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Skills council waiting for FSA exam clearance

The Financial Services Skills Council says it is powerless to begin developing QCA level four standards until the FSA clarifies scope and warns the RDR timetable could slip unless clarification comes soon.

In an interview with Money Marketing, FSSC chief executive Teresa Sayers says she is conscious of the urgency to finalise the new requirements and is pushing for clearance from the FSA prior to its June consultation paper.

She says: “We cannot start until the FSA turns round and says this is what we want you to do. It needs to give us clearance on what standards it wants us to create.” She says if the FSA does not outline its requirements soon, the 2012 deadline for advisers may have to be extended.

She says: “Assuming that we get the go-ahead pretty quickly and we could have an offer on the table by the end of the year, then I think the 2012 deadline is fine, but if things keep slipping, I think we might find ourselves in a slightly different position.”

FSSC director of skills development Sarah Thwaites, who was formerly FSA manager of industry training, says: “Obviously, we set standards and we can do that for any job role within the industry but we need to know which ones are within the context of this particular piece of work.”

FSSC director of education Sam Rees-Adams says the skills council can develop a new standard in seven months, including a three-month consultation.

She says: “We can fast-track the initial development of the standards themselves but the one thing that we absolutely will not compromise on is the three months’ consultation.”

Rees-Adams says once professional bodies submit a syllabus, the FSSC will respond within 10 working days and if it is approved, it will then go to qualification regulator Ofqual for accreditation.

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