The FSA and the FSSC need to agree on who is doing what and why in order to send a clear message to the market, Nick Cann says.
The chief executive of the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) says the two quangos must decide on the scope of their individual roles, after an FSA consultation paper published today failed to clarify which body will in future be responsible for reviewing exam standards.
In its CP10/12 Competence and ethics paper the FSA states: "Currently, the FSSC updates the standards on our behalf and neither FSA nor FSSC have reached a view on whether this arrangement should continue."
Cann says: "Between the FSA and the Skills Council it needs to be sorted out who is doing what and why.
"If the FSA took responsibility it would be a reversal of strategy from giving power over standards to the FSSC. But if the FSA are going to be in charge of standards it makes sense there is only one master to send a consistent message to the market."
The FSSC would clearly need to re-evaluate its role if it lost responsibility for standards, says Cann, though he adds the focus should be on greater industry engagement whoever is in charge of the qualifying criteria for advisers.
"What is important is proper engagement with the profession. It doesn't matter who the decision maker is.
"The interesting thing for us is how many people are involved in qualifications so they are not slowing down the process. Essentially it comes back to don't put regulation in where regulation isn't necessary."
Cann welcomed research included in the FSA paper which suggests advisers want greater focus on CPD in the Training and Competence (TC) source book.
"CPD is absolutely fundamental. Standards shouldn't just be buit on passing exams."
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