May 2017 newsletter
Our campaign in South Africa was very successful, allowing us to raise awareness among the general public of where to go for professional immigration advice if they’re looking to come to New Zealand. The campaign, which finished on 28 April, also reminded travel agents that they cannot provide New Zealand immigration advice without a licence.
We reached over 400,000 people, with targeted online, print media, and social media advertising. Our social media campaign alone drove over 5,000 people to the IAA website in three weeks. I was also interviewed live on Johannesburg's most popular news radio station Talk Radio 702, with an expected 195,000 listeners tuning in.
Our campaign to raise awareness among New Zealand employers is also tracking well, with major organisations and chambers of commerce publishing our article in their newsletters, reaching around 20,000 employers so far.
In the May newsletter, we talk about professional development opportunities available, and how to identify and manage conflicts of interest in your work.
Registrar of Immigration Advisers
Continuing professional development opportunities
The IAA’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements are flexible, which means you can find CPD opportunities to suit you wherever you are in the world.
Many licensed advisers attend INZ seminars, NZAMI seminars or webinars and IAA webinars as part of their development. Advisers around the world have set up local study groups, and there are many that provide or receive supervision or mentoring.
Any training opportunity you have that is related to the Code or Competency Standards can be counted towards your CPD hours. For example, taking a short course to improve your professional written English skills is relevant to Competency Standard 7. Attending a seminar on an aspect of local law may be relevant to Competency Standard 6 – the ability to manage a business in accordance with local law.
To be accepted, all CPD activities must:
- Be related to some aspect of the Competency Standards or the Code of Conduct
- Be relevant to your learning needs
- Be interactive
- Be verifiable.
You can count the following activities towards CPD:
- Giving or receiving training
- Giving or receiving mentoring or supervision
- Contributing to relevant industry bodies or consultation processes
- Facilitating or participating in study groups.
The Authority does not approve or endorse CPD providers. As long as training is related to the Competency Standards or the Code of Conduct; relevant to your learning needs; interactive and verifiable, it is acceptable. There will be many different providers in countries around the world who offer CPD opportunities that meet these requirements.
Here are some well-known CPD opportunities for New Zealand licensed immigration advisers. Any activity you undertake offered by one of these organisations must still meet the requirements as set out in the CPD Toolkit.
Immigration New Zealand
Seminars for local immigration advisers in INZ branches around the world. All advisers are emailed details of the Henderson events. If you are offshore, contact your local branch for details of their events.
Seminars and events. NZAMI live streams its seminars and also runs webinars.
Seminars and events, generally Wellington based.
CCH Annual Immigration Law Conference
Annual immigration law conference in Auckland
The Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice which can be studied full-time or part-time from anywhere in the world
A refresher training course which licensed advisers may complete online from anywhere in the world
Remember that our CPD Toolkit sets out all the requirements for acceptable CPD activities. You need to be familiar with this document.
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 other training session 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.
Identifying conflicts of interest
An adviser owes a duty to his or her client to act in the client’s best interests, free from any competing loyalties to anyone else, including themselves.
A conflict of interest arises when an adviser’s own interests, or the interests of another client of the adviser, may influence the adviser’s judgement or actions towards a client. A conflict may arise between the adviser and the client or between the client and another client of the adviser’s.
Examples of potential conflicts of interest that you need to manage include:
- where you represent both the employer and the potential employee
- where you are the employer of the visa applicant
- where you are employed by the employer of the visa applicant
- where you are related to the visa applicant
- where you are receiving a commission from an education provider for an offer of place.
Where a licensed immigration adviser is aware that there is a potential or actual conflict of interest relating to the client, including the existence of any financial or non-financial benefit the adviser will receive as a result of the relationship with the client, the adviser must disclose the potential or actual conflict to the client in writing.
A client must be advised in writing of any potential or actual conflict of interest relating to them. This can be achieved by referring to the actual or potential conflict in the written agreement with the client.
The adviser should explain to the client as fully as possible what they believe the actual or potential conflict of interest is.
Clause 5 highlights that any financial or non-financial benefit that an adviser will receive as the result of their relationship with the client is an actual or potential conflict of interest. The existence of this benefit must be disclosed to the client in writing. Advisers should carefully consider what they need to disclose on a case by case basis with a view to being as transparent as possible in the circumstances.
Where a licensed immigration adviser is aware that there is a potential or actual conflict of interest relating to the client, the adviser may only represent or continue to represent the client where the client gives written consent.
The next step is that the client must give consent in writing if they still want to engage the services of the adviser.
The duty to disclose a potential or actual conflict of interest is on-going, and if the adviser’s situation changes at any time, they must inform their client, make any necessary changes to the written agreement and seek written confirmation from all parties to the agreement that they accept the change.
Where there is a potential or actual conflict of interest and the client has been informed of this in writing, the client must give written consent to proceed with the services.
A licensed immigration adviser must not in any circumstances represent or continue to represent the client where they are aware that there is an actual conflict of interest that means:
- the adviser’s objectivity or the relationship of confidence and trust between the adviser and the client would be compromised, or
- the adviser would breach the confidentiality of a client.
In some situations a conflict of interest may mean that the adviser can no longer represent the client.
If an adviser finds that an actual conflict of interest would mean that their objectivity would be compromised or that the relationship of confidence and trust with the client would be compromised, then the adviser has a choice; either:
- to find a way to manage or remove the conflict so that this situation does not arise, or
- not act or continue to act for the client.
The same is true if the adviser finds that disclosing a conflict of interest to a new client would breach the confidentiality of an existing client. Unless the existing client consents to the confidential information being disclosed to the new client, the adviser must not act or continue to act for the new client.
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, contact Jeni Fountain email@example.com
Industry places on the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice
Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology will reserve 25 places in the July intake of the Graduate Diploma in New Zealand Immigration Advice for people currently employed within immigration practices. These places can be either full-time or part-time.
To reserve an industry place, the employer needs to contact Lynette Steele firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of May 2017 and confirm that the employee:
- Has a formal employment relationship with their organisation.
- Will be required by their organisation to apply for an immigration adviser licence once they graduate.
Once an industry place has been offered to the employer’s organisation, the prospective student will need to apply and meet the academic and entry requirements of the programme before they can enrol and utilise the place reserved in their name.
Semester two of the Graduate Diploma starts on 17 July 2017.