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ifs School of Finance launches new diploma qualification

The ifs School of Finance is launching a new qualification in advanced financial advice benchmarked to QCA level 4.

The Diploma for Financial Advisers will place a greater focus on the analysis, evaluation and presentation of information, rather than the testing of technical knowledge.

The ifs School of Finance says a key part of the qualification involves continuous assessment based on the development of research analysis and presentation skills, as well as a final assessment based on a fact-find sent out to candidates before their exam.

It adds that the qualification is more practical and relevant to real-life situations than anything available from other awarding bodies at an equivalent level and will meet an industry need, irrespective of the outcomes of the RDR.

The qualification will be available to advisers at the end of this year.

Head of financial regulation Mark Roberts says: “We have spoken at length to all those who took part in the pilot process and have built up a detailed picture of what works best. This is a truly industry-led qualification, meeting the needs of the industry and, more importantly, the needs of the consumer.”

Compliance manager Linda Preston-Todd, who took part in the pilot program, adds: “From the consumer’s perspective it’s imperative that they receive accurate information. If advisers have the skills this qualification is seeking to develop and test, then complaints and mis-selling can be avoided. Most exams don’t test these specific areas, it’s long overdue.”


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