FSA accredited bodies will be allowed to continue checking a sample of just 10% of advisers' CPD to verify standards of professionalism.
In today's final policy statement on professional standards, the FSA states it has decided against raising the 10% CPD sample check requirement "at this early stage".
It says it recognises the new regime, it which it will accredit certain industry bodies to ensure advisers meet its professional standards, will need "time to evolve" before the limit is raised.
However the bodies must check that 100% of advisers who use their services hold an appropriate qualification, including any qualification gap-fill where required.
The accredited body will be able to rely on a previous confirmation from another accredited body that an appropriate qualification is held, including qualifications gap-fill.
As expected, accredited bodies will be responsible for supplying individual retail investment advisers with a Statement of Professional Standing.
Accredited bodies are free to exceed the FSA's 10% requirements if they
choose, though it warns "quantity is not a substitute for quality".
The FSA is also encouraging accredited bodies to recognise CPD activity from a range of providers, including firms' own in-house schemes.
"Competition would not be encouraged if accredited bodies only regarded their own CPD activity as suitable for meeting requirements.
"This is an example of the type of possible issue we will seek to monitor as part of our ongoing oversight of the accredited bodies," it states.
To become accredited, bodies must act in the public interest and further development of the profession, carry out verification services, and have the appropriate system and controls in place to provide evidence to the FSA it is doing these tasks.
They will have to supply the FSA with an independent audit report, both on application and on an annual basis, covering their arrangements for monitoring compliance with its criteria for recognition.
However in today's paper the FSA warns firms the requirements it is asking of accredited bodies adds to, but does not replace, the responsibility it already places on IFA businesses to ensure their advisers are competent.
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