The ifs School of Finance's pilot for a new qualification in advanced financial advice has been met with an "overwhelmingly positive" response from participants.
Benchmarked to QCA level 4, the qualification focuses on the practicalities of financial advice rather than just the acquisition of technical knowledge.
Pilot participants represented a wide range of practitioners including bank employees, compliance managers, training managers and business and finance academics as well as experienced IFAs.
A key part of the new qualification involves continuous assessment, based on the development of research analysis and presentation skills. A final assessment is based on a fact-find sent out to candidates before their exam.
This pre-released case study enables the adviser to develop a better understanding of the client’s circumstances, think about issues involved and to research appropriate technical information. Some information may change before the exam, as is likely to happen when an adviser makes a subsequent visit to a client.
The new qualification will be available to all by the end of the year and interested individuals can email their contact details to [email protected]
The pilot found the qualification meets a real industry need, irrespective of RDR outcomes, although synergy with the stated RDR aspiration of improving service to consumers was clear.
Linda Preston-Todd, a compliance manager and pilot process participant, says the qualification tests and develops IFAs' skills and could help avoid mis-selling and complaints. “Most exams don’t test these types of specific areas, it’s long overdue.”
While another participant says the qualification demonstrates IFAs not only have the knowledge but they can put it into practice which is vital for employers.IFAonline
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