The FSA is looking at providing ongoing competence testing of intermediaries and is bringing out a c...
The FSA is looking at providing ongoing competence testing of intermediaries and is bringing out a consultation paper next year seeking to create a single modular exam structure.
One of the questions raised by intermediary trade associations that have been a part of the ongoing discussions has been ongoing testing designed to maintain and enhance levels of competence throughout an intermediary's working life.
There are currently no plans to bring in mandatory retesting for intermediaries when the new modular examinations structure is finally introduced.
David Jackman, head of industry training and business ethics at the FSA, said the current thinking at the regulator is that those intermediaries already qualified at the point the new examinations are introduced will be considered qualified, a provision known as grandfathering.
This is important, according to the Life Insurance Association (LIA), as no profession has ever been subject to mass retesting on the introduction of professional examinations.
Intermediary examinations are currently provided by the Chartered Insurance Institute, the Chartered Institute of Banking and the Securities Institute. Jackman said that under the proposed umbrella structure, all would be free to continue to offer examinations. These would, however, be offered under a single identity created by the FSA, which would be involved in the setting and would regulate content, level and consistency.
Jackman said the FSA's current thinking was to have a foundation level examination which would then be followed by speciality modular examinations allowing intermediaries to develop specialisations necessary for their businesses.
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