We have collaborated with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) to create a re-assessment test of the level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning. The CII will make the ‘Regulated Retail Investment Adviser Re-Evaluation’ available from 1 October 2018 and the assessment aims to raise the standards and competence of Financial Advisers. There are also other bodies which offer relevant level 4 qualifications. We are working with some of them in creating their own re-evaluation tests and writing to others to invite them to do the same.
We believe that advisers having a good level of knowledge is the foundation to giving sound financial advice. This is particularly the case with the more technical aspects of financial advice.
The level 4 Diploma became the standard when the Retail Distribution Review came into force at the start of 2013. Advisers complete a minimum of 35 hours continuous professional development each year with the aim of maintaining their knowledge. Not all firms test their advisers’ knowledge yearly as part of their Statement of Professional Standing, with many advisers never retesting.
The objective of the re-evaluation is to identify areas of strength and weakness in technical knowledge and its application that underpins suitable financial advice. While there is no FCA requirement for advisors periodically to sit such a test, professional development can identify areas of strength and weakness in technical knowledge and its application that underpins suitable financial advice.
We will encourage firms to use it and we may also use it as a supervisory tool if we think it is appropriate to ask firms to re-test specific advisers.
Further information can be found on the CII's website.