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RDR qualification deadline – Sooner than you think

RDR qualification deadline – Sooner than you think

Financial advisers do not have as long as they believe to gain the qualifications they need to keep working under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR).

Although advisers should pass the minimum level 4 qualification before December 31, 2012, in reality the real deadline is sooner.

The Institute of Financial Services warns that any adviser who has not started studies by January 3, 2012, then risks missing out on qualifying.

The ifs School of Finance reckons that anyone not enrolled on a course at the start of the New Year will not have enough time to complete the DipFA and obtain their statement of professional standing (SPS) – but will not have time for retakes if they fail any part of the course.

Anne Kiem, chief executive of the Institute of Financial Services, a part of the ifs School of Finance said: “This is a call to action for anyone with December 31, 2012, in mind. The reality is that existing financial advisers who want to continue working in the post RDR era and haven’t yet begun their Level 4 studies need to act before 3 January 2012.

“We can still help after this date but advisers leaving it later than this will have to sit exams and complete coursework more quickly than we recommend.

“Starting now will give them every chance to get the Level 4 qualification and SPS they need, and even potentially allow time for re-sitting part of the course if required. The DipFA is one the most direct routes for advisers to take, other avenues may already be closed to them.”

Meanwhile, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has issued its first statements of professional standing (SPSs), including gap fill verification.

Fay Goddard, chief executive of the PFS, said:  “It is fantastic to be able to issue our members with SPSs from the CII.  We have tried really hard to help advisers as much as we can en route to RDR compliance.

“I have heard first-hand from many members just how much time and effort they are putting in to meeting the requirements of the RDR and it’s great to see all this hard work come to fruition as we start to issue SPSs.”