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Goddard: Level six needed for new entrants

The FSA should not increase minimum qualification requirements to level six for existing advisers after the RDR but should consider it for new entrants, according to the Personal Finance Society.

At the PFS Tomorrow’s Client conference in London last week, in partnership with Money Marketing, LIFT-Financial joint chief executive Joel Adams asked whether the current minimum QCF level four is likely to increase to level six.

PFS chief executive Fay Goddard (pictured) said: “Bearing in mind the pressures and difficulties in getting people to accept level four, I cannot see anything within a five-year horizon of raising this to level six. I would have no objection to raising it to level six for new entrants but I certainly would not want to see us go through another round of having existing advisers requalify at the higher level.

“I would urge and encourage people getting to level four or who already hold level four to voluntarily move on, not because of the threat of any potential regulator imposing yet another high standard but just because it makes good business sense.”

Goddard said a robust continuing professional development regime will mean there will be no need to force advisers to qualify at the higher level.

Aifa director general Stephen Gay (pictured) said: “The more you ramp up quality, laudable as that is, the more you will reduce the quantity of advice that is available to the public. Unfortunately, the regulatory process is designed to ensure we get the best possible outcome for an individual customer, not for the greatest good for the greatest number.

“While we have layers of cost put upon advisory businesses to improve the quality, no one is taking an overall measure of what that burden is doing in terms of the overall availability of advice for the population.”


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There are 12 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. I can only echo Stephen Gay’s comments, as we all strive to be profitable with our HNW clients there is a real danger that the smaller clients will be uncared for by IFA’s as they become un-profitable. New advisors whose clients they would be in the old world will have to concentrate on HNW to repay the investment to get to Level Six.

    I wonder who has a vested interest in calling for level six????

  2. Sorry Fay but the market needing and willing to pay for level 6 advice is really quite small. Even level 4 will leave the vast majority with little possibility of receiving decent advice.

    The solution is to have simplifed sales ( not advice) of regulated products for the main market.
    RDR and the move to higher qualifications is of no interest to the vast majority of the public and will do them harm rather than be of benefit.

    I know that you don’t get it – but you will in the years following RDR.

  3. Hmmm – PFS calling for higher qualifications. Perhaps they are a bit nervous that the CII’s income will fall of the edge of a cliff in Jan 2013 when IFA’s either don’t have the exams and leave the industry or have got the exams and don’t need anymore.

  4. PFS chief executive Fay Goddard (pictured) said: “Bearing in mind the pressures and difficulties in getting people to accept level four..
    What is she on about ?
    We either have to accept it or retire, simples.
    Ms Goddard is talking as if we had a choice when the only choice we had was Hobsons.
    Is it just me or is anyone else sick and tired of all the organisations living off the backs of IFAs’?

  5. I agree with John Blackmore and Stephen Gay (I might even rejoin AIFA!)
    How many 18 year olds want to study for a level 6 in FS?
    How many 21 year olds have the graivitas to be accepted by clients as an IFA at age 21 when they would hgave finished a full time FS degree?
    I know that I struggled with the Gravitas a 50 yr old director expected of me at age 24 as did a few of my peers.
    So if level 6 becomes the requirement for new entrants, then we will usually be talking about someone doing 2 degrees. One when they leave school at 18 and then a second a few years later when they change careers!
    Level 4 for new entrants must not be increased as a mandatory. 1 year to get level 4 for a new entrant after a 3 yr degree might just about be acceptable and realistic, but expecting a graduate to then go on and do a level 6 before they can start to repay their original student loan is lunacy…
    Oh I forgot, the lunatics have already taken over the asylum.

  6. I thought that the PFS was supposed to work for its members not the Fsa

  7. Why would anyone in their right mind wish to struggle up to level 6 to join this awful industry. Fay has allowed herself to think she is working for the Law Society or some genuine professional body. The only reason there has been so much engagement with exams is because there is no choice, but in 2013, only the geeks with no clients to see will wish to keep on taking more and more exams. How did so many utter fantasists get to influential positions in this country?

  8. Fay – well said.

    Phil, Blackmore and co – no surprise in your comments.

    Look, have you actually realise that, from being seen as the “dodgy financial adviser”, we will soon be recognised as the most valuable profession?

    We all know that we (as opposed to solicitors and accountants) know the client inside-out and deal (even) on a holistic level. Accountants can only look at our regulation, qualifications, and CPD with envy now. You think they are good? Most don’t even have qualifications, but can practice as accountants. Soon they will be begging us to help their clients. That is reality chaps. It might be a pain for us, but the rest of the world admires our regulations – fact.

    Those who poo-poo the idea that new entrants should not do level 6, because the public do not need such complex advice, just need to check the grey matter in their brains. You think a GP (who doesn’t specialise in anything) has had less medical training than a specialist? Some of you are such a bunch of brainless morons, it would actually help the industry to see you out.

    I can understand some experts not wanting to do level 6 – but that’s ok, maybe, because you have the experience. But training to level 6 gives knowledge and understanding . . . experience will come later. So what if they have to give simplified advice? All the better for the customer.

    It should be mandatory for new entrants to reach level 6 in order to advise on other people’s money and future. Let us not forget the importance of that.

  9. Level 6 plus two years work experience perhaps? I would hate graduates to practice their mistakes on clients!

  10. Level 6 is all well and good if the exams offered at this level are up to scratch. At present they are just not available unless you are willing and able to return to university. Even then students are likely to have the issue of such qualifications being unrecognised in the industry as they are outside of professional bodies.

    To enable new entrants to achieve level 6 the CII need to align their financial services offering to that of their general insurance offering. GI exams offer a far greater choice of modules which allows exam routes to be tailored to individual job roles.

  11. re Harry | 10 Oct 2011 11:02 am
    Can you confirm which accredited body you are a member of please, i.e. where you have obtained your level 6
    Or your surname?
    are you a member of the CII/PFS or some other body. I will explain to you why I have asked that question when I hear back from you.

  12. New entrants? …….Are there any?

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