I have addressed this topic before, and still I fail to see how individuals, companies view the importance of the role of consultant (Aff.SWW) when it comes to registering their existence with the Society.

The consultant should be regarded as the one person who can make or break your company; after all it is the consultant who is the first representative of your company the clients are likely to meet and have meaningful dialogue with and through whom they will seek advice.

There has been much talk over the years about the Affiliated Membership grade (Aff.SWW) which is reserved exclusively for estate planning consultants (some simply are referred to as instruction takers which I feel is grossly unfair given their role in the organisation) who represent their company.

The grade Aff.SWW was introduced many years ago and seen as a fair system for companies to be able to call themselves Members of the Society under a form of Corporate scheme, which is based on the numbers of Consultants employed, either self-employed or as PAYE employees. By registering all of your consultants, the Company can use the Society logo on all of its stationary, including web sites, and of course if the member company also benefits from the Society’s PII scheme it is a condition, which if ignored could render any future claim void.

The current annual fee of £85 for each consultant, payable either by the Company or the consultant is great value given the benefits and affordable even to the self-employed individual, giving peace of mind to the client, the consultant and the company. It may come as a surprise to Members that not a day goes by when the office does not receive a call or email from a client seeking assurance that the individual they are dealing with is, in the Society’s words “Safe to do business with”, and regardless of the standing of the Company member, if the consultant is not shown on our records as a member the client will be so advised.

It is only by knowing who is working in the profession can the Society tailor courses and programs to suit the companies and individuals. One of the courses launched this year especially targeted consultants on taking good instructions, the course can be taken at Lincoln, or delivered for the company at their premises or location.

The costs can be spread over ten months if it helps, for example a company employing 10 consultants at an annual cost of £85 each relates to £850, which if spread over ten months is only £85 per month enabling the Company to be fully compliant and achieve corporate status.

Contact Sam on 01522 687888 or email [email protected]

Brian W McMillan
Director General
The Society of Will Writers

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