The CII has published its response to the Financial Services Skills Council consultation paper on appropriate exams for mortgages, investment advice and long-term care insurance.
In February the CII published its proposed financial planning qualifications framework and has carried out its own consultation with practitioners and firms.
CII director-general Sandy Scott says: “Our consultation programme has reinforced that these are challenging times for the long-term savings and investment industry. Firms are in business to serve their clients ensuring that they have adequate plans for their short and long-term financial needs and that they have adequate insurance and protection. They are not in business to worry about exams. But we have uncovered significant confusion,misunderstanding and a lack of guidance on what to do now.
Scott says firms should continue with the FPC. He says: “It remains the exam of choice for investment advisers and as far as I am concerned is the only recognised qualification at that level. To support firms I am committed to continuing to provide the FPC until at least mid-2005.”
However, the CII will continue to provide routes to higher standards for advisers through SOFA and the AFPC series of modules and by adding a degree for those who have achieved ASFA/FSFA. The CII will also be developing stand alone modules for management and skills development to support professional advisers.
The CII's new qualifications framework and learning materials will be introduced in October 2004 and the first exams will run in January 2005. The CII's new modules on long-term care insurance and lifetime mortgages will be introduced when the FSA and Skills Council confirm the syllabus requirements. The CII's view is that existing holders of G80 should be grandfathered into the new framework.
The CII will also be adding mini modules on term assurance, critical illness, PHI, general insurance and other areas to assist firms in demonstrating competence in these areas.