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Slowly does it

Some progress at last. Since the last edition of Adviser Evolution, I have managed to take at least one more faltering step towards achieving RDR-compliant qualifications.

But with less than two months to go until the RDR qualifications deadline of 31 December, I remain some way off the required standard.

I am now the proud holder of RO1 (Financial services, regulation and ethics), and have three other exams before the end of the year.

It will take a minor miracle for me to get the full set of RDR-ready qualifications within two years.

If my aim when I started was to prove it possible to reach Level 4 from a standing start, while holding down a full-time job, then I have to admit failure.

When I embarked on the programme I was expecting five exams, of which four were ­multiple choice. This has since increased to six exams: five online multiple-choice and one written exam.

I am aiming to get RO3, RO4 and RO5 before the end of the year and with a quiet December I may be brave or foolish enough to have a crack at RO2.

But getting RO6 – a three-hour written exam based on two case studies – having never been the other side of the table in an IFA firm, is almost certainly too much to achieve.

Unlike advisers, I do not even have to get a statement of professional standing in addition to the qualifications. If I did, there is no way I would be ready for the first day of 2013.

I would like to say it has been fun trying, but that would be stretching journalistic licence a bit too far.

I am not sorry I volunteered to try to get RDR qualifications. It has helped me – and my colleagues who have been on the receiving end of my complaints – to better understand the difficulties advisers have faced trying to fit study time into a busy schedule.

I am pleased to see that the widespread predictions of two years ago that up to a third of advisers would not be able to get the qualifications needed is looking as shaky as the chance of me getting all the exams.

Congratulations to those who have been more diligent and more organised than myself and have gained their RDR qualifications in time. And good luck to those who face a last-minute dash to get the final qualifications they need.

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