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Time is too tight

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With just over a year to go to meet my self-imposed qualifications deadline, I am starting to feel that I might not reach my goal.

I have just had to renew my membership of the CII to get the up-to-date study texts and I find myself in the situation of ordering exactly the same course texts as I did last year.

It is not even as if I am on a round of re-sits. Although I would not be feeling particularly positive if I had sat any of the exams and failed, I have not even managed to make it to the examination test centre.

My aim for this year was to get at least two, possibly three, exams done to ensure I had plenty of time to get to grips with the final two needed to get to diploma level and leave some leeway in case I did have a mishap with one of the exams and needed to have a second go.

But not even close. Although I have the luxury that IFAs undergoing a similar process do not, I am not going to be put out of business if I do not get to QCA level 4, the lack of process is very frustrating, not to mention slightly embarrassing when people ask how the studies are progressing.

The idea behind the exercise was to see how challenging the timetable set by the FSA is and if I took the experiment no further, I can say the definitive answer is very.

There have been several calls for the RDR timetable to be delayed in recent months, with the Treasury select committee’s suggestion in July that the RDR timetable should be delayed by 12 months the most high profile.

TSC chairman Andrew Tyrie said in July: “The current timetable for reform risks putting large numbers of experienced financial advisers out of business. In the interests of consumers, we are calling on the FSA to delay the RDR by a year to give advisers more time to take the qualifications and comply with the rules.”

Calls for the delay have been heard again just last month following the FSA’s delay in publishing its guidance on simplified advice.

For purely selfish reasons, I would not mind seeing an additional few months added to the qualification timetable to take some of the pressure off next year.
In the meantime, the target is to get the first of my RO exams done by Christmas, so that it will not have been an entirely unproductive year.

Gregor Watt, Deputy editor, Money Marketing

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