The R01 exam may not be the best route for experienced advisers to improve their knowledge or gap-fill for CPD as it is too academic and lacks relevant material, according to IFA Ian Lowes.
Lowes recently undertook the exam, along with fellow director Neil McLachlan and other experienced members of the Lowes Financial Management team.
According to the CII, the objective of the R01 module is to develop knowledge and understanding of the financial services industry, including regulation, legislation and the Code of Ethics.
It requires 60 hours of study time and concludes with a two-hour exam consisting of 100 multiple choice questions.
Lowes comments: "The conclusion of the Lowes team who took the exam was that while it was interesting as an exercise, it was far too academic for our purposes.
"It lacked relevant material and in terms of day-to-day financial advice it would be of little use to an experienced practicing IFA.
"There is a lot of valuable content, and it will prove to be a refresher in terms of financial planning analysis, risk profiling and equally importantly, ethics, but there is a significant amount of content and of exam study which is not likely to prove valuable to most people."
He cites the requirement to learn about Basel III as not being relevant to most IFAs.
Although he passed the exam last month, Lowes feels experienced advisers would be better off concentrating on exams where they will derive practical benefit, such as those covering tax, trusts or pensions.
He adds: "Many advisers taking tax and trusts exams, for example, may be amazed at what they didn't know and what they need to know. That is how useful they are.
"Certainly, as someone who has gone down both routes, my advice to anybody is to concentrate on doing the advanced exams to get advanced qualifications, rather than go down the R0 route and potentially spend a lot of valuable time learning information which will be of little use to you in the long run."
Lloyds 'not entitled' to give notice
Alternatives to alternatives?
Our weekly heads-up for advisers
Patience must be a watchword
'Misleading, unclear, unfair' promotions