Hot Topic – Are you now heading towards QCF Level 6?
There was a long and slow build up to 31st December 2012 and yet, here we are already 6 months into the post-RDR world.
At the time, many advisers chose to leave the industry, but the rest just got on with the new regime and what it meant in terms of getting themselves qualified up to QCF Level 4. Some decided to go beyond that, and we are seeing a bigger demand for AF support as advisers seek to pursue QCF Level 6 and Chartered status. Some think that it will be the next qualification move for the FCA anyway, whilst others want to show their clients their commitment to professionalism.
So what does QCF Level 6 involve?
In order to complete the Advanced Diploma, you need 290 credits – 120 of these have to come from the Advanced units (existing modules or the old style AFPC), 40 have to come from Diploma level – the rest can come from anywhere. You have to take AF5 – it’s compulsory!
These are the AF units – each giving 30 credits.
- AF1 Personal tax and trust planning
- AF2 Business financial planning
- AF3 Pension planning
- AF4 Investment planning
- AF6 Senior management and supervision
- AF5 Financial planning process – compulsory
Once you’ve got your 290 credits, you can use the letters APFS after your name. You can also apply for Chartered Financial Planner status – as long as you have 5 years’ industry experience. This, we believe, is what a lot of advisers are now aiming for as this now puts our profession at the same level as those professions we often work closely with; Chartered Accountants and Solicitors.
Making the jump from a Diploma paper to an Advanced paper is not easy, and it should not be underestimated how much effort needs to be put in. The exams jump from multi-choice and multi-response and short answer questions to long case studies and fact finds – I don’t think anyone would say they’re easy. However, if you want Chartered status and the recognition from your clients as well as your peers it’s well worth the effort.
There is of course plenty of help around as well. Here at Brand Financial Training we offer mock papers on AF1, AF2, AF3, AF4 and AF5. Following the CII guidance of which J0 and R0 study texts to use for the AF exams, we also offer various resources including study notes, calculation workbooks and webinars from the relevant R0 and J0 exams.
We offer virtual tuition on the different AF subjects including hourly sessions if a particular technical subject needs refreshing. From October this year, after the success of the R06 analysis, we will be offering the same analysis support for the AF5 paper – which remember is the compulsory one.
For more information go to:
http://www.brandft.co.uk/advdf/af1.asp for AF1
http://www.brandft.co.uk/advdf/af2.asp for AF2
http://www.brandft.co.uk/advdf/af3.asp for AF3
http://www.brandft.co.uk/advdf/af4.asp for AF4
http://www.brandft.co.uk/advdf/af5.asp for AF5