A. Personal qualities and attributes
These qualities are at the core of The Framework. The breadth and complexity of information and guidance on money management and financial wellbeing mean that practitioners need to draw deeply upon their personal qualities to handle the demands of the role.
Those who offer guidance on money management and financial wellbeing bring a sense of integrity to what they do. The practitioner will act as a role model for involvement with customers and demonstrate a commitment to equal opportunities.
Practitioners should know their own strengths and limitations and use failure or misjudgement as an opportunity for learning. Practitioners need to have an awareness of their own emotions and know how to control them, adapting them appropriately to the situation. They will be aware of their own personal impact on others, particularly when they are under pressure.
Providers of money guidance must do so impartially; both in terms of the information they provide and in terms of any organisations the customer is signposted to. Practitioners will therefore be objective, not allowing themselves to be influenced by personal feelings or opinions. They must also be empathetic and sensitive to the wishes of the customer but not allow those feelings of empathy to influence the provision of best advice and guidance. Awareness of actual and potential conflicts of interest and what actions to be taken in those circumstances is important.
Practitioners must possess the quality of diplomacy and be sensitive and skillful in managing relations with others. The ability to maintain a positive attitude is an attribute which they should possess alongside reliability.
Practitioners must be flexible in their approach, showing awareness and understanding of the needs and preferences of others.
A key aspect of providing money guidance well is having an ability to empathise with a customers’ situation and gauging their current level of confidence and ability to manage their money. Practitioners who work face to face with customers should understand the importance of non-verbal communication, such as body language, and how different cultures use and interpret body language in different ways. Practitioners should have an understanding of the importance of building trust and rapport with others, and methods for achieving this in different situations (e.g. over the phone, individuals and in groups) and for a range of people, including customers with challenging behaviours.