Senior Financial Services Customer Advisor

Key Information

Level 3
Typical Duration 18 Months
Delivery Model One-to-one support and remote learning
Delivery Location Workplace
Start Date Flexible (cohort start dates to be agreed between all parties)

Programme Summary

This apprenticeship has been designed for use in banks and building societies, but may have wider application across the financial services sector, including Life Insurers. Within these organisations, there are a number of front line roles that deal with customers and require a high level of technical knowledge and skills across a wide range of products – these may happen in a branch, over the phone, through the internet/social media, or an operations centre that supports other areas. They may deal with individuals, businesses or a small portfolio of accounts.

Typical activities could include, depending on the organisation, understanding customer needs and meeting those needs with the right products and services, e.g type of bank account/credit card/loans/ insurances; promoting new digital services to encourage customers to use these channels, proactively calling customers to deepen relationships, resolving tricky complaints, working with other areas of the organisation to meet customer needs. Products within the scope of this role are core banking, savings and insurance. Any mortgage, complex investment or other regulated product opportunities will be referred to specialists.


Knowledge What is required (through formal learning and applied according to business environment)
Industry and company understanding Understands the role their sector plays in Financial Services, the business they work in, the end to end customer experience, the company ‘Values’, professional standards, and where their role fits in the business. Understands the different areas of the organisation they need to work with to deliver for the customer. Understands where their organisation sits in the market and its impact on / role in the local economy.
Regulatory, Legal and Compliance Broad understanding of the Financial Services legal and regulatory framework, together with how this applies to their role. Sound understanding of relevant risk and compliance requirements e.g. Information vs Advice, Regulated vs non-Regulated products, Escalation procedures, Conduct Risk, Training & Competence, Complaints, Fraud Prevention. Keeps up to date with changes.
Products & Services Broad understanding of the products and services offered to customers by their organisation, together with sound knowledge of the products and services, their features and benefits, relevant to their role. Understands the range of customer channels, their features and benefits.
Systems and Processes Understands the systems, tools and processes used in the role, together with the standards to be met, including IT tools and digital banking solutions provided to customers. Understands how these link with other areas of the business to provide seamless solutions for customers.
Skills & Behaviours What is required (through formal learning and applied according to business environment)
Delivers excellent service, identifying and meeting or exceeding customer requirements. Educates customers in the use of digital solutions, helping them select the appropriate channel to deal with the organisation. Builds trust and loyalty with customers. Initiates contact with customers to deepen relationships when required. Provides solutions to customers that meet their needs e.g. accounts, savings, loans, cards, insurances; or refers to specialists e.g. mortgages and regulated products. Supports the company contribution to the local community where appropriate. Develops a network of contacts e.g. solicitors, estate agents to provide opportunities and self- generates business opportunities where appropriate.
Delivering Results Uses a wide range of company systems and processes to deliver services to customers, Takes the initiative to meet challenging individual and team performance measures in line with company policy, Values, standards and regulatory requirements. Plans and organises their work to meet commitments / KPIs, not needing to be told what to do. Meets agreed business plan objectives where appropriate.
Teamwork Consistently supports colleagues /collaborates to achieve results. Builds/maintains strong working relationships within and across teams. Works with/negotiates with other business areas to deliver to the customer, retaining ownership through to resolution. Supports and develops others in the team. Aware of own role in the team and impact on others.
& Influencing
Deals effectively with customers/colleagues, using sound interpersonal skills and communicating well through a range of media using appropriate language e.g. phone, face to face, email, social. Listens actively to understand needs and adapts their style to their audience. Influences others to meet the customer’s needs
Problem solving Works to deliver the best customer outcome when handling problems and complaints. Uses questioning to gain insight and further information. Takes ownership through to resolution. Supports the resolution of complex complaints and handles emotive situations professionally. Meets internal and external requirements e.g. company policy and regulatory. Escalates as appropriate.
Continuous Improvement Identifies opportunities to improve performance and service. Takes ownership of specific changes through to implementation.
Personal Development Seeks feedback and acts on it to improve their performance. Builds their own capability through ownership of their own development, working with their manager. Keeps up to date with relevant changes. Supports others in their development through mentoring/coaching as appropriate.
Honesty & Integrity Truthful, sincere and trustworthy in their actions. Shows integrity by doing the right thing.
Maintains appropriate confidentiality at all times.
Flexibility Adapts positively to changing work priorities and patterns when new tasks need to be done or requirements change.
Resilience Displays energy and enthusiasm in the way they go about their role, dealing positively with setbacks when they occur. Stays positive under pressure.

What will you learn?

An individual learning plan (ILP) will be agreed with the apprentice, mentor and Training Associate. Short, medium and long term targets will be set, and this will be reviewed and updated on a regular basis. The targets will be based around the knowledge, skills and behaviours detailed in the standard. They will also take in to consideration development goals or actions that the apprentice already has in place.

Relevant/selected qualifications will be started, and learner will be expected to manage their own study for this.

Monthly sessions will be arranged with the Training Associate to support progress/and review portfolio of learning and evidence. These will be a mixture of fac-to-face and remote sessions.

In addition, approximately every ten weeks, a progress review will be completed with the apprentice, mentor and Training Associate. This will look at progress towards all elements of the apprenticeship, and also cover discussions around topics such as:

  • Health and safety
  • Equality and diversity
  • Prevent and British values

Functional skills must be completed if Level 2 maths and English are not already in place. There is an opportunity, if needed, for additional visits with a functional skills tutor to be arranged. Testing will be arranged on a suitable date at City Skills, Lissadel Street, M6 6AP. 

Once all prerequisites have been met, the apprentice can be submitted in to gateway.

Mandatory Qualifications

  • Functional Skills Level 2 in English (unless previously achieved)
  • Functional Skills Level 2 in maths (unless previously achieved)

The apprentice will complete an appropriate qualification/examination (as considered most relevant by the employer) from one of the following professional bodies:

  • Chartered Banker Institute – Professional Banker Certificate; Professional Banker Diploma; Certificate in Complaint Handling; Certificate in Offshore Banking Practice
  • Chartered Insurance Institute – Award In Retail Banking; Certificate In Financial Services; Certificate in Insurance; Award in Financial Administration; Group Risk
  • Chartered Institute of Securities & Investment – Investment Operations Certificate
  • London Institute of Banking & Finance – Certificate in Retail Banking Conduct of Business; Certificate in Business Banking and Conduct; Certificate in Consumer Debt Collection; Certificate in Regulated Complaints Handling; Award in Customer Complaints Handling; Certificate in Financial Administration and Planning; Certificate in Supervising in a Regulated Environment; Certificate for Specialists in Automotive Finance; Certificate in International Trade and Finance

End Point Assessment

The End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO) for this standard will be DSW. 

Assessment method Description Grading Area of standard covered
Portfolio of evidence A Portfolio of Evidence from the final months of the apprenticeship which contains a range of types of evidence demonstrating that the apprentice has met the requirements of the Standard. Fail/Pass/Distinction Whole standard
Professional discussion A Professional Discussion that focuses on the softer skills of the Standard, exploring what has been produced in the portfolio, how it has been produced and how well they are performing in their role Fail/Pass/Distinction Whole standard

Entry Requirements

  • English and maths – Level 1

Apprentices must be in suitable employment and have the opportunity to develop the required knowledge, skills and behaviors aligned to this apprenticeship standard. 

Interested in this apprenticeship? Apply now.