I wonder if I might invite Jeremy Newbegin to re-read my letter (October 22). I have never claimed that exams are the be all and end all of professionalism.
What I stated was: “The reality is that it is the combination of experience qualifications and skill” that makes for a professional adviser. I would add to this that perhaps in front of each experience, qualifications and skill, we add the word “relevant”
Jeremy correctly challenges the relevance of qualifications but might not see that the same challenge can be made of experience.
Duration does not in itself constitute relevant experience so in the same way that qualifications can either add value or not, the same holds true of experience.
Perhaps Jeremy might consider the Institute of Financial Planning exam to acquire certified financial planner status which definitely combines the experience he refers to with tested knowledge?
So for completeness, let me repeat. It is the combination of relevant experience, tested knowledge (relevant qualifications) and applied skill with trust and integrity that makes for the complete intermediary.