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FSA confirms 30-month qualification deadline for new advisers

The FSA has confirmed plans to impose a 30-month deadline within which new advisers must be qualified, with effect from January 1 next year.

The regulator proposed the introduction of the time limit in June, for advisers who joined the retail investment advice sector after June 30, 2009.

The deadline will not apply to existing advisers, deemed competent at June 30, 2009, who must be fully qualified to QCF level four by the end of 2012.

In a policy statement published today the FSA says: “We considered whether we should extend the time limit as suggested by some respondents but, balanced by views from other respondents, we think that 30 months is the right outcome.”

The 30-month time limit will start for trainees when they start the relevant activity and working under supervision, not when they start a training programme.

Individuals who are part way through qualifications will also have 30 months from January 1, 2011 to attain the complete qualification.

The final rules allow for a period of 60 days, where an individual is not carrying out the activity, within which the 30-month ‘clock’ can stop.

If an individual needs more time the FSA will consider a waiver application submitted by the adviser’s firm.

The FSA has also published again its final list of RDR-compliant qualifications, first published in June.

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