A total of 1,816 people passed the MAQ examination in December to take the total number of qualification holders to 13,711, the Chartered Insurance Institute says.
During 2002 the CII examined just under 16,000 MAQ papers. To help those who still need to meet the MCCB requirements the CII is running an extra exam session in February.
CII marketing director Steve Wellard says, “The CII is very pleased to have been able to play a major part to help advisers meet the MCCB's fitness and competence requirements which are intended to raise industry standards, and the level of protection afforded to mortgage customers.
“We are working hard to ensure that those who have passed their examination now continue to maintain and enhance their competence. This is a key facet of the FSA's future approach to the sector.
“The CII already has its online compliance and competency syste., which is designed as a way of providing evidence of competence to the regulator, and we are exploring how we can take this forward to support competence and good practice in the mortgage sector.”
Advisers are also being encouraged to progress towards the Advance Financial Planning Certificate as MAQ, when held with the FPC, will count as a half-credit towards the AFPC.