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Graduate course for Immigration Advisers

A New Zealand educational institution is currently developing a Course for Immigration Advisers for delivery from next year.

The Immigration Advisers Authority (IAA) signed a contract last fortnight with the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic in partnership with the University of Waikato and the University of Victoria (Melbourne), to develop and deliver the Graduate Level qualification course from February 2012.

Registrar of Immigration Advisers Barr Smedts said the qualification will cover and assess the Immigration Adviser Competency Standards and the Licensed Immigration Advisers Code of Conduct.

The six month-course can be pursued as full-time, part-time, face-to-face tutorials at a number of centres in Auckland and other cities (depending on demand) or online, he said.

Mr Smedts said the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic proposal came through a competitive tender process, against several other high quality tenders.

“The Polytechnic demonstrated that it would use a thorough process to develop the qualification, and has gathered a large team of immigration and education experts to work on this project.

“We are confident that the course will be accessible and affordable for licensed and potential advisers around the world,” Barry Smedts said.

He claimed that the Immigration Adviser regime has worked well since its enforcement in 2008 and that the IAA had licensed individuals working as immigration advisers by assessing client files and examining their business practices against competency standards for advisers.

“New entrants to the industry have been granted provisional licences, and have learned ‘on the job’ with the support of their supervisor, an adviser who holds a full licence. This system has worked well in the first few transitional years of licensing. However, the Authority believes that the profession needs a qualification,” Mr Smedts said.

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