With FSA regulation soon to come into force, the Institute of Financial Services is accepting its last registrations for the fast-track route now. The Bridge qualification gives qualified financial advisers the chance to achieve CeMAP by taking just one module.
However, due to changes in FSA regulation, the syllabus is to be restructured and the IFS will no longer be able to offer the CeMAP Bridge option.
Meanwhile the National Association of Commercial Finance Brokers is also encouraging members to sign up for its Diploma in Commercial Finance, a portable qualification providing an essential skills and knowledge base on financial services issues.
Sara Reading, a broker for Bedfordshire-based Peach Productions Finance, is the first to complete the course. She says: “It has greatly benefited our organisation and the portable element means I'm now studying for a law degree. I felt I needed more specific knowledge of the financial services industry.”
The NACFB expects the number of members signing up to the diploma to increase as awareness rises.
Keith Heron, NACFB chief executive, says: “We have been accused of being a closed shop in the past and are trying to open up to new possibilities. This is a qualification recognised by the IFS that includes lending, securities and asset-based components.”
IFS, the awarding body that joined forces with the NACFB to offer the qualification, tailored the programme to meet the needs of the NACFB and its members. Simon Ashmore, head of marketing and PR at IFS, says: “The result of taking this diploma is that bottom-line profits will increase if the knowledge of those involved in the organisations can be validated.”