Tenet is linking with the IFP to offer advisers who already hold certain qualifications a way of achieving QCF Level 6 without having to sit a formal exam.
This is two steps ahead of the QCF Level 4 standard required post RDR and comes as the debate intensifies around whether qualification standards may be hiked yet again after 2013 for IFAs.
Tenet's Certified Financial Planner option will be awarded to advisers who attend two structured training days hosted by a CFP professional and complete a financial case study over a 12-week period.
To be eligible, advisers must already hold specific exams in tax (either JOI,G10 or AF1) plus a further advanced subject (G60, G20, G30, G70, IMC, AF2, AF3, AF4).
The programme is equivalent to a QCF Level 6 qualification and carries exemption from the CII AF5 paper; the compulsory module for Chartered Financial Planner status.
The first course commences in June with an initial training day at Tenet's training centre in Leeds. Priority will be given to Tenet advisers but the programme is also available to non-Tenet firms. As Tenet is an accredited training centre, it can offer a discount of up to 60% on training and assessment fees.
Tenet is also set to launch a first year foundation degree in partnership with Leeds University. This will provide an entry route to the advice sector and is structured to allow students to give advice after the initial qualification.
Nick Cann, chief executive of the IFP, says: "It is great news Tenet has embraced the benefits of the CFP certification programme. The main benefit is the fact it recognises existing knowledge, but tests the application of this knowledge with clients."
Tenet distribution and development director Keith Richards says it is important to give advisers choices in how they obtain the necessary qualifications, including moving above QCF Level 4.
"We are confident this new CFP option will appeal greatly to advisers who have the pre-qualification requirements, but do not wish to have to sit further exams.
"It is possible that to continue to be considered ‘independent' a couple of years after the implementation of the RDR you could need to have Level 6 while ‘restricted' will remain at Level 4."
Tenet is also committed to helping advisers who are struggling to obtain the necessary qualifications needed post-RDR, including giving a free personalised qualifications audit and individual action plan.
The FSA is expected to confirm later this year all existing and new advisers will need to be qualified to at least QCF Level 4 in an appropriate exam by the end of 2012. The current requirement is the equivalent of Level 3.
However, Tenet's decision to help some of its advisers move beyond Level 4 comes as AIFA launched its own QCF Level 5 Diploma in Investment Planning.
Director general Chris Cummings says by setting the exam at Level 5 it had "future proofed" against any additional qualification requirements "that may emerge".
Many advisers are now expressing concern about the launch of a plethora of qualifications to meet RDR requirements. They say they are becoming confused about the different QCF levels covered by the exams as well as the methods of assessment.
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