Advisers must pass a one-day 'professional discussion' on four case studies and a technical interview to reach QCF Level 4 via the CII's alternative route, launched today.
Each candidate is assessed by two Chartered Financial Planners who are also trained CII assessors.
Before the day long interviews, advisers must submit a portfolio of evidence detailing their relevant qualifications and CPD.
The assessment is for only experienced advisers as a non-examination route to achieving the Regulated Financial Planning Diploma ahead of the RDR.
In total the assessment will cost applicants £1,950, which is significantly higher than the traditional route. A CFP holder and member of the Personal Finance Society or CII can complete the Diploma via the exam route for less than £1,200.
An alternative route offered by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investments (CISI) costs £1,750.
Given the extra cost involved the CII is providing a free pre-assessment diagnostic tool to help candidates identify their suitability for the alternative route.
Steve Jenkins, the CII's director of financial services markets, (pictured), says: "The alternative assessment is a demanding option which involves testing the full syllabus in the course of a single day."
Ian Highton, partner at Essential Financial Advisers who passed the Diploma as part of the CII's pilot programme, says those thinking of taking it should use the diagnostic tool first.
He says: "The self diagnostic tool certainly made me think carefully about my depth of knowledge before proceeding with the full assessment day and understand what was required.
"The assessment day is demanding, but fulfilling, as you are examined for a full day by two of your peers. This is definitely not a soft option."
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