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.”