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Degrees of confusion over qualifications

Fay Goddard of the PFS stated in her article (Money Marketing, November 6) that there is confusion about level-four qualifications.

It is precisely because her organisation, the CII, has consistently muddied the waters that this remains the case. She does it again in your paper by stating that level three is an A-level and that level four is the first year of a degree, ergo, their level- four qualification is equivalent to a full year of a degree.

Anyone who has done a degree will know that they get 120 credits in the first year of their degree. National standards set by NARIC clearly state that each credit is supposed to have 10 hours of guided learning. So one year of a degree programme is 1,200 hours. The CII diploma is only 400 hours – the same expected of a single university term.

It might help to educate Ms Goddard and her chums at the CII before they lecture others. Read carefully – level four is the degree of difficulty of a qualification and it is broadly equivalent to the degree of difficulty expected of the first year of degree programme. The number of learning hours is irrelevant. The fact that the level four IFS diploma she so strongly criticises (Money Marketing, November 6) is only 240 hours does not make it any less challenging than her own 400-hour diploma or the 1,200 hours of the first year of a degree programme.

Ali Hussein,

Eastbourne, East Sussex


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