The National Skills Academy for Financial Services is pleased to announce the Diploma in Investment Planning (a work based assessment) developed by them and partners CTP (Corporate Training Partnerships). Known as Experience Counts, it has been included in the Financial Services Authority (FSA) Consultation Paper CP 11/01 for approval as meeting the full qualification requirement under the FSA Retail Distribution Review (RDR) proposals.

The new qualification will be awarded by the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIOBS) who have worked closely with the Skills Academy and CTP to ensure that the new qualification provides a robust assessment of a financial adviser’s competence without the need for traditional, written examinations. Following the consultation period and final approval by the FSA (6 February 2011) the new Diploma, an alternative work based assessment route to meeting the RDR qualification standards, will be formally launched.

Sylvia Perrins, CEO, The National Skills Academy for Financial Services says: “With the full backing of our employers, we have developed a new assessment methodology that allows experienced advisers to reach an Appropriate Qualification. This is our contribution to ensuring that the industry meets the needs of all its employees.”

Jayne Owen, CEO of CTP says “We always believed there was a constructive alternative to written or verbal examinations to recognise competence. It has taken a concerted effort to reach this point and only with the whole hearted support of the National Skills Academy for Financial Services and the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland, for which we are very grateful, has this idea reached fruition.”

Simon Thompson, CEO of CIOBS, says “We know the great majority of existing advisers provide high quality advice to their clients’ day in, day out, but some may struggle to demonstrate this in a traditional, written examination. The Diploma in Investment Planning (work based assessment) will help such advisers demonstrate their commitment to the new RDR standards, and their professional competence.”