Introducing Connect Academy, helping you become a confident and competent adviser in the specialist mortgage market.

Our courses are not simple static e-learning, they are fully interactive and presented live throughout a week, by various hosts and specialists!

In the residential market, an adviser must hold a mortgage qualification and be supervised until they can demonstrate that they are a competent adviser.

There is no such requirement in certain parts of the specialist market, so technically someone could be working as a builder one day and set themselves up as a Commercial, Bridging and BTL broker the next day without a qualification, or, for most of the sales, without FCA regulation! However, most lenders will not accept an application from an adviser who is not part of a regulated environment.

The number of lenders accepting business from non-regulated brokers has diminished. Even when the lenders are offering non-regulated products, they still have a preference to deal only with regulated brokers. Our Academy is designed to enable those with less experience to enter the market and benefit from starting or growing their own flexible specialist mortgage business.

Even for those with a qualification, there is more that a Mortgage Adviser needs to learn and understand,  including fact-finding, researching, presenting the solutions and giving advice. The Academy will help candidates to develop their mortgage knowledge, with a focus on their understanding of the criteria and lender offerings in the specialist market.

The Academy will be offered to candidates who are deemed capable. This could be brokers returning to the industry, accountants and people with a financial background, property experienced individuals, and estate or letting agents. The Academy can support existing business looking to grow, or new start-up businesses.

One of the key benefits of running a mortgage business is the flexibility of working hours and your work location. Our own CEO Liz Syms, grew the business to over 35 members of staff, supporting over 150 advisers around the UK, whilst also raising 3 children.

Curriculum will include:
  • Core compliance training
    • Money Laundering
    • Data Protection
    • Complaints
    • Understanding the mortgage basics
    • Treating customers fairly
  • Specialist knowledge training
    • Calculating BTL rental affordability
    • HMO and multi-unit property
    • Bridge finance- refurbishments and other uses
    • Commercial and business funding
    • Lender criteria complexities
  • Researching the market
    • Fact finding
    • Understanding a credit file
    • Understanding accounts and complex income
    • Using Research tools like Knowledge Bank
    • Creating an illustration in Twenty7tec
    • Lender resources
    • Case studies
    • Presenting solutions and closing the sale
  • Submitting business
    • Application process
    • Using OMS for submissions
    • Using OMS for tracking
    • Documentation standards
    • Undertaking risk checks
    • Customer Service Standards
  • Generating leads
    • Networking
    • Social media
    • Email marketing
    • Advertising approvals
    • Existing customers and personal recommendations

A mortgage qualification is not required (residential loans are not part of this course). Candidates, however, should have some knowledge of the market, have the ability to learn and bring a laptop for hands-on learning during their training week.

Academy members with the appropriate mortgage qualification will have an opportunity to also become authorised under Connect for residential mortgages and achieve their Competent Adviser Status. 


Candidates will be provided with pre-course material to ensure they have a minimum level of knowledge to maximise their learning during the Academy week.

On completion of the course, the candidates will also have access to the course material and additional learning materials to help their continued knowledge growth.

Moving Forward

As part of the Connect Mortgage Network, candidates will be fully authorised to trade in the mortgage market. Candidates will be fully supported as they grow their business, including support to help them successfully find solutions for their client’s cases. The team will mentor the candidate’s growth and development in the months following the course to help them to achieve a successful business.