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Approval for ifs diploma to meet QCF standards

The ifs School of Finance says Ofqual has formally approved amendments to its level four diploma for financial advisers, designed to meet QCF level 4 requirements.

QCF level 4 is set to be the minimum qualification for IFAs under the retail distribution review and ifs says the modifications ensure that DipFA satisfies the FSA’s requirement for all elements of the qualification to be at level four and meet core learning requirements. This means that when the Financial Services Skills Council has completed its revision of the standards, any gaps identified can be filled through continuing professional development as part of the FSA’s no-regrets policy.

There will be an additional element to the programme that all students will need to pass but there will not be any additional cost for students already undertaking the qualification.

ifs School of Finance dean of further education Anne Kiem says: “We are very pleased to be able to assure advisers that this qualification satisfies the change in the requirements announced by the FSA.

“The approach we have taken has clearly already struck a chord across the adviser community. It deepens understanding of additional core content while at the same time focusing on the key professional skills relating to appropriate communication and behaviour with the client. Strong interest is being shown in the DipFA, with advisers keen to develop further their awareness and understanding, and expand their skills base.”

FSSC director of skills development Sarah Thwaites says the ifs’ move to gain level four status is a commercial decision that ensures advisers can use CPD to fulfill RDR requirements.

She says: “This does not mean the qualification is RDR compliant. No one knows what an RDR qualification looks like yet.”

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