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CII launches its £2K exam alternative

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The Chartered Insurance Institute has launched its alternative assessment to completing the diploma in regulated financial planning.

The alternative assessment has been subject to a six-month pilot with ongoing input from the FSA.

The CII says it is designed for experienced advisers who would prefer not to take exams in order to meet QCF level four requirements.

The alternative assessment breaks down into three stages.

Firstly, advisers considering the alternative assessment route can use a free diagnostic tool to test how suitable the alternative assessment will be for them.

If they decide to go ahead, advisers then have to submit a portfolio of evidence, including details of any relevant qualifications and continuing professional development.

Finally advisers go through an assessment day, with each candidate assessed by two trained CII assessors. The assessment day is based on four realistic case studies and a technical interview to establish the adviser has the required knowledge and skill levels.

The alternative assessment costs £1,950.

CII director of financial services markets Steve Jenkins (pictured) says: “It has taken six months of intensive work with input from both practitioners and the FSA to develop this alternative assessment route, but we are pleased to be able to provide advisers with a genuinely alternative option to exams.”

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Readers' comments (28)

  • Because I can afford a mere £2k!!

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  • Sound like 70% grandfathering to me. We knew it had to happen if people kicked up enough fuss. Now just wait till summer 2012 and we may well find that it is 99% grandfathering.

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  • Great for the IFA market, just can't see the big banks paying out £2k for tied advisers who aren't yet RDR qualified and only have a couple of years left till retirement!

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  • I think that it is very irresponsible that an adviser can get the Diploma Status after a one day course when others have been studying and taking exams for months on end to gain the same creditation.The system needs a complete shake up and new management as the people currently in charge obviously have no idea.

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  • £2000 cost!! Who does this benefit, the adviser, the customer or the CII??
    My bet is on the latter.
    What is the cost of a retake. Have to write a lot of business to cover this.

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  • NJH,

    I can assure you that the Alternative Assessment is tough and the equal of the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning offered by the CII.

    We worked closely with the FSA, our assessors (Chartered Financial Planners) and our candidates to ensure that this was a genuine test that would be viewed as robust, credible and worthy of public confidence. It's worth pointing out that candidates are being assessed on the contents of a suite of exam RO units that equate to the first year of a degree. All of this over the course of a day. You may think that's easy but I can assure you that and successful candidates will have earned their qualification.

    David Ross
    Chartered Insurance Institute

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  • Kevin,

    This assessment process will see two trained assessors (Chartered Financial Planners) spending a (very) full day with a candidate.

    You will appreciate that such a tailored service carries with it significantly more cost than traditional examinations. Specifically the cost of training the asessors, the cost of providing the assessors with the necessary hardware and software e.g. laptops, the cost of travel and other expenses, the cost of paying the asessors for their time, the cost of piloting, developing and launching an alternative assessment. Taking all of the above into account I think your criticism of the CII is unfair. It's also worth pointing out that the costs are comparable with those alternative asessments offered by other professions.

    David Ross
    Chartered Insurance Institute

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  • Nice little earner for the CII.

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  • David Ross:

    As the old saying goes mate, 'attack and defend' is the best form of defence!

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  • Just hope now that IFS bring out a similar assessment which would probably be 1/2 the price of the Cii's assessment.

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