Posted by The Team at Brand Financial Training on December 10, 2019 in Newsletter
10 December 2019
It’s nearly here! The past 12 months have gone by in what feels like about 4 months. Is it magic?
Christmas Opening Hours
A quick note on our ‘opening hours’ over Christmas and New Year.
Our website is open 24/7 365 days a year. If you need to escape the relatives or are just keen to get going with your revision for your next exam, you can purchase and download our resources with one hand, while holding a glass of mulled wine in the other.
All our resources except for our e-learning videos can be purchased and downloaded immediately, regardless of when you order. (Activation of e-learning video logons will take place when we return on 6 January).
Whilst you can purchase and download whenever you like, the Brand Financial Training Team will be off from 5pm on Friday 20th December and will return on Monday 6th January. During that time, we will not be able to reply to any emails or phone calls. However, rest assured that any messages left will be responded to when we return.
Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year!
The Team at Brand Financial Training
What You Need to Know About the Senior Managers and Certification Regime
The Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) replaces the Approved Persons Regime and from the 9th December 2019 applies to all authorised firms. Here, we explain what the three key parts of the regime are, what certification entails and the details of the conduct rules. This is useful reading for your CII CF1 or R01 exam preparation.
The idea behind the SMCR is to create a culture of individual accountability within firms to help restore confidence in the financial services industry.
The SM&CR is being extended in a way that is both flexible and proportionate, with the FCA categorising solo-regulated firms across different regimes as follows:
Limited Scope Firms – These capture those firms that are smaller in size and currently subject to a limited application of the Approved Persons Regime (such as sole traders.) These firms will be exempt from some baseline requirements and will typically have fewer SMFs.
Core Firms – Most firms will fall under this category and will have a baseline of SMCR requirements (pared-back version of the SMCR for banks).
Enhanced Firms – Large and complex firms will be subject to extra ‘enhanced’ scope requirements i.e. above the baseline.
The three key parts of the SM&CR are:
The Senior Managers Regime (SMR)
Introduction of ‘senior management functions’ to replace the existing ‘significant influence functions’
Introduction of ‘prescribed responsibilities’ which must be allocated to SMFs
Every SMF must complete ‘statements of responsibilities’ and have a ‘duty of responsibility’ under FSMA
Firms will need to apply for FCA approval for those people to carry out an SMF
Once you’re ready to sit your exams, you’re likely to be faced with multiple-choice, short-answer and written response tests. Here, we look at some strategies for dealing with each type of question, so you’re ready to take on the various challenges.
These are designed to test candidates’ knowledge in a specific area. You’ll need to work through them methodically, and – while it may sound obvious – thoroughly understanding each question first is vital.
Here are some other tips for dealing with this sort of question:
Allow some time at the end to have another go at any questions you couldn’t answer initially, and to check you’re happy with the answers you’ve given.
Read each question before even looking at the supplied answers.
Answer the questions you are confident you know the answers to first.
Where necessary, use a process of elimination to rule out the answers you know are incorrect.
Statistically, you are unlikely to get three consecutive identical answers – e.g. three successive A’s – and this may help inform some of your responses.
Read every answer option, even if you think you know the correct one immediately.
Do not leave any questions unanswered – if you aren’t sure, at least make an educated guess.
Don’t spend too long on any one question. With multiple-choice tests, that’s particularly important.
Testing employees to keep up with CPD requirements and to ensure that your staff have up-to-date knowledge can be difficult. Do you have the time (and energy!) to put together assessment questions and answers? We’ve done the hard work for you.
Our Assessment Testing papers have been developed to meet a range of needs including CPD testing; annual or more frequent knowledge testing; subject-specific testing; providing evidence of current technical knowledge; and knowledge evaluation for potential recruits.
There is flexibility to spread the tests over the year if required, and the tests can be tailored for individuals specialising in certain areas.
Brand Financial Training’s assessment testing consists of five tests which can be used standalone, or together. They are:
Regulation and Ethics
Pensions and Retirement
Designed to re-test knowledge, each test includes 20 multiple-choice questions and answers. Each test paper comes with a Question-Only paper (for the test taker), as well as an Answer paper consisting of questions, answers and explanations of the correct answers.
..."The calculation workbooks for R02 and R03 are very good indeed. They were a major factor in helping me achieve good scores in these exams (89% and 80% respectively)..."
Julian Sellen, Leatherhead
Available for AF1, AF2, AF4, AF7, R02, R03, R04, R06, J03, J05, J10, J12, CF1, CF6
Many exam-takers lose vital marks when it comes to performing calculations as they haven’t nailed down the exact process and order in which to perform the calculations, and haven’t spent enough time practising them.
The number of marks gained or lost on calculation questions can make the difference between a pass and a fail. Just a little more time taken on calculations during the revision period can give you the confidence you need to perform any calculation that could come up, so that you know you will gain top marks on all those calculation questions.
Our calculation workbooks guide you through the calculations, step-by-step, and providing detailed answers, with cross references to the relevant CII study text. All questions and answers kept up-to-date to reflect changes to the exam syllabus and tax year, and you can download them instantly in PDF format.
Why not try before you buy? Download one of our free tasters:
..."I passed R02 - No doubt thanks to your fantastic workbook which helped no end! With the extra work that I did going through your workbook, this helped a great deal with feeling confident which in this exam particularly was useful given that the technique and timing is as important as the knowledge and skill in ensuring that you get through the questions in a timely manner. One could so easily become distracted or frustrated trying to work out/remember one particular formula to the deficit of the other questions but your workbook enabled me to feel glad that there were so many calculations in the exam whereby before I actually feared them."...
David Gunn, Adviser, Nottingham
Last Ever J11 Wrap and Platform Services Exam Sitting
J11 is being withdrawn by the CII. The last and only remaining sitting is in April 2020. You can find out more on the CII website.
There’s such a variety of information on offer to help you as you tackle your CII exams, that you won’t want to miss a single post. We’ve made it easy for you; just click the button below and enter your email details. Be ‘in the know’ with CII-exam-related tips and info – straight to your inbox!
Quote of the Month
..." Perhaps the most valuable result of an education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not. "...
"5 Questions in 5 Minutes Every Friday"
This is a bit of Friday Fun where we provide you with 5 questions (and answers) relevant to a mix of CII exams. The challenge is for you to answer the questions in 5 minutes.
Where do I find the Friday Five?
We post each week's Friday Five to our blog first thing every Friday. You can either visit our blog every Friday at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ or you can simply go there now, and click on the subscribe button in the top right-hand corner of the blog and sign up to receive notifications of our Friday Five posts.
Note that we don't email the Friday Five out to everybody every Friday, so we recommend you sign up to our blog at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ so that you receive an email notification when it is posted. It will only take you a minute to sign up.
A bit of Friday Fun, but with the added benefit of testing your exam knowledge!
Here’s a reminder that the CII update their study texts throughout the examinable year to either incorporate new legislations, correct errors or clarify information. Many candidates aren’t aware of this, which can result in candidates studying out-of-date information.
To find out if you have the most up-to-date information, visit the CII website, navigate to your chosen exam and click on ‘learning solutions update’ in the ‘Unit updates’ section in the sidebar.
Note that we keep our resources up-to-date with any updates from the CII.