An alternative assessment route being offered by New Model Business Academy has been added to the list of qualifications meeting retail distribution review (RDR) requirements by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).
In its latest quarterly consultation paper, the FSA proposed adding the Calibrand/SQA diploma in Professional Financial Advice (NMBA - Alternative
Assessment method) for the activity of advising on packaged products (which are not broker funds) and friendly society tax-exempt policies.
It said: "We have assessed this qualification and consider it meets full qualification requirement up to and after 31 December 2012 under the RDR proposals."
University Centre at Blackburn College's Foundation Degree Award in Financial
Services has also met the requirements for the same activities and will be added to the list.
Lee Travis, head of business at NMBA, said he hoped to start offering the QCF Level 4 qualification to advisers from November and added it would be "significantly more cost effective" than other alternative assessments already available.
Advisers would first have to meet certain criteria before taking the route. NMBA would check this through their CVs, experience, complaints and CPD records, after which candidates would move on to a series of "open book, diagnostic tests".
"There isn't an exam under exam conditions but it's designed to be done open book style. It will be timed but you can do it at your home or office and can refer to a book, as you would be able to with a client," Travis said.
The final phase would be geared around the advice the candidates give through their client files, proving they can tick off all the learning outcomes required by the FSA.
The FSA has also proposed amending the existing qualification for the Faculty/Institute of Actuaries to show that the completion of a specific combination of modules under their associate programme fully covers the exam standards for RDR.
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