Let’s make it clear. I am not knocking the old guard who have tended to their community and clients over the years. Lack of knowledge is a dangerous thing, yet how do we ensure that clients get the advice they so richly deserve if we do not test for it.
The FSA wants to bring in a level where to be called independent, you need to be QCA level four. But if you are so experienced and know what you are doing because you do it day in and out, sitting the exam will be a breeze.
If I asked an advanced driving instructor to resit his exams, I am certain that he would pass without studying. The same goes for a solicitor, heart surgeon, actuary…
Or are you all whinging because you realise that although you have vast amounts of experience in providing basic levels of advice dating from a time when no examinations but a winning smile was all that was needed, you are not going to cut it in a market where the FSA wants you to prove you do not have the gaps in your knowledge that are affecting your clients?
Does any client with a heart problem want to deal with a GCSE-level biology student or a degree-level qualified heart surgeon, both having no experience.
Knowledge can be translated into experience with time but experience cannot be so easily translated into knowledge. Goalposts can be moved but if you know your stuff, you will always hit the target.