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Skills Council to review NOS financial advice standards

The Financial Services Skills Council has launched a review of the existing National Occupational Standards for providing financial advice.

Consisting of ten units, the standards detail the competences required for activities including reviewing and analysing customers’ financial arrangements and requirements and advising on investment solutions.

The FSSC says these standards were approved in 2006 and are now eligible for incremental review to ensure that their content remains topical and relevant. The review will undertake a gap analysis of the NOS against current industry needs to ensure that the standards continue to reflect good industry practice.

The FSSC adds that while new NOS units will be developed for financial planning activities, the focus of the review will be on encompassing all the competencies required for activities in giving financial advice and preparing a financial plan for a client.

Industry practitioners are invited to get involved, either by becoming a member of the project working group or by reviewing the emerging project output.

The FSSC will also run a series of roadshow events to gather feedback for the project later in the year.

FSSC director of education Sam Rees-Adams says: “Much time has been spent over the years trying to establish definitions for financial advice and financial planning and we do not intend to resurrect that debate here. The important thing is to ascertain what knowledge and skills are required for the different elements of client interaction.

“With the retail distribution review focusing on the need to raise standards of investment advice and provide a better experience for consumers, this is an ideal opportunity to define the competences needed to do this. We would urge you to get involved in whatever way you can.”

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