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More flexibility on alternative assessments

Aifa welcomes the FSA’s more flexible approach to alternative assessments for QCF level four and its plans to extend their availability beyond 2012.

The FSA consultation paper on delivering the retail dist- ribution review proposed a more flexible approach to alternative assessments for people who do not want to sit oral or written exams. The FSA says it will offer alternative forms of assessment on an ongoing basis, not just during the transitional period.

Speaking to Money Marketing after the paper was published, FSA director of conduct policy Sheila Nicoll says the FSA is “open-min- ded” about the shape that work-based assessments can take and has moved away from the view that only oral exams can be an alternative.

Aifa director general Chris Cummings says: “The removal of the expiry date for ass- essments and extension to new entrants sends a pos- itive message.”

The FSA has confirmed that the Financial Services Skills Council will publish final standards for the content of the new QCF level four qualifications in March 2010 and OfQual will approve the first new qualifications in June.

The regulator says study materials are likely to be available from October.

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