June 2017 newsletter
Welcome to June and New Zealand’s winter season.
This month we are looking to launch an information and education campaign for international students in New Zealand, which I talk about below.
I want to thank all the immigration advisers supervising provisional licence holders. We now have 149 provisional licence holders and 117 supervisors. Supervisors contribute to improving the competence of new advisers and the reputation of the profession and I am grateful for your commitment to this important work.
This month, I’d also like to remind you all of the importance of clear communication with your clients, and keeping good records of those communications. Read on to understand how our workplaces can set up strong, professional working relationships with clients.
Until next time,
Registrar of Immigration Advisers
International student campaign
This month we are launching an information and education campaign for international students in New Zealand who may be considering their options to stay here after study.
International students already in New Zealand may not be aware that if they are seeking immigration advice, the adviser must be licensed or exempt. The purpose of the campaign is to raise awareness that there are professional licensed immigration advisers students can access.
We will reach Chinese students through the Chinese Herald and We Chat and Indian students through Facebook. We will also be working with stakeholders that have strong relationships with education providers and international students to promote our message.
I look forward to giving you an update in the July edition of our newsletter.
2017 Adviser input
The first two reference group meetings for the year have been very engaging with discussion ranging from supervision to communications initiatives. We have had offshore advisers visit from India and China as well as guests from Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology come and talk about the Graduate Diploma.
The Qualification Steering Group workshop in late April was also a success with licensed advisers and the Immigration Protection Tribunal providing fresh scenarios to keep the Graduate Diploma up-to-date and focused on the most relevant topics.
Student work placements
Students completing the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice at Toi Ohomai have the option of taking a work placement course in the second half of their studies.
The purpose of the work placement course is to give students an opportunity to observe and reflect on the professional practice of a licensed adviser and to discuss real situations with a licensed adviser. It gives them an opportunity to see first-hand the daily challenges and professional practices of a licensed adviser.
To talk to Toi Ohomai about hosting a student next semester, contact Jeni Fountain firstname.lastname@example.org
Semester two starts on 17 July 2017.
Are you communicating well with your client?
When advisers communicate clearly with their clients, complaints are much less likely to arise. If a complaint does arise, having a good record of your material communications is likely to help resolve the complaint much more quickly.
Good communication starts at the beginning of the relationship. You need to gather the appropriate information from your client so you can conduct an assessment, evaluate their options, identify potential barriers to eligibility and provide them with advice.
Remember, you are required to get informed instructions from your client before you start working for them.
Whenever a material discussion takes place with the client, you must confirm the details of the discussion to their client in writing. This is particularly important when you conduct eligibility assessments, provide advice and obtain instructions.
Confirming details of material conversations reduces the risk of a misunderstanding between you and the client, and gives the client an opportunity to question or correct any aspect of the discussion.
I encourage you to reflect on how well you are keeping your clients informed in writing and to put systems in place to make that easier.
Initial consultations…. Did you know?
If you charge for an initial consultation, you must obtain the client’s written consent to the fee and the payment terms and conditions for that fee. That consent could be obtained by email, or in person prior to the consultation.
An initial consultation is a consultation that takes place prior to the adviser and the client agreeing to proceed with the adviser’s services.
A licensed immigration adviser must ensure that when they and the client decide to proceed, they provide the client with a written agreement.
Did you know that you can view the recordings of previous webinars on our website?
You may count watching a recording of a seminar or session as completion of the training where that session includes interaction such as questions and answers. However, we do recommend that to get the most value from this activity you get together with at least one other adviser so that you can discuss the content.
Power up your knowledge with Consumer Rights Day case studies
Back in March we attended the Christchurch Consumer Rights Day. You can now see videos from that day from a range of presenters to learn more about consumer organisations such as the Banking Ombudsman and the Disputes Tribunal.