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ifs School of Finance launches chartered level 6 qual

ifs school of finance 480

The ifs School of Finance’s Institute of Financial Services is launching a QCF level six financial advice qualification.

The advanced diploma in financial advice will be available from October. Advisers who obtain the qualification will be chartered under the institute’s royal charter. It will be the first time the IFS has used the chartered brand for financial advice.

The qualification will be made up of three mandatory units – managing investments; wealth management services and taxation; and trust and tax compliance. Advisers will then choose two optional units from pension transfers; strategic management in financial services; and later life planning and advice.

The qualification will cost £2,125 and will be open to all advisers who hold a QCF level four qualification.

Units will be assessed via coursework and a written exam, apart from wealth management services which will require an 8,000-word project report.

IFS chief executive Anne Kiem says: “We have designed a qualification we think will be beneficial for the industry.”

Jacksons Wealth Management managing director Pete Matthew says: “It sounds quite expensive, but also rigorous.”

Personal Finance Society chief executive Fay Goddard says: “It has not been missed that we have been hugely successful with our chartered financial planner qualification.”

Institute of Financial Planning chief executive Nick Cann says: “It is unlikely the IFS will challenge the CFP certification because of the complexity of testing and so we will remain a different option for the market.

“What is interesting is the IFS customers tend to be those struggling with the traditional exam route or part of larger organisations that tend to favour the minimum requirements.”


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There are 13 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Yep, exams are the easiest and best way for any organisation to make money and that`s the truth of it!

  2. And what will this do for the public ? Absolutely nothing !

    There is no basic problem with the technical knowledge of the industry, it is the morality and business practices that need overhauling. You can’t teach that.

  3. How typical of Goddard and Cann in particular to be mealy mouthed in their response.

    Why they cannot bring themselves to greet another source of higher education for advisors is beyond me.

    I resent the insult that Cann throws out about those,like myself, in the adviser community who have taken and passed the IFS qualification. Grow up and get a life Cann!

  4. Woop woop !!! lets all waste another 18 months and thousands of pounds on more useless exams.

  5. Anon’s comment, 8:57 is a depressing reminder that there are still some people who can’t understand that improved technical knowledge is a good thing.

    Yes, morality and good business practices are vital, but so too are high-end qualifications. We need the lot, not just some of these things.

  6. Christopher Lean 1st August 2012 at 9:36 am

    If all accredited bodies have the same educational standard at Level 6, then this seems to me to give personal choice to anyone that aspires to be seen as a professional.

    It is not cheap to get qualified. In the past, employers paid for all training and exams. I suspect those days will be over soon.

    A friend of mine, who is a legal counsel, put the following up on a website. Whilst it refers to the legal profession , it rings a bit true for FS too(training, RDR, salaries, Honsiter, networks and so on). Sorry about the length of it….

    “Come kneel before me and renounce your pride
    For see this training contract by my side?
    Its presence must assure you, surely
    For your future can now rest securely
    Your gallant search and torturous agony
    Have now ceased amid this contractual alchemy
    Yet one small correction to your logical assumption
    Is that there is no law firm authorised to function
    But rest yourself here, my unpaid helper
    In two months’ time you shall be ensconced in shelter

    For now you can assist my financial firm
    Free of charge, but this is just short-term
    So come and meet my travelled business partner
    Do you know the phrase “persona non grata”?
    You can work upstairs on the legal side
    As this building is somewhat Jekyll and Hyde

    Downstairs your concentration may go missing
    Amid the nothing-to-worry-about trade floor hissing
    And now for some preliminary lessons before school:
    1) Ignore those threads on The Motley Fool
    2) Overlook those rumours of powdered incentive
    As the boys downstairs are merely attentive
    But worry not for these teenagers running astray
    For they are all regulated by the FSA

    Two months have passed and I feel your pain
    But insurance is near impossible to obtain
    I assure you my efforts have been most strenuous
    So do not think of me as disingenuous
    For your eyes suggest some insincerity
    Like they have seen all my minions toiling voluntarily
    And whilst this problem may seem incurable
    With the masses declaring me uninsurable
    I know a man who may well assist
    His name sits atop my ‘desperation’ list
    So dwell not on your impecuniosity
    Or my shortcomings or toxicity
    For soon you will be bestowed with title ‘Trainee’
    With the reassuring nod of the Solicitors Regulation Authority

    And just six months on I deliver the news
    We now have the authority.and this is no excuse
    But I understand there is a minimum trainee remuneration
    And let me say this before any accusation
    If I sign your contract I am legally liable
    But the firm is new, making salaries unviable
    Yet I am a man of honour and so consider this fact
    I have signed your training contract aka our suicide pact

    I can confirm the practice is now expanding
    But I am keen to ensure no misunderstanding
    So I will say the new branches are not run by me
    To avoid paying you any salary
    Same name, same brand, no separation
    But worry yourself not with this complication
    And I recall some time ago when I did my training
    Trainees had to pay, so consider that before complaining
    And consider the level of experience you are getting
    Whilst simultaneously forgetting potentially abetting
    Crooks and mobsters’ nefarious activities
    And this firm’s unrelentingly suspicious proclivity
    Like continuously defrauding every creditor
    As if a desensitised experienced criminal predator
    And continuously taking on new employees
    With scant regard to current liabilities
    But when the requests come in requiring payment
    From the innocent and desperate victim claimant
    Our defence will say there has been no transgression
    For we are merely victims of this crippling recession

    Now worry not about the SRA
    As they storm the office as if Bastille Day
    And worry not about finding a legal recruiter
    Amid the words “do not touch another file or your computer”
    And yes there is talk of an instant intervention
    Amid allegations of serious contraventions
    Like breaches of accounts rules and conduct
    But I cannot be liable for this illegal construct
    There must be someone else I can assign the blame
    For fear of further tarnishing my soiled name
    I have also been informed of something just for good measure
    Our insurance broker is residing at Her Majesty’s pleasure
    Yet despite all this, we can surely still function
    If we wilfully ignore this sealed court injunction”

  7. Can someone answer me a very simple question please? Just how long are the tracks for these gravy trains?

  8. Lets face it chaps, we all know deep down that sooner or later ‘Level 6’ is going to be the next benchmark the regulator uses to try and remove a few more of us pesky IFAs, so we might as well get on with it now.

    IMO it is only a positive thing that IFAs will no longer be forced to use the likes of CII qualifications to obtain Chartered Status if an alternative exam method suits their learning style better !!

  9. Fay Goddard + Nick Cann = Echo & Narcissus.

  10. Nick Cann and Cii – hand in glove or just deep in each other’s pockets?

  11. NAY I say NAY, thrice times NAY.

    When will this madness end?

    As a member of the blessed IFS, a few months ago I received an e mail, asking for my thoughts re a new IFS level 6 qualification.

    I of course replied “brilliant idea absolutely fantastic idea, for the profits of IFS, however for the poor slob of an IFA trying to make a living in the industry… absolutely DISASTROUS”

    Did I receive a reply from the almighty and blessed IFS explaining where I had made a misstate, or extolling the virtues of being more highly qualified than even a McDonalds First Line Supervisor…. No I did not… Funny that isn’t it?

    OK I appreciate there are the all knowing enlightened absolutely fabulous IFA’s out there, who in my humble opinion deserve all they are going to get. But what about the clients to whom I have given advice to for the past 20 years?

    Please don’t get me wrong, if I had a client bank of the rich and famous who required (and could afford) all singing and dancing multi laired financial and tax engineering schemes, to put them one step ahead of the mere mortal client, I would make sure that I had boat loads of letters after my name to impress the rich and famous. And no doubt be in a position to afford the time and expense for taking the exams to gain the all important qualifications.

    As it happens, I am a 53 year old conscientious, hard working IFA, who still gives a damn about his clients, who reads the comments of some of you who remain “Anonymous”.

    I am very happy to put my name to the opinions I put out there.

  12. Having sat the CFPcm recently I can only say it is the most useless process I have ever been through, and certainly the marking is dependant upon who you get and their personal interpretation of your work.

    Well done the ifs for trying to add another choice out there. Cii chartered is no cheaper and Cerified opens no regulatory doors in relation to being a specialist in pensions or investments!!

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