Norwich Union is setting up an academy aimed at helping financial advisers pass the Chartered Insurance Institute’s diploma in financial planning or equivalent.
NU says the academy, which launches in March, will help advisers move towards the standards and professionalism required by the retail distribution review.
The academy will be free to advisers but those who want to take part must be members of a professional body.
It will provide learning support through NU’s team of trainers and regional consultants as well as online material.
Director of distribution development Stephen Gay says the academy offers IFAs a blended package of support.
He says: “This means that we have taken into consideration the range of learning styles that people have and the way that they may want to interact.
“Part of it is about online remote self-study and, subject to availability, there will be a face-to-face opportunity as well for study seminars for those who are preparing for exams.
“We are doing this very much in association with the Personal Finance Society with which we have been talking for a number of months, so our training material is aligned with CII material.”
Informed Choice director Martin Bamford says he has conflicting thoughts over the programme.
He says: “My personal view is that anything that is closely tied to a provider does in some way compromise independence but I think that advisers are going to need all the help they can get to achieve these qualifications.”