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CII loses adviser exam papers

The Chartered Insurance Institute has lost 35 advisers’ exam papers and told those affected they will have to resit their exams.

Last week, the CII emailed the 35 advisers, who all sat the CF5 integrated financial planning exam in April and were expecting their results on May 6, to tell them their exam papers had been mislaid.

The CII says the parcel containing the written exams was collected from its offices by courier to be delivered to an examiner but was not scanned in at the courier’s collecting depot.

The CII says the papers are unlikely to be found and the exam will have to be retaken.

Advisers have been entered into another sitting at no charge and will be refunded their exam fee.

A CII spokesman says: “It is very disappointing that this has happened. We had to make allowances in the event that the missing papers do not turn up. We will ensure this does not happen again.”

Asset & Investment Management is one of the affected firms. Paraplanner Vincent Wong says: “This is absolutely appalling. Advisers are under enough pressure as it is. We hope that such costly and time- wasting mistakes can be avoided in future.”


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There are 29 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. The CII managed to “mislay” my RO6 paper from October after the results came out in December, it took them 6 weeks to find it for a recheck. They seem incapable of offering a credible marking and review system for written papers, though the online ones have worked fine for me. I suspect there are many advisers who have had to go through the pain of waiting for the CII to sort its systems out.

  2. The CII says the papers are unlikely to be found

    Do the CII know something we don’t?

  3. I have just registered for my Advanced Diploma this week through the CII. This does not fill me with the greatest confidence. I have also been doing a bit of research and have had a lot of feedback that the exams do not reflect the sturdy material. After sitting JO5 last year I found a few of the questions were not available from the study text. Any other experiences? Any tips?

  4. This comes of the back of the fiasco a month or so ago when guys were unable to take their exam.

    i think the CII fell behind a long time ago and have done nothing recently to show they have made any ground up on the other providers.

  5. This is an absolute disgrace! Why on earth do this CII not scan every paper before they send anywhere? Are they complete idiots. It is not just a case of refund in the exam free. Most people will have to take another half day off work and if you cost that at £150 per hour it is not cheap. Let alone more time there will have to be spent by brushing up and revisiting subjects studied before another exam. Personally I believe that someone at which the CII should lose their jobs over this.

    Absolutely disgraceful and totally unacceptable. The CII should be offering £1000 compensation to all those involved. Whilst I wasn’t one of them I would be happy to part of my annual subs go to support this. However the money should be takenfrom the salary of the people responsible.

    Professional standards! Not at the CII

  6. The CII says they will ensure this won’t happen again? Hmmm, I recall them saying that when they lost the papers for the CF2 exam I sat some years ago. I think it’s time they changed courier!

  7. Andy Hardbattle 11th May 2011 at 9:15 am

    Completely Incompetent Institute?

  8. This isn’t the first time. I had to resit CF9 a few years ago after they lost a batch of exam papers from a Birmingham sitting. Should we have an independent external audit of CII proceedures and should somebody be held accountable? Who do the CII answer to?

  9. I sat AF3 in October 10, failed by 3 points, requested a remark in Dec, should have got results by end of Jan. Got a telephone call advising the results had been delayed.

    It would appear the examiner couldn’t be ‘located’ and this was the case for a number of 5 weeks. When I asked for the paper to be passed to another examiner I was advised that wasn’t possible as the examiner that went AWOL had the original paper and a copy wasn’t retained.

    I suggested to Rebecca Fletcher (Reviews Manager) that they should adopt the simple procedure as those working in the financial industry do – retain a duplicate by copying/scanning the document before forwarding the original, to be advised they have 1000’s of papers and that wouldn’t be practical!

    An investment in system improvement is definately required – financing this shouldn’t be an issued with all the revenue being created due to RDR!

  10. Tip of the iceberg and they are not even busy yet !!

    Just think not only have they got the whole industry taking a whole host of different exams & gap fill just wait till they have to start handing out and verifying SPS’s

    Thats if, I assume they get the green light in June from the FSA ??

    The whole thing is FUBAR !!

  11. Christopher Lean 11th May 2011 at 10:13 am

    I was an examiner at the CII a few years ago. The papers arrived by courier, were marked by me and sent back by courier.

    In future, I think the sensible thing to do would be to scan the papers as soon as the CII get them and before they are sent for marking. One commentator has already suggested this.

    Not good for the poor IFA that has to go through this again.

  12. Jacqueline Temporal 11th May 2011 at 10:21 am

    I completed my Certificate in Financial Planning with the CII and wasn’t impressed by the study text and guidance available. I have since defected to the IFS School of Finance for my Diploma and completed my last exam on Monday. I found the study text to be more user friendly, the tutorial support was useful and a generally better experience.Take note CII!

  13. just goes to show the whole process of achieving level four for RDR as usual has not been thought out properly and rushed in my opinion typical FSA < exam bodies , personally I would not go the CII route , I am level 4 qualified via CII and doing Gapfill via PFS (seminars etc...) - well done PFS- however have issues with a professional exam structure that does not recognise the hundreds of hours of study that has to be done but is only recognised by passing a 2/3 hour exam , surely in this age we could come up with some form of study that forms part of the exam , also agree that the CII text is inadequate , I had a few issues and complained a few times about the content of exam questions in relation to the study text that i purchased from cii - and i passed! - can only wish you good luck as no one really cares how you do it just get it done by 2013 -

  14. christopher james Carssswelington 11th May 2011 at 1:35 pm

    what a bunch of twats

  15. Clearly the CII don’t feel they are charging enough……….

  16. I passed five R0 exams in ten weeks at the end of last year. If I’d relied solely on the CII text I may have struggled. Google helps.
    Perhaps the non multiple-choice exams (such as R06) could also be submitted online from a test centre? I’m not the best typist in the world, but my typing’s certainly quicker than my handwriting – and more legible!
    Just a thought, can’t see any massive problems with this.

  17. To: Joanne – I was also affected by the AF3 delays and the response by the CII was a total joke. Nobody knew why the delay had occurred, the examiner had gone ‘AWOL’ and when the re-mark came back nothing had changed (despite failing by 1% and about 40% of the questions bearing no relation to study material / the syllabus / additional reading!

    The CII no longer have me as a member – I have used Calibrand for the diploma and they have been a real breath of fresh air – FREE study manuals, full diploma for £750, and free re-sits. I am completing the Retirement Provision Diploma through the PMI for pension transfer specialist qualifications. Far more transparent, detailed,and honest, with exams that test fairly and openly the syllabus and the learning material.

    The CII should be ashamed of themselves. I, for one, will never join this arrogant and useless organisation again.

  18. CII i cannot speak lowley enough of them, so i wont

  19. I am one of the unfortunate candidates who has been affected by the CII’s incompetence. The examination process is fundamental to the CII business and it is simply unacceptable for them to allow 35 exam papers to go missing. Whilst I understand the CII cannot simply award a pass on the papers that were lost, I find the offer of a free resit and revision day as little consolation. It is the time taken to study for this exam, time off work, travel expenses, not to mention the time I have sacrificed with my three young children in order to study for the exam. I have self funded each of the certificate in financial planning exams and have paid for various study aids which have all been very disappointing, in fact many of them are quite simply a con. The loss of the exam paper is the last straw and I have decided to sit alternative exams with the CISI.

    I would strongly advise not to use the CII if you are about to embark on financial exams.

  20. Exasperated Me 11th May 2011 at 4:51 pm

    Should it be allowed to retain chartered status?

  21. Hey IFA’s sitting exams – from experience they are not the brightest, not sure what the fuss is as most are incompetent. Was this the SATs tests this would be in line with their intelligence

  22. When I sat FP 2 the CII (for whatever reason) didn’t send the study material till I ‘phoned them about 10 days before the exam. They weren’t even apologetic!

    The CII should either award passes or be refunding the 35 affected, reimbursing their travel and other expenses and loss of income, plus an allowance for the extra revision they have to do.

  23. Interesting that there appears to be no comment from anyone at the CII in response to the comments posted after this article, when they have appeared to have done so after previous money marketing articles to justify their fees etc.

    The deal being offered to those whose paper were lost is pathetic. Surely with the fees the CII charges for their text books (poor in content and full of errors) and exams could be used to compensate these individuals properly.


  24. Green Eyed Monster 12th May 2011 at 11:18 am

    All the 35 who sat this paper may well have passed, who knows? However to be realistic let us assume a pass rate of around 60%. This means 14 will have failed.
    So the CII’s solution is to : Refund the fees to all 35.Require all 35 to revise, resit, take time of work etc. so as to identify these ‘failed’ 14.

    It seems to me the CII should bite the bullet and give all 35 a pass mark, and avoid all that waste of time and money.
    With the money saved on refunds they shouild invest in a scanning system to avoid this happening again.

  25. regarding the studying for the exams – I always thought the candidate was assessed on the syllabus and not the text. These two things don’t necessarily marry up.
    Regarding the lost papers – yes the CII have made a hash of this but buying a scanner…really? I think the use of a courier is more than sufficient but would probably change to a different supplier. Easy for me to say given that they didn’t lose my paper I suppose.

  26. I am delighted to be able to confirm that the papers misplaced by the courier firm have been located and are now with an examiner for marking. The results should be with the candidates by the end of the week – two weeks later than originally scheduled.

    The CII has apologised unreservedly to all 35 of the candidates whose papers were misplaced. They were signed out to a courier at the exam centre by the invigilator.

    Just to be clear it is not within our gift to pass someone without the exam paper. We did look at whether we could do that. In the circumstances we offered a free revision day, a free resit and for the papers to be fast tracked by a marker. Despite some of the comments on this posting I can reassure you that we were prefectly happy to compensate individuals for their out of pocket expenses. In conclusion and with all due respect I am not sure what else we could have done.

    Obviously we would have much preferred if this had not happened as we take our responsibilities very seriously when it comes to tracking written papers. However, it is important to view this incident against the wider context – we oversee more than 80,000 exam sittings each year – and our couriers have never lost exam papers before.

    David Ross


  27. To be fair, I don’t think there is much more the CII could have offered.
    To be fair – I think a rethink on the scanning or alternative methods of copying should be on the cards.

  28. they were the wonder in that world .. to see.

  29. This is really very unfortunate and sorry stste of CII . I thought that this sort of affair only happen incountries like India where exam sheet are changed and plagerism is the order of the day.

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