Chief executive Neil Pointon says if written exams are perceived to be more thorough, underwriters may offer better terms to those advisers.
He says: “If there is an argument that written qualifications are a better route to higher qualifications, then underwriters will look to reflect that.”
Pointon adds that advisers who achieve QCF level four through alternative assessments will still receive better terms than they do currently.
He says: “I do not think underwriters will penalise advisers for taking the alternative assessment route because it is still an improvement on the current minimum qualification. But if an adviser has the full written qualification, I am sure that the broker would represent that to underwriters to get better terms.”
Collegiate Management Services head of underwriting Richard Turnbull agrees that advisers with written exams might receive more favourable terms if it is considered the superior route to QCF level four. He says: “It is fair to say that if a particular method of assessment is considered better, that will be reflected in the rates offered to advisers.”
Evolve Financial Planning director Jason Witcombe says: “I think that is fair, it might be an incentive for advisers to get QCF level four via written exams if they want lower PII costs. Firms will have to weigh up whether those savings are of substantial benefit.”
Highclere Financial Services partner Alan Lakey says: “I would not have thought alternative assessments would be a weaker option. In some cases, it may be a more subjective assessment than written exams.”