The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI) is launching an alternative assessment option for existing advisers from August.
It will be linked to the existing Private Client Investment Advice and Management (PCIAM) exam to give a Level 6 qualification pitched at "experienced practitioners looking to demonstrate their competence".
Candidates will have to submit a "statement of professional competence" worth 60% of their overall mark and based on the current PCIAM Level 6 examination syllabus.
In the written document, advisers will need to identify subjects on which they can demonstrate experience and knowledge, and will then be required to prove the validity of the statement in an hour long interview.
On the same day, advisers will then take a one hour oral examination worth 40% on an unseen case study at the same level and depth as the current written exam.
Candidates who pass both parts of the assessment will gain the Level 6 PCIAM Certificate.
The exam will cost £1,750 per candidate, which the CISI says reflects "the seniority of the assessors and the one to one element".
Both parts of the exam will be assessed independently by IFAs, with overall oversight falling to the existing Examination Board for PCIAM and the chief examiner for each subject.
Advisers who pass the assessment will only need to top up their qualification with structured CPD to become RDR-compliant, as the PCIAM is one of the qualifications approved by the FSA for RDR transition purposes, it adds.
The CISI will announce CPD top-up guidance for holders of PCIAM shortly.
Education regulator Ofqual will not need to approve the alternative assessment scheme, says the Institute, as it is just a different methodology for an already approved qualification.
Submission will now be made to the FSA for its approval.
The CISI says it is also in the process of submitting a new Level 4 exam for FSA approval, but has no plans to offer an alternative assessment at Level 4.
Managing director of the CISI Ruth Martin says: We recognise the challenges [existing advisers] face if they have not taken examinations for many years. The CISI alternative assessment offers further choice whilst guaranteeing the same high standards as the conventional examination."
Arrangements for formal registration are expected next month, and the CISI is inviting advisers to express interest in the alternative assessment now so it can contact them as soon as it has approval.
The CISI is the latest examining body to enter the alternative assessment arena.
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