The New Model Business Academy is to offer a QCF level four alternative assessment which undercuts the cost of the Chartered Insurance Institute’s alternative assessment by around £1,000.
The not-for-profit training arm of SimplyBiz plans to launch its work-based assessment in November, at a cost of under £1,000 per adviser.
It has been developed with qualification provider Calibrand and the FSA as part of the Alternative Assessment Project Group, an independent steering committee set up by SimplyBiz chairman Ken Davy (pictured) in January 2010.
Other members of the steering committee include former Chartered Insurance Institute and Aviva sales and marketing director Peter Hales, former Life Insurance Association president Len Warwick, and SimplyBiz group sales director Steve Braidford.
SimpyBiz chairman Ken Davy says: “The traditional examination route is not the only measure of an individual’s level of knowledge and ability, and whilst other alternative assessment routes are already available, they are overly complex and costly.
“I believe the introduction of the NMBA’s alternative assessment option will mean that many experienced financial advisers who have been put off by examinations will now be able to achieve their level four qualification rather than needlessly being forced out of the profession. This will benefit not only these advisers but also the enormous number of clients who would otherwise have lost access to their financial adviser.”
Calibrand managing director Denis Saunders says: “This alternative assessment method to our diploma is in line with our mission to give as many advisers as possible the opportunity to meet the qualification standards required before the end of 2012. It is designed it to be straightforward, attainable and value for money.”
The CII announced in August 2010 that its alternative assessment would cost advisers £1,950.
Aifa announced plans to launch its own alternative assessment in April 2010. It is a QCF level five qualification based on case studies, at a cost of £655 for Aifa members, or £695 for non-members.