Feeling Insignificant? Why Certificate Level Exam-Takers Shouldn’t Be Ignored
Last updated on April 20th, 2023 at 8:33 am
This article is relevant to anybody who wants to further their career in the financial services industry, whether you are at Certificate Level or Diploma Level.
Since it’s introduction in 2012 there has been so much focus on Diploma Level financial services exams and understandably so as the Diploma is the major qualification in the industry. Whilst the diploma will inevitably be the right option for many individuals, There is still a strong need for Certificate qualifications provided by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and other professional bodies as it provides a solid grounding for individuals working in the financial services industry.
Why focus should be on both Certificate and Diploma
The difficulty level of both the diploma and the certificate should not be under-estimated. In particular, the CII’s Diploma in Financial Planning exams are extremely tough and some would argue too tough for those new to the industry in non advice roles.
If the initial focus is on the Certificate qualification for those entering the industry, they will then be able to go on to the Diploma feeling more confident, as a result we are likely to see pass rates for the Diploma increase. This would also mean lower re-sit costs, more confident, knowledgeable advisers, which can only benefit customers.
What will happen if we push individuals too early into the Diploma exams? We will end up with employees who have a very loose grasp of the industry and many of which will struggle to pass the exams. This means higher training costs, more re-sit costs, more despondent staff and higher staff turnover. It will also mean lower quality potential employees to employ from elsewhere to fill those gaps. And if we look at the bigger picture, this will be to the detriment of the industry as a whole. As many older advisers leave, there are going to be gaps for new, younger advisers to fill. But if we don’t have the numbers and quality needed due to lack of support for employees starting out in their career, then the industry will suffer.
It’s not a case of choosing to assist one set of students over another. It’s a case of looking to the longer term and helping them all in equal measure. In the longer term, supporting our staff with qualifications at ALL levels, can only be money well spent.