BMWs independent lender Alphera Financial Services has committed to ensuring all of its senior team achieve Specialist Automotive Finance (SAF) Advanced accreditation.

SAF Advanced was launched by the Finance & Leasing Association (FLA) in 2015 in order to help increase the professionalism of the motor finance industry.

The qualification looks at the legal and regulatory framework of the industry, the products, processes and principles employed, methods for improving customer service and retention, and management techniques.

It is seen as the next step for staff who have already acquired the FLA’s existing online SAT test.

Alphera director, Spencer Halil, said: “We have long been a strong supporter of SAF and the insight and training it offers. With all of our team already certified with the basic SAF award, we felt it was the natural progression for our senior management to become SAF Advanced accredited, allowing them to provide the best guidance possible to the wider team, as well as sharing their knowledge with our partners.

Alongside the SAF Advanced commitment, Alphera plans to roll out an accreditation scheme of its own, alongside an industry partner, to serve as a gold standard side-by-side with the SAF Advanced award in Q1 2018.

Halil said he viewed the two accreditation schemes as well-matched.

Explaining the decision to roll out the scheme, he said: “Alphera has always had a culture of helping our staff and partners develop, embrace new skills and keep ahead of innovation, so it is a natural evolution for us to roll out our own training and accreditation.”