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The value of work-based assessments

The plight of many older advisers worried about taking the mandatory examinations required by the retail distribution review is being conven-iently ignored by the FSA.

This week, Money Marketing hears from three advisers with 90 years of combined experience who want to remain in the industry and continue to serve their long-standing clients post-2012.

Many readers will empathise with their concerns which should also act as a warning to the regulator as it draws up its final plans for the RDR.

All three agree with the increased focus on professionalism but believe it is unfair that experienced advisers are forced into the examination hall, often when they may only have a few years of work left after the 2012 deadline.

Theirs is a story that certain policy- makers and industry pundits all too easily dismiss as a necessary evil of the reforms. But what will happen to their clients if they are forced out of the industry? Allowing genuine work-based assessments as an alternative to these examinations would help many of the advisers in this situation without undermining the drive towards increased professionalism.

Such assessments should not be seen as an easy alternative to the examin-ation route but rather as a sensible and pragmatic means of ensuring many good advisers do not leave the industry.

Work-based assessments would complement, not undermine, the RDR. It would ensure many quality advisers remain in the industry to serve their clients well and mean a stronger cons-ensus develops around the reforms.

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