Institute sets up level three qualification

The Institute of Financial Services, part of the ifs School of Finance, has launched a level three financial advice qualification for new entrants, paraplanners and those in administrative roles.

The certificate in financial administration and planning has been designed as an entry level qualification for those joining the financial services industry and those already working as a paraplanner or administrator.

Cefap can also be used as “a stepping-stone” qualification for employers looking to develop staff to take on client-facing financial advice roles.

The qualification costs £350 and has a recommended study time of between 200 and 240 hours. It is assessed through a two-hour multiple-choice exam.

Institute of Financial Services chief executive Anne Kiem says: “The new level four qualification requirements of the RDR have meant that new entrants face quite a steep learning curve in becoming qualified. This new qualification recognises this and better equips candidates to tackle a level four qualification.”

Paraplan Plus managing director Richard Allum says: “Most of the paraplanners that I know are either already as well qualified as the advisers they work with or are aiming to be. Brand new entrants have got to start somewhere, so level three could work for them.”