Applications for the Association of Independent Financial Advisers’ diploma in investment planning are now open and Aifa says some advisers have signed up already.
The diploma, approved by the FSA in June, is a case study-based alternative qualification. It has been launched in conjunction with the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and BPP Learning Media.
It is designed to enable advisers to demonstrate they have the skills and competence required for the RDR by working through a series of scenario-based case studies.
Aifa’s qualification is set at QCF level five, exceeding the level four minimum requirement needed to comply with the RDR.
The diploma and support package costs £655 for Aifa members and £695 for non-members.
Policy director Andrew Strange says: “Members have been calling for alternative routes to achieve the RDR qualification requirement. It is important that we recognise that not all advisers prefer the current examinations on offer and we must find other ways to assess their expertise and experience.”
Distributors including Lighthouse, Origen, Sesame Bankhall Group and Tenet, have all backed the Aifa qualification.
Origen managing director Stephen Greenstreet says: “The journey to 2013 is relatively short but this diploma is a credible option to ensure advisers have every opportunity to gain the relevant qualifications.”