The Chartered Insurance Institute has not had a single candidate for its QCF level four alternative assessment since its launch in May.
The assessment costs £1,950, compared with the CII’s diploma in regulated financial planning which costs £981 for members and £1,284 for non-members. A number of advisers took part in a pilot scheme earlier this year but since then no candidates have applied.
Candidates considering the alternative assessment must use a free diagnostic tool to test whether the assessment is suitable for them. If they decide to go ahead, candidates then have to submit a portfolio of evidence, including details of any relevant qualifications and continuing professional development.
Finally, candidates attend an assessment day with two trained CII assessors. The assessment day is based on four case studies and a technical interview to establish if the candidate has the required knowledge and skill levels.
Aifa, which launched an alternative assessment in April 2010, will not reveal the number of candidate applications to take the assessment. Aifa marketing and membership director Sophie Fiori says: “The diploma has been extremely well received by advisers and there continues to be a consistent and healthy number of applications each month.”
The QCF level five qualification is based on case studies at a cost of £665 for Aifa members and £695 for non-members.
Thameside Wealth director Tom Kean says he believes the cost of the CII’s alternative assessment is putting people off.
He says: “To be honest, I would not pay £2,000 for that service and I am sure there are a lot of other advisers out there who feel the same. It is not a surp- rise at all that there has not been any uptake.”
Jacksons Financial Services managing director Pete Matthew says: “I would imagine the price has got something to do with the lack of interest.”