The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) says it is prepared to work with Ken Davy's newly-formed Alternative Assessment Project Group, but only once the FSA has firmed up its evaluation criteria for getting to Level 4 standard.
The SimplyBiz chairman announced he will head up a ‘support group' of financial sector professionals to examine the practicalities of the FSA's planned alternative assessment route to the Level 4 qualification.
Group members include Peter Hales, a former president of the CII, IFA Len Warwick, Tony Wickenden, joint managing director of Technical Connection, Janet Walford, editor of Money Management, and Steve Braidford, managing director of the New Model Business Academy.
Their aim is to "encourage the development of a range of practical and economically viable assessments that will enable advisers to demonstrate and achieve Level 4 competence in a real life environment".
The Group says it plans to meet with various" interested parties" in the coming weeks to lay the foundations for the delivery of alternative assessments to advisers, adding: "As an independent project group our objective is to work with the awarding bodies and other organisations."
However the CII, which is currently developing its own model for delivering work-based assessments, says while it is willing to work with the newly formed group, it is waiting for further clarification on the examining criteria from the FSA.
David Thomson, director of policy at the CII, says: "We will be offering alternative assessments and are currently developing our model consistent with the criteria laid out by the FSA. We would hope to announce more shortly, though the new Level 4 has yet to be fully defined by the FSA so the details will need to wait until this is clarified.
"As regards the ‘support group' we are happy to talk to anybody in the market about our alternative assessment plans."
The move to form the break-away project follows chair Ken Davy's damning criticism of the FSA for failing to address the needs of particularly older practitioners by forcing all advisers to reach Level 4 by 2012.
In July he said: "It is a disgraceful omission. It seems nonsensical that a 22-year-old with no experience who passes the exam will be able to work unsupervised but somebody with 20-30 years experience will not be able to advise clients even under supervision unless they meet the qualification standard."
E-learning, course work, past experience, CPD and real world technical competence are expected to be included in the ways in which a Level 4 standard could be demonstrated.
"Whilst not a cheap option it may be possible for much of this work to be delivered through technology and desk-based research, enabling costs to be minimised", says the Group.
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