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Skills Council role misrepresented

Your article, Aifa brands Skills Council vague and inadequate, (Money Marketing, April 22), did not convey the Skills Coun-cil&#39s position that the comments and queries of all of those in the industry regarding the exam review process will be add-ressed in detail in our feedback paper, to be issued in May.

We have been pleased with the response from the industry to this consultation paper. This has been largely positive and supportive of our work so far and includes some detailed comments from Aifa – which has been involved closely with the exam review and our work for several years – and other bodies, which we welcome.

But Tracey Mullins, director of public affairs at Aifa, misrepresents our role when she says: &#39Our number one concern is that the Skills Council is not assuming responsibility for setting the level of qualification and it should.” This might be an argument if the FSSC had different constitutional powers but it simply does not. We do not have powers to prescribe – we are authorised only to identify exams appropriate to regulated activities and ensuring that what practitioners need to know is relevant to the performance standards the industry has agreed. We are, of course, ensuring that these exams meet the FSA&#39s requirements for consumer protection and that there is a technical assessment of the quality of appropriate exams which the UK qualifications regulators are empowered to make. The awarding bodies are responsible for designing and delivering qualifications against those standards.

The Skills Council is a new organisation with an entirely new role within the sector and we are aware that it is going to take time for the industry to fully understand this role. We understand the concerns that Aifa may have but we are confident that we will demonstrate our role in quality assurance as we move forward.

Kate Saunders

Press/communications,

Financial Services Skills Council, London

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