A new alternative assessment route for QCF Level 5 qualifications has been opened up to advisers following a pilot phase.
Experience Counts is offered by Corporate Training Partnerships (CTP), in partnership with The National Skills Academy for Financial Services, with a Diploma in Investment Planning offered by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland.
The alternative assessment, which was unveiled earlier this year, has no written or oral examination element, with assessors travelling to the adviser's workplace and conducting assessments based on client, regulatory and CPD records.
The assessors also consider "any other documentation" which proves the adviser meets all examination standards.
Advisers are charged £100 for an initial diagnostic, with the first assessment day costing £2,000 and each subsequent assessment day priced at £1,000.
According to CTP, assessment is normally expected to take between
one and three days.
Independent financial adviser William Young has become the first candidate to be awarded the diploma through the alternative assessment, bringing to an end the pilot phase.
He said: "Achieving this qualification in such a comparably short space of time has allowed me to focus on running my business without disruption, in the knowledge that I am fully qualified above the RDR minimum level 4."
Find out more about the Experience Counts alternative assessment here.
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