The FSA has today published proposals to strengthen its competence requirements.
The regulator says it is looking at the content of qualifications for non-RDR activities and whether these would benefit from reform, including mortgage advice, equity release, long -term care insurance and pension transfers.
The FSA says it will consider the introduction of alternative assessments for non-RDR activities and plans to update examination standards every three years.
The FSA states: “We do not have a view on the level of difficulty of the qualification required or indeed the level of difficulty of the current qualification that applies to existing activities outside of the RDR.
“However, we are primarily concerned with ensuring that any qualification is fit for purpose and areas examined cover the actual activities and skills necessary to perform the associated role.”
The FSA says it has not sought evidence of market failure that will support a review of these exam standards, but its research suggests that firms believe the existing content of qualifications does not accurately reflect the role individuals are performing.
The FSA says: “We believe there is a case for carrying out a risk based review of the remaining non-RDR related appropriate examination standards to ensure they remain up to date and relevant.
“We also are aware that, at present, written examinations are the primary qualification assessment methodology used but we can see no reason why we should not permit use of other assessment methodologies for non-RDR activities.”