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FSA urged to set the agenda for exams

The FSA has been urged to take more responsibility for the development of exams for mortgage brokers by the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries.

The AMI is concerned over lack of progress on exams by the Financial Services Skills Council. Director Chris Cummings says the Skills Council will not be setting approved exams but just a list of appropriate exams, putting the onus on individual firms to draw up their own requirements.

Under the MCCB, advisers have had to take either Cemap or Maq to advise on mortgages. Cummings says the new system will be less clear as firms will set different requirements.

Some of the new exams will be based on advice skills while some will be product-based and Cummings says this could result in a firm concentrating on only one area.

He is also concerned that some of the exams are believed to be under development as multiple-choice. He says a large part of advice is made up of listening to clients and working with them and he believes that a multiple-choice approach, or “tick-box methodology” is wrong.

He says: “It is a little early in the procedure for the Skills Council to take on such a big responsibility. I would feel more comfortable if the FSA were taking more responsibility. We want to work with the Skills Council but we do feel there are some issues they need to address.”

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