The "most arduous" thing qualified advisers are likely to have to do to be RDR compliant by 1 January 2013 is "read a chapter in a textbook", the CII says.
In a bid to dispel concerns over the FSA's qualification ‘top-up' rules, it says once advisers have mapped their existing exams and accrued knowledge against the FSSC's learning outcomes, the remaining 'gap' is often very small.
Last year, the FSA confirmed advisers with an existing QCF Level 4 qualification would need to 'top it up' with relevant CPD to meet the new benchmark.
CII communications director David Ross says an assumption the regulator requires qualified advisers to sit more exams is incorrect.
He says advisers will have attended CPD-accredited events, read articles and books, and keep up-to-date with most industry developments over the years, meaning their knowledge gap will often be a lot smaller than they think.
"The most arduous thing advisers are likely to have to do is read a pamphlet or a chapter in a textbook," he says. "The idea that you have to take an exam or do loads of work is not true."
He said there will be some learning outcomes, such as ethics, which most advisers will need to address.
Ross also defended the CII's recently-launched gap-fill analysis tool, which has been the subject of adviser criticism for failing to take into account qualifications outside the CII, as well as older CII exams.
He said it was proving a time-consuming task to map each members' existing qualifications against the FSSC's several hundred learning outcomes.
But he said the syllabuses of every recent CII paper are now available online, as well as those for a number of its older papers. It is also continuing to map the qualifications offered by other providers.
He stressed the gap-fill tool was free, as were the CPD events or material members required once they have identified any knowledge gaps.
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