I have just read the article in last week’s Money Marketing, headlined, Protest in prospect from 60% already studying, in which Stephen Gay from Aviva recommends that Aifa should not support the rule of law in respect of existing advisers having to re-qualify.
Indeed, Stephen Gay goes on to suggest that many of those advisers who are studying for QCF level four qualifications will be angry at those who are not.
Well, Stephen, just a little bit of free advice for you. Many experienced advisers feel that they are being given no choice but to sit these exams.
If they want to continue to practice after 2012, they have to attain them and many will be studying out of economic necessity rather than willing enthusiasm. If you want or need to stay in the industry, you are not going to bury your head in the sand and refuse to study, hoping that the FSA will be made to see sense or even be brought under the rule of law.
I fully support upgrading the professionalism of our industry by raising the qualification bar to diploma, advanced diploma or, in due course, degree level for new entrants into the profession. My own son, already a graduate, has recently joined our family company, has achieved the certificate and is embarking on the diploma, with plans to go straight into the advance diploma.
He is in the fortunate position that while he is doing this he will not be solely responsible for running our business but this will be the scenario for many long experienced small advisers who will now have to add at least 500 hours of studying to this already packed agenda in order to requalify for a job that they are already qualified for.
As a graduate in business studies and with over 30 years service to the financial services industry under my belt, I feel that in the years approaching retirement it is time to have a less pressured existence.
Frazer & Cleaver Black Independent
Financial Services advice