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Advisers unable to sit CII exams after system failure

Up to 107 advisers across six UK locations were unable to take their RO exams at CII centres after a system failure on Monday.

The CII noticed the problems when candidates in Birmingham, Newcastle, Manchester, Southampton, Bradford and Norwich were unable to load the online exam on Monday morning. Afternoon candidates were then informed their exams had also been cancelled.

CII exam systems are outsourced to City and Guilds.

The CII says it has already found replacement exam dates for over half of the candidates in late April or early May.

But one IFA candidate, who wishes to remain anonymous says: “It is a farce, I am trying to run a business and do exams at the same time. I did 50 hours revision in the week before, so it is disappointing that I have now got to wait until June 6 at the earliest to sit the exam.”

A CII spokeswoman says: “Our priority is to make sure that all candidates get the chance to take the exams as soon as possible. Already we have confirmed places in late April and early May for over half of those who missed out on Monday. We apologise to all those who suffered. We are responsible for making sure the exam process is as seamless as possible.”


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There are 20 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So the adviser who did 50 hours revision, will you have forgotten everything in 6 weeks? Are you taking the exam to expand your knowledge for the future or as a tick box exercise….?

  2. This RDR farce gets worse and worse.

    Last one out lock the door.

  3. Sandra Urquhart 21st April 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Shame on you CII, this is totally unacceptable, I’m glad I’m with IFS

  4. Anonymous @ 4.16pm
    The knowledge required for an exam is totally different to what you would use on a day to day basis – I am sure if you were to study for 50 hours one week your recall would not be the same in 6 weeks time. Or you don’t understand that he will have to revise again – taking more time out of his own business to study for an exam which he had planned into his work time. Why don’t you come into real world!

  5. Anon @ 4.16
    much of the exam content will not expand your knowledge only your brain. For others maybe their ego.

  6. The first poster is mistaken if he thinks exam knowledge is retained to the level required to pass an exam after 6 weeks.

    This episode is a farce the exams should be rescheduled for next week, the CII have fallen behind the times, flexible exam dates and venues are the norm with other providers.

    I am glad I chose not to use the CII

  7. From Anon @ 4:16pm

    As a fraction of being Dip qualified myself, I can remember much of what I’ve studied, the point being it is in regular use.

    I am in the real world, with a job and a family to run as well as studying…

  8. Being able to recall the FSA handbook sentance by sentance is not information you will use. From sitting these exams myself I would estimate only 30% will be used at some point.

  9. To: Anonymous | 21 Apr 2011 4:16 pm 21st April 2011 at 5:23 pm

    Yes of course it’s a tick box exercise. In fact I’d go one better this is a fee generating tick box exercise. You don’t seriously think this has anything to do with advancement of knowledge or consumer benefit do you and if you do you would be better employed cleaning windows as you’d see more of the world that way! And yes all studies show a rapid fall off of knowledge post exam – that’s what makes this whole shooting match a farce.

  10. The CII is just an exam fee machine 21st April 2011 at 5:31 pm

    I would not touch the CII exam fee machine with a barge pole. They ripped you off with the JO exams, failed you by the score, made you wait 3 months for the results, passed only 5 in 10 of you, conspired with the regulators over the need for level 4 and then told you the JO exams were not even level 4.

    Go study ifs dip – designed with working practitioners in mind!

  11. Paul Standerwick 21st April 2011 at 5:33 pm

    To Anon @ 4:16pm

    I am one exam away from being RDR qualified and have done most of the study for this exam.

    It’s nonsense to suggest much of the knowledge required for the exams translates to practical application.

    I would hazard a guess that if you claim this is so, you probably don’t have a very profitable business, as you are probably spending most of your time doing manual tax calculations, working out beta ratios (which clients of course want to know about), as well as recalling from memory indexation levels of deferred final salary pensions.

    When you made your flippant remark at 4.16pm, did you consider that the IFA in question may have been taking RO6 and have just spent time analysing a scenario sent to him before the exam, to be used in the exam? And that if this is the case he will probably have to start all over again through no fault of his own?

    If goodie two shoes like you want to pander to an oppressive regulatory regime, that’s fine by me but don’t bad mouth us who stand up for ourselves.

    “Are you taking the exam to expand your knowledge for the future or as a tick box exercise….? ”

    – You make me laugh!

  12. Alternatives to the CII 21st April 2011 at 5:43 pm

    For the life of me I don’t understand why anyone would take the CII approach? The CII is part of the problem along with AIFA.

    This whole process stinks. No other professional body already qualified has ever been asked to re qualify under sufferance of ruination. If you are paying AIFA to represent your cause then I think you need to go ask them what they are doing with your money. The modern IFA is paying the price for week representation and I think there should be some sackings going on, that is other than the 10,000 poor sods being kicked out of this industry!

  13. Anon 4.57
    I am in the real world, with a job and a family to run as well as studying…

    You have a job, the guy who is upset is running a business. There is no comparison.
    My guess is your wife runs the family while you study.
    When was the last time a client asked you ( or even cares) which three bodies make up the tripartite system of uk regulation?
    The whole thing is a money making farce, thought up by the fsa which is another farce for the benefit of exam bodies who are another farce.

  14. ifs (dip) as an alternative 21st April 2011 at 5:51 pm

    I chose ifs dip. The exam centre was a dream. Not one ashen-faced faced IFA to be seen! Easy to book and had I failed, I would have know before I left and then within a matter of days I’d be back sitting the exam. Ifs has embraced modern educational thinking and technolgy. The CII should be shot for this and their earlier JO farce!

  15. And is the CII going to reimburse travel expenses and loss of wages? They’ve broken their contract by not being able to hold the exams.

  16. 21st April 4.16p.m. (anonymous)
    Like you really had to make a comment like that, and did it really make you feel good. If we cant say kind supporting words to each other, don’t bother saying anything. Have a good day.

  17. You keep talking of the cII exams and gaining Dip status, do not forget to look at any gaps in your skill levels. An IFA I know was very proud of himself as recently gained his Dip Certificate from the CII, having obtained enough points.
    He was then advised to look at any gaps he may have and used the system on the CII website, to his amazement he has several areas to eitther complete more exams or carry out CPD, with a further 46 points to gain to meet the CII RDR learning points of 109. So beware the exams may not be enough on their own, just when you think you have got there the goal points are moved again.

  18. Computer systems fail – ask Sony.

    You cant blame CII for this failure.

  19. Correct me if I am wrong, if you sit all the ROs it ocvers all GAp fill.
    I’ll have a mixture of ROs. JOs and others at Dip so will need to do some gap fill

    I live in Ramsgate (South East Kent), and sat RO4 last week (passed forunately as the original poster said, it seems to be about remembering useless facts which even if you thought you knew teh exact date, if you were dealing witha client, you’d look up). What gets me is that the nearest exam centre for the on-line R0s was Maidstone (over an hours drive for me each way), when I got there I realised it was a Pearson view system (which surely is the same IFs and the DVLC use for driving theory tests) and I know from having done some IFs exams too, that they do them in Canterbury (20 minutes drive each way), so why has the CII not agreed for them to be at any Pearson view centre?

  20. Janice Holkins 26th May 2011 at 11:42 pm

    R01-R04 cover 100% of gaps. That is just 4 examinations. C’mon guys – lets fill those gaps!

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