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FSSC drops compulsory retesting

The Financial Services Skills Council has dropped its plan to force IFAs to seek annual or biennial retesting in the face of massive industry opposition, opting instead for a voluntary regime.

Chief executive David Jack-man said industry feedback has been positive but only if retesting is voluntary. Responsibility for training and competence was outsourced to the FSSC in January when it was set up by Jackman, who was FSA head of industry training.

Jackman says he has dec-ided to maintain the existing mortgage examinations, Cemap and Map rather than replace them as had been proposed. He said he wants to ensure as little disruption for the industry as possible, given all the other changes.

The FSSC will get its licence from the Department for Education & Skills on May 21 and will then be formally respon-sible for T&C.

Jackman said: “The vast majority of the feedback we have received is that retesting is a good idea but don&#39t make us do it in a regulatory sense. The implications of having to do it annually would make the proposal too costly.”

Sofa managing director Brian Lawless says: “It is fine as long as advisers buy into the fact they need to retain their professionalism.”

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