A new RDR-compliant diploma which allows advisers to learn within 24 hours if they have passed or failed certain modules is being launched by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII).
The Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, set for launch in June, has been set at QCF Level 4 and caters for both new and existing practitioners.
Its six-module structure mirrors that of the CII's existing Diploma in Financial Planning.
Advisers part-way through the current diploma can, if they wish, complete their qualification by picking up outstanding credits from units within the new qualification.
The CII says the advantages of switching to the new qualification include the fact advisers can sit exams on any working day at test centres nationwide, and get their results within 24 hours.
Advisers can also "double-up" on units by sitting more than one exam in a single sitting. Only the financial planning unit will be a traditional written assessment.
For the other units, getting same-day results means advisers could re-sit an exam within a week if they fail, and every week thereafter until they pass.
Under the CII's current diploma, exam sittings take place on just three set days each year, meaning at least a four-month wait before a failed paper can be tried again.
The CII's director of financial services Steve Jenkins says advisers will be able to progress quicker with the new diploma with the same number of study hours and effort.
"We have cut the waiting time between exams, which we expect will cut down the number of re-sits people take as they can try again while the information is fresh in their minds."
CII chief executive Sandy Scott adds: "We don't have to produce a "one size fits all" qualification for existing advisers. Instead practitioners together with the CII have developed a Diploma that allows advisers to pick and choose the modules which are most relevant to them."
New entrants would need to sit 10 hours of exams on six units to pass the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. But this could fall to as few as four units for existing advisers, depending on the modules they have already passed.
The new CII diploma also comes with a suite of "pay-as-you-go" study aids, including through the body's RevisionMate portal, interactive tutorials, face-to-face training courses, and audio courses for use on mp3 players.
According to the CII, the new Diploma will be "highly competitively priced", though it has yet to finalise how much it will cost advisers once it has received formal endorsement by the FSA, FSSC, and OfQual in early June.
Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning modules:
(R01) Financial services, regulation and ethics (20 credits)
(R02) Investment principles and risk (20)
(R03) Personal taxation (10)
(R04) Pension and retirement planning (10)
(R05) Financial protection (10)
(R06) Financial planning practice (30)
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