IFA services provider threesixty has called for a review of the RDR examination structure, calling it “not fit for purpose”.
The firm says IFAs are in the “impossible position” of being required to demonstrate a full understanding of certain complex products despite there being no recognised exam for them to take to demonstrate their knowledge.
It also says if new exams are introduced covering specialist investment, such as structured products and unregulated collective investment schemes, it would result in IFAs having to take more exams than restricted advisers.
Technical director David Ingram has called for the exam structure to be reviewed.
He says: “With no relevant exam IFAs will only be able to point to their experience to demonstrate understanding, however the FSA does not want grandfathering.
“But if the proposed new exams are introduced post-RDR, when all IFAs have their level 4 exams and have gap filled, it will be easy for the FSA to require evidence in the form of an exam pass – leaving IFAs having to take more exams than restricted advisers.”
Ingram adds that advisers who wish to advise on specialist investments should be made to obtain special permissions.