Professor David Jackman and his team at the newly-created Skills Council for Financial Services will...
Professor David Jackman and his team at the newly-created Skills Council for Financial Services will be hosting an "examination summit" over the summer for financial trade bodies and professional institutions, to finalize proposals for training regime reform.
A final structure or single framework for financial services examinations will then be presented on Tuesday 9th September, Jackman has told IFAonline, but many of the ideas will be discussed before then when members of the trade bodies "pull together the curriculum".
Rather than develop a single examination requirement for all institutions and training bodies to follow, Jackman says the regime will require a common standard which allows institutions to "introduce their own styles" as long as there are not widely different standards of training being created by the various interested parties.
Any new structure is also likely to have a strong international focus, suggests Jackman, so exam syllabus and content can be set by the examining body while the actual content will be monitored by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority (QCA).
This is likely to allow the different trade bodies - which have different proposals and styles of examination in mind - to present their own structure providing it allows their financial adviser and paraplanners members to meet the same professional standard.
This might solve many of the differences or discrepancies that financial services bodies would prefer to see as part of the T&C regime, as proposals from SOFA and the Chartered Insurance Institute, for example, are different to those presented by the Institute of Financial Planning.
The CII is hoping to achieve 'Chartered Status' for its members, whereas the IFP is part of the international Certified Financial Planning standards regime.
Once details of the structure have been unveiled by the SCFS, further information about the timetable for delivery and implementation will then be presented, says Jackman.
Plans to overhaul the exam framework are now working to a much faster deadline than it was possible to achieve under the FSA, stresses Jackman, so a requirement to take a new form of exam could be introduced sooner than the FSA's proposed 3rd quarter 2004 deadline.
Jackman is currently seconded to the Skills Council from the FSA as chief executive of the Sector Skills Council, but will take up his new role full-time from September.
Along with creating the financial services examination framework, Jackman has been charged with creating a framework or programme of business ethics that ALL UK companies - not just financial firms - will be expected to adopt.
Inclusion of "business ethics" as a category of exam for financial services firms created a storm of discussion when Jackman first introduced his proposals for reform through CP157 in November 2001.
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