 AM

    It is a money grab for CAAMP, I have been a member of CIMBL, now CAAMP for 18+yrs and the AMP designation is a joke. I pay to be a CAAMP member and I remember a few years back CAAMP spent their (our) spring campaign money (spring 2011 or 2012) on trying to market consumers to use an AMP designated broker. I voiced my opinion, as a paying member, that CAAMP should spend our marketing dollars on promoting the mortgage broker industry as a whole, increase the market share for all brokers not just the ones that pay extra for a designation.
    The AMP designation is from our association not from FSCO, consumers need brokers and agents that are licensed and experienced, the AMP does not mean you are experienced.
    It really means nothing other than you have taken and continue to take courses to stay up to date on the industry, every licensed agent and broker must, by Mar 1st, complete the re-licensing coarse, a FSCO requirement not a CAAMP requirement which means that ALL licensed agents and brokers are up to date with industry guidelines. IMHO

  • Jason K. on 2014-01-31 11:03:35 AM

    DISAPOITNED TO SEE SO MANY PEOPLEE AGAINST CAAMP, WHICH HAS ALWAYS ACTED IN THE INTEREST OF THE INDUSTRY. THIS CHANGE CAN ONLY BE GOOD FOR ACREDITTED BROKERS.

  • Joanne on 2014-01-31 11:11:52 AM

    I agree with Dave Lytton, who was interviewed in the article. I have been an AMP for years but haven't really seen the benefit, except for some discounts on events. I am not planning on renewing my AMP this year. Unless, of course the program changes and it's worth being a part of.

  • Pamela Wyant on 2014-01-31 11:12:57 AM

    @Jason K. I'm not against CAAMP & still a member, still paying for the designation (just renewed again this month). I'm just waiting for them to make the membership & designation meaningful. These new changes will probably help but they have a long way to go still, in my opinion.

  • Layth Matthews on 2014-01-31 12:40:52 PM

    I'm not sure what people expect a professional designation will do for them. It just shows you attempt to remain current. It doesn't cost that much. If they set the continuing ed and qualification requirements high, people complain. If they set them low people complain. We are brokers after all. FYI, There are lots of other associations that allow membership to people who are candidates for their designations. What I'd like to see is additional privileges for AMPs. How about AMPs are qualified and free to place business in any or multiple provinces? Then standardize the continuing ed to maintain that! How about AMPs being allowed to sell MIC unit investments (subject to ethical restrictions)? That way we always have something to offer. Maybe we have to be paying more to the association rather than less and reducing it's dependence on the big banks for sponsorship (not sure how significant that is) as broker interests don't always coincide. Maybe AMPS should be broker only and the only ones who are allowed to vote...

  • Paolo Di Petta | dipettamortgage.com on 2014-01-31 12:55:23 PM

    The problem isn't the designation, it's the group behind it. As long as CAAMP keeps it's fingers in so many pies, the AMP designation can't be what the broker industry needs it to be.

  • Doug on 2014-01-31 1:48:48 PM

    I'm with Jim's comments above. Former AMP and former member, but let both lapse due to my opposition to the direction AMP went. Promoting AMP to the public, when our organization should be promoting using Mortgage Brokers, was wrong and insulting to the membership.

    Fold the AMP designation and promote our industry to the public. With only 25% of the members having this worthless designation when will the chair and board listen to the majority of the membership?

  • Paolo Di Petta | dipettamortgage.com on 2014-01-31 2:05:12 PM

    @Doug - I think it's pretty clear why CAAMP doesn't just fold the AMP designation and listen to the other 75% of members - it's revenue source (and in my opinion, a cash grab).

    It's a two tier system, and if you're not paying into the highest tier, they're not going to listen. Fact is, CAAMP has proven time and time again that they don't really care about the industry, they only care about monetizing it.

    Remember the REDX fiasco? - it was penalizing people who discontinued their AMP designation. It took quite an uproar to fix - and probably went on long before some poor broker discovered it.

    Notice all their pushes for continuing education? Clearly they see the money in education, and if they can get it into the legislation, they can mint money offering fluffy mandatory courses.

    I could go on, but you get the idea....

  • CM on 2014-01-31 2:13:56 PM

    I was a member of CAAMP and did hold my AMP designation for a couple of years. It wasn't a choice for me to renew, the option was pulled from me when my company decided not to be participating members of CAAMP due to lack of value from the organization and it was seen as a cash grab. This was disappointing to me as I'd spent time and moeny being a member and obtaining my designation, only to be dropped. The fact that every employee in a company must a member of CAAMP, or noone can be doesn't elevate the CAAMP members, it just waters down the ones who want to be there because they believe in the organization and value the benefits of membership or the AMP designation. I would really like to see the bylaws changed that anyone can join, whether their company does and be given the option for the designation. When you build a membership around these people, because they are committed to being there, they will stand out in the crowd, which is the intention of the Association. I also agree that Lenders and Insurers should have a different designation as we carry out different functions in the industry. And those who work for banks as employees don't go through the same education requirements, so why should they be permitted to hold those designations.
    I think another area where CAAMP is lacking is public education and awareness. The general public has absolutely no idea what the AMP stands for, the value of the designation, or why they should look for Brokers who are members of CAAMP. I see lots of advertising in the Broker magazines, but very little in public forums. The money should be spend on the public, as Brokers already know about CAAMP, so in my opinion, it's wasted dollars on advertising that don't create an ROI.

  • Nick Bachusky on 2014-01-31 6:59:16 PM

    @CM Great post, I very much agree with your points. I hope Jim is reading this thread and does not do the easy thing and ignore it.

  • Jimmy the broker on 2014-02-02 9:09:02 AM

    CAAMP is a complete failure. On a sidenote to the laughable AMP topic , when was the last time CAAMP ran a TV ad nationally to promote Mortgage Brokers? Ummm, never . Meanwhile TREB does it for realtors, Insurance Brokers get promoted by their association. Mortgage Brokers get nothing from CAAMP. If my fees would at least be used for a few TV ad campaigns throughout the year, I would feel at least 80% better about paying my fees. Show me you are promoting and supporting Brokers PROPERLY and I'll keep paying.

    Canadians still don't understand the benefits of a mortgage broker over a bank. THAT IS THE FAULT OF CAAMP.

  • SWK on 2014-02-03 8:37:29 AM

    Agree with CM left membership years ago for identical reasons. They would not accept my membership renewal as a sole member of my company and referring AMP as a cash grab. Better benefits belonging to IMBA at this point.

  • Michael Lloyd on 2014-02-03 1:41:03 PM

    All of us in my Company dropped CAAMP & our AMP designations 2 years ago as it has become obvious that CAAMP is more interested in building a bureaucracy rather than getting the Mortgage Broker message to the public as was originally envisioned by the CIMBL founders. Check out the annual financial statements and see how much is spent to keep this "machine" alive...it's ludicrous. Massive changes are needed, but unlikely to occur.

  • vittorio on 2014-02-11 1:40:29 PM

    I agree with CM-
    I own a brokerage where some of my associate do not want to be part of CAAMP or AMP. While I question it over and over why I am a member, and in turn my whole brokerage has no choice but to be a member. I would like to give my associate the choice and for that CAAMP fails. Each Associate should have the choice if they want to be or not.

    We as brokers have a bigger problem, We like to disagree way to much-. We tell everybody what is wrong with no real ideas on how to make it better. Come on, if you see a problem come up with solution or just keep your mouth shut.
    Is CAAMP the best, NO! but we have nothing better. So until something comes up that is better, I am sticking with CAAMP.

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