Adviser NI

Meeting Members’ Needs and Quality Requirements for the Sector

Advice NI is excited to announce its new and improved Adviser NI course coming in October 2020.

Listening to members’ needs, Adviser NI has been redeveloped for the changing COVID-19 landscape. These changes will allow members to complete the qualification online through blended online learning.

Blended online learning gives learners anytime access to course content via our Moodle learning management system, with scheduled live online tutorials throughout the course. Online quizzes and activities keep learners engaged as they progress, with tutor access throughout as needed. Assignments are handed in and assessed via the Moodle, doing away with paper submissions.

Members told us they needed all-year access to Adviser NI training for staff and volunteers, rather than waiting for the next scheduled course.  This new course operates roll-on-roll-off registration and access, allowing learners to join the qualification at any point throughout the year.

While the course has always included all aspects of advice skills and benefits, members asked for the certification to show in more detail what is covered. We have redesigned the course with the Awarding Body into specific subject areas which will be listed on the certificate.

We understood members’ needs to access this training from anywhere across Northern Ireland. This new blended approach will do just that, with no travel costs.

Members also need training in all core aspects of the Northern Ireland Advice Quality Standard to be available, but optional to suit advice centre needs. All baseline generalist advice requirements including advice skills, benefits advice, and financial capability are included in the qualification modules, which combine to a Certificate or an Extended Certificate in Providing Social Security Advice.

We’ve listened and understood that Advisers want clear progression routes in the sector and to better understand how to advance their careers. The new L4 Extended Certificate includes a module on Continuing Professional Development enabling advisers to consider their career pathways. The qualification will be further extended to Diploma level in 12 to 18 months with optional units in core subject areas such as employment, debt, and disability.

In such difficult times, we’ve also heard members’ requests for more affordable access to the training they need. This blended online learning approach will reduce costs for Advice NI, enabling us to pass this reduction on to members.

An overview of the changes made to meet your needs is provided below:
Changes Original Adviser NI Qualification New Adviser NI Qualification
Qualification Level 4 Certificate in Providing Social Security Advice Level 4 Extended Certificate in Providing Social Security Advice
Modules 2 Modules:
  • Advice Skills and Procedures
  • Social Security Benefits & Welfare Reform
9 Modules:
  • Advice Policies, Principles, and Standards
  • Building Financial Capability for Future Financial Wellbeing
  • Case Recording and Case Management for Advice Services
  • Disability Benefits
  • Managing Advice Interviews
  • Personal Independence Payments (PIP)
  • Understanding Social Security Benefits
  • Universal Credit
  • Continuing Professional Development for Advisers
Format Face-to-face provision inclusive of 10-12 f2f days. Blended learning provision, inclusive of:
  • 9 anytime-online modules
  • 5 ‘live-online’ tutorials
Progression Planning Progression:
  • Extended Certificate
  • CDP Module included
  • Diploma Level qualification with optional units by 2022
We are excited and looking forward to taking you through this new learning journey soon.

The course will be available for booking through the Advice NI website early-October. In the meantime please contact for more information or to express an interest in the course.