The FCA and Chartered Insurance Institute have announced a new test to reassess whether or not advisers with the Level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning still have sufficient knowledge.
From 1 October, the Regulated Retail Investment Adviser Re-Evaluation assessment will be available after a collaboration between the FCA and CII aimed at raising the standards and competence of financial advisers.
While advisers have to complete at least 35 hours of continuous professional development a year designed at keep knowledge up to date, the FCA notes that “not all firms test their advisers’ knowledge yearly as part of their Statement of Professional Standing, with many advisers never retesting”.
Only a few large firms retest their IFAs’ knowledge every year, the CII notes.
In a statement today the regulator says: “We believe that advisers having a good level of knowledge is the foundation to giving sound financial advice. This is particularly the case with the more technical aspects of financial advice.
“The objective of the re-evaluation is to identify areas of strength and weakness in technical knowledge and its application that underpins suitable financial advice.”
The test will be 100 questions long, spread across units R01 to R05, but the priority will be on areas impacting the suitability of advice.
The CII says: “This test will provide firms with the ability to independently assess their advisers’ knowledge and development needs against the industry standard. This is part of a firms’ obligations to ensure that advisers are and remain competent.”
Earlier this year, Money Marketing revealed that the FCA had probed adviser training and competence records at a number of firms.