Alphera, BMW Group’s independent motor finance division, has launched three Quality Assured Programmes (QAPs) in a bid to ensure high standards in the sale of finance and insurance (F&I) products. They form part of Alphera’s ‘Finance and Insurance Accreditation Pathway’, developed in partnership with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI).

Spencer Halil, director of Alphera, said, “Consumers are more alert than ever to the risks of being sold an inappropriate finance product, and the motor finance sector is facing more FCA scrutiny to ensure customers are treated fairly. It’s vital that staff responsible for F&I sales at every level in the business have the skills and knowledge to present products in a professional and transparent manner.

“Launched in partnership with the IMI, these programmes provide a platform from which F&I sales specialists can improve their confidence and skills, and ultimately gain official IMI accreditation.”

The Funding Essential Skills programme is targeted at vehicle sales executives, educating participants in various consumer funding products and the role of finance in the car market. Sales staff are expected to learn the skills and knowledge necessary to properly qualify customers’ car finance needs, and deliver a clear and transparent presentation of finance products to allow customers to make an informed decision.

The Selling to the Business User programme targets business managers who are already familiar with the theory and practice of selling F&I. The course teaches participants terminology and how to qualify business customers’ needs regarding a variety of funding options. Its aim is also to give those on the programme a clearer understanding of current business taxation and VAT implications, plus incorporating these as part of the finance sale.

Developing the Manager is likewise targeted at business managers, with focus on the development of ‘soft’ skills to improve team performance and develop greater interpersonal skills. The programme is designed to be linked to management, leadership and communication skills.

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Alphera has recently launched an accreditation scheme in partnership with the Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI). All participants in the ‘Developing F&I Excellence’ accreditation scheme will need to have passed the standard SAF competence test beforehand.

At the 2018 Motor Finance Europe awards Alphera was awarded the Non-bank owned independent finance provider of the year.