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CII alternative to exam to launch in March

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The launch of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s QCF level four alternative assessment has been pushed back to next March.

The professional body has been piloting the non-exam route with IFAs and had originally expected to launch in Q4 this year.

Speaking at a CII RDR conference yesterday Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard (pictured) said: “We have every intention of offering the alternative assessment, the non-exam route. It is an intensive process and a full day assessment. Advisers will be tested on technical knowledge which is based on the exam standards and portfolio evidence.

“We are piloting this and we want to get the process right and intend to launch it in March. If people are really exam-averse, it is an option. It is not easy and it is not cheap but it is a way of doing the qualification orally by presenting materials and being assessed individually.”

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Readers' comments (9)

  • Excellent. this is going to be very helpful to those IFAs who have objected to the QCF Level 4 exams and they will be able to bring all their experience to the assessment and prove that formal exams are not required.

    Problem solved.

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  • Nick - To play devils advocate, why not require every adviser to do the alternative assessment so that everyone is measured in the same way at the same time as it would be interesting to see who did and did not fail from both camps?

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  • Phil

    An interesting point. I guess though the key here is the word "alternative". If those with the level 4 exam passes also do the alternative assessment that would seem to suggest that those who do the alternative assessment should also do the exams to get everyone measured the same way.

    I do think it is reasonable to have an alternative and also reasonable that the alternative should be as testing as the exams. I think we can see from what Fay Goddard has said that this is not going to be any kind of "easy alternative"

    But this is what IFAs have been asking for and with the experience and technical knowledge they claim I think it is a viable alternative to the formal exam process.

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  • The IFA sits an exam every working day. Fay Goddard (as a wage slave) will never know what this means. Anyone involved in sales will succeed or fail on a daily basis and must justify his/her position every single day of his/her working life. Every case is an exam with course work, research and completion. If we fail we don’t eat. If we pass the consumer runs the risk of protecting his/her family, investments or future pensions rather than be a burden on the state and tax payer. We don’t need the CII money machine we just need CPD that allows us to use real life case examples because that is what we do – if left alone!

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  • This is CII plan B. They know they can't kill off 10,0000 good advisers so they need another method to make money if exams are kicked into touch.

    Don't trust the CII. JO were sold as a level 4 solution before they knew what level 4 was!

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  • The exams are easy, I've 240 credits (and two exams off being Chartered), passed the "old" AFPC years ago (because I wanted to, not because I had to) and this year passed a couple of J0's and an AF, R01 booked for December and another AF next year.
    Quit complaining, pass the exams!

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  • Well done Andy. Most people just don't understand what a turn on you can get from taking exams. I can't wait for my next attempt. Brilliant!

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  • Andy, congratulations on your passes, but exams are NOT 'easy'. For those who can absorb information like a sponge and are good at exam technique, they are certainly a lot easier than for others who struggle to learn from the book and are too busy doing their job to learn exam technique. However as a Compliance Consultant I come across files kept by very well qualified advisers which show many FSA rules breached and Suitability Reports that are hard to understand. I also see those produced by the less qualified, who actually understand their clients, their facts finds are well produced, research evidence good, and their SRs models of clarity. I know which type I would choose to advise me.

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  • @ Michael Wainwright: Can you give us some examples of FSA rule breaches from well qualified advisers? Also, on the subject of suitability reports, surely the well qualified advisers of whom you speak are involved in more complex planning areas than the less qualified IFA? Therefore, isn't it only natural that their advice will be more difficult to understand?

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