Protection advisers wanting to join Sesame are now being required to pass the Chartered Insurance Institute’s CF three financial protection exam within three months of joining the network.
The company has given existing members who specialise in protection two years to pass the qualification.
Learning manager Graham Addison says existing advisers have been given a longer time period to pass as Sesame already has evidence of the advice these businesses are giving.
He says: “It just seemed ridiculous to us that a directly authorised adviser has to have a protection qualification to give advice while there be may others out there who only sell protection that do not have a qualification. That does not seem quite right and if you get protection wrong it can be quite serious.”
Addison believes that a mandatory minimum qualification level for protection is likely to be introduced in future.
He adds: “We just thought it was safest to take this step from everybody’s point of view. As we think it is probably going to come in anyway, we thought we would step in and make it a requirement now.”
A feedback statement on pure protection sales published by the FSA in June revealed that most responses were in favour of “some kind of professionalism requirement on pure protection advisers”.