A paraplanner has voiced frustration with the Chartered Insurance Institute’s computerised exam marking scheme after failing four exams by just one mark each.
Financial Options Group paraplanner Simon McGovern says he wants to become a full adviser, and so sat the CII’s R01 and R04 exams.
His first attempt at the R04 exam on pensions and retirement planning saw him fail by three marks, scoring 62 out of 100 where the pass mark is 65.
He then sat the exam three more times, and failed each time by one mark. After failing at the fourth occasion, the CII informed him they had remarked his third exam and he had actually passed.
McGovern then moved on to the R01 test on financial services, regulation and ethics. However, he failed this twice, once also by one mark.
When McGovern queried the situation in June and asked for a review of his failed exams, the CII said the exams were marked by computer, according to emails seen by Money Marketing.
The CII said it could not remark the R01 exam.
McGovern pointed out the contradiction and asked the CII to refund some of the money he had spent on the exams, but says the body initially promised to investigate and has then ignored him.
He says: “What I’ve experienced has been a little sinister, to say the least, but they also appear to not deal with complaints well, or at all. I’ve had no response for the best part of a month, where they initially said ‘give us five days’.
“At the end of the day I’m a customer, I pay a fee each month to get discounts on exams and be a member of the CII and [Personal Finance Society]. It’s clear they just don’t value the customer.”
McGovern says he is in limbo, not wanting to take more exams without clarification that his old exams were properly marked.
He says: “That’s the most frustrating bit right now. I feel like I should keep on studying, but at the same time I’m not going to dedicate another few weeks of studying to get the same outcome.”
A CII spokesman said the body would not comment on its electronic marking system or McGovern’s case without written authorisation from him.