The move by the FSA to revert back to a more prescriptive form of Training and Competence (TC) rules is a "clear indication" its principles-based approach failed, says the Personal Finance Society (PFS).
The FSA plans to significantly beef up its TC regime, including imposing a 30 month deadline for individuals to complete all modules of qualifications required for their role.
Competence "is more than just passing a qualification", the regulator stated in its CP10/12 Competence and ethics paper, published on Friday.
The proposals represent a shift away from the more generic rules in place since the last TC overhaul in 2007, says PFS chief executive Fay Goddard.
"The fact the FSA is now introducing [a prescriptive approach] again is a clear indication the regulator's principles-based approach didn't work."
In the paper the FSA states: "We are finding competence failings in our thematic work. It is clear to us that these failings are occurring most where individuals' competence has not kept pace with market innovations and developments.
"Competence and ethics issues cannot be monitored by supervision in isolation of other requirements, for example, the quality of advice."
Goddard says: "In this paper the FSA is making very clear supervison is not just a compliance function. It is saying file-checking is not supervison."
She says the tougher approach sits well with the PFS approach, and welcomes plans elsewhere in the paper for the FSA to review standards every three years.
"Three years is the minimum review period required to properly respond to an industry in which change is ongoing.
"People need to keep up-to-date and there is no point in a new entrant studying materials which are three years out of date."
However some advisers are already concerned such a regular reviewing process would give the FSA a licence to put IFAs through exams more frequently.
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