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Trade bodies unite to deliver online training

Financial Assess, the joint industry training initiative developed by the LIA, CII and Sofa, went live last week with the aim of helping advisers improve their knowledge through online training and exams.

The service, which costs £75 a year for each adviser, offers training and exams in eight modules for IFAs looking to maintain their knowledge in areas they may not use regularly or where there are constant developments.

The three bodies say it is the industry&#39s response to the examination review launched more than two years ago by FSA head of industry standards David Jackman and then outsourced to him when he left the regulator to set up the Financial Services Skills Council at the end of February.

Jackman spoke at last week&#39s launch of Financial Assess and made “encouraging noises” according to one attendee.

The annual cost gives unlimited access to all eight training modules as well as an online quarterly newsletter. There are discounts for firms with bigger numbers of RIs.

The material for the initiative is being provided by financial consultancy Tax Briefs. Areas covered by the modules include retirement planning, savings and investments, tax planning and business ethics.

Tax Briefs director Danby Bloch says: “By using this service, IFAs will be considerably better off than they would be otherwise. Certainly, in terms of investment knowledge, it goes much further than what is required through FPC.”

CII director general Sandy Scott says: “Financial Assess provides an industrywide solution to the FSA&#39s demand for advisers to demonstrate competence. Not only will the system help individuals attain and maintain competence, it will also boost the efficiency of organisations, enhancing the service they provide and improving their operational effectiveness.”

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