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Ellis says qualifications framework fails the test

LIA head of public affairs John Ellis has criticised the Financial Services Skills Council&#39s new framework for industry qualifications.

Ellis says the proposals are disappointing and do little to extend the qualification structure outlined in the FSA&#39s CP157.

Writing in Money Marketing this week, Ellis says the new structure relies too heavily on employers and does not properly answer the question of whether exams and continuing professional development should be required to determine advisers&#39 qualifications or whether there needs be another formal element for assessment, such as experience in the workplace.

Ellis says the creation of the examinations framework was a chance to present a cohesive structure for financial adviser qualifications and until these questions are answered, it is a lost opportunity.

Ellis says one of the LIA&#39s main concerns over the past few years has been the promulgation of standards for financial services at a national level.

The danger of Skills Council chief executive David Jackman&#39s approach, Ellis argues, is that a lot of local solutions would develop as different employers have a different take on the standard.

He says: “There needs to be some common elements to what it means to be a professional financial adviser, otherwise the industry cannot raise itself to the level of a profession in the eyes of the public.”

A spokesman for the Skills Council says: “There have been examination summits throughout the year on these issues and it is a shame that communication in this area hasn&#39t been as good as it could have been. Our main aim is to raise the standards of the industry and we will not succeed in that without open dialogue with the industry.”

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