The Chartered Insurance Institute is calling for QCF level four qualifications to consist of three compulsory core subjects in addition to elective subjects covering specialist areas.
In its third professionalism paper, published last week, the CII proposes that the diploma’s core subjects should be fundamentals, products and their uses and personal financial planning.
It says the fundamentals subject should include UK financial services, regulation and ethics, investment principles, risk and advice and taxation.
The CII says that products and their uses should encompass debt, protection, investment and pension products.
It suggests candidates should then choose from a range of ten additional modules tailoring their qualification to their specialisms. These could include pensions and retirement opt-ions, advising on pension transfers, equity release, long-term care insurance and supervision in a regulated environment.
The CII says higher-level options could also be offered such as business financial planning, advanced trusts, specialist investment products and adv-anced mortgages. It calls for the level four qualification to dem-and a minimum of 370 hours study time, across all qualification providers to ensure consistency between awarding bodies.
It is also looking at various testing methods, including multiple choice, short answer and essay-style questions.
CII director of financial services markets Stephen Jenkins says: “We want people to follow specialisms that reflect what they do in their everyday job, built on a base of core knowledge. What we will be doing is developing transitional arrangements to level four and above.”
He does not believe the level three certificate will become defunct after the 2012, arguing it could become a stepping stone for people wanting to enter the industry, people performing back-office functions or for those offering guided sales.
Tower Hill Associates director John Lang says: “This sounds like a practical solution with what looks to be a significant number of hours required to reach the higher level of qualification.”