The CII J07 October 2020 Exam in Review
Here, we are looking at the J07 exam – Supervision in a regulated environment – that was sat in the last exam sitting, October 2020.
You can find the question paper here.
The exam often starts with a gentle question, and this sitting was no exception. For eight marks, candidates had to state the key activities a supervisor undertakes to supervise their team.
The second question should also have not caused too many problems; candidates had to identify the eight steps of Kotter’s change model, and in part (b), outline the main advantages of Kotter’s approach when compared to Kurt Lewin’s model – this second part was for just three marks.
Here, candidates were asked for four barriers to effective communication that cannot be controlled directly by the sender and to provide an example of each of these. This question was for eight marks overall.
Question 4 asked for the company-specific requirements that need to be included in an induction plan for a financial adviser, and this was for 10 marks.
The fifth question introduced us to Bal, an IFA, who frequently sold general insurance. The questions were (a)(i) state the minimum CPD requirements that Bal must complete on an annual basis – for 4 marks. Part (a) (ii) asked for a list of three areas that the FCA T&C Handbook recommends when planning relevant CPD activities and (b), for four marks, asked candidates to explain the benefits of Bal’s holding a Statement of Professional Standing.
The next question asked for the benefits of a training needs analysis for (a) an employee and (b) a business with both parts giving three marks.The #CII #J07 syllabus is wide, with a great level of detail required to gain a pass. Here is a review of the last exam paper. Click To Tweet
This question was also in two parts; part (a) asked for four key elements of a structured development plan framework for an individual and (b) candidates had to explain how structured development plans for employees can help a business meet corporate objectives.
Next was (a) compare and contrast coaching and counselling – this was for three marks, and (b) list and explain briefly the three stages of counselling, in accordance with the Michael Reddy model, and this was for six marks.
Candidates were asked to state six key areas that must be covered by a financial adviser when presenting recommendations to a client.
Question 10 introduced us to Melissa, a supervisor of a team of advisers planning to observe client appointments to identify areas of development. The questions were to explain the steps that are required to make the observations as effective as possible for (a) pre-appointment (for 6 marks) and (b) post-appointment (for 4 marks).
Question 11 (for 10 marks) asked to list and explain 5 components of career management as identified by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Question 12 was (a) – state the difference between inputs and outputs – for 2 marks and (b) list 6 KPIs for an adviser.
Onto the home straight, and Question 13 (a) asked candidates to state the benefits of exception reports – for 5 marks and (b) explain the relevance of a red persistency indicator in relation to the performance of an adviser – this second part was for just 2 marks.
Question 14 was short and sweet and asked candidates to explain the benefits of the following quality standards: (a) ISO 22222 and (b) BS 8453; both were for 4 marks.
Finally, Question 15 tested misconduct. Candidates were given two examples and were asked to identify the type of misconduct that had occurred and to state the actions a line manager could take. Part (a) concerned Waseem, who was found removing a box of pens from the stationery cupboard, placing them in his bag, and leaving the building, and (b) concerned Astrid, who had returned to work late from lunch and was verbally abusive towards her boss when challenged as to whether she had consumed alcohol. Both examples were for 4 marks.
This paper felt like it was a fair one, covering many areas that should not have caused the well-prepared student too many issues.
Comparison with October 2019’s Paper
Let’s look at what was tested in the previous exam, held in October 2019, which can be found here.
- Key Performance Indicators used by firms to monitor supervisor performance
- How a supervisor has an impact on the personal development and performance of advisers
- McGregor Theory X and Theory Y – assumptions made about human nature for both
- Stages of a two-way communication process
- Key features of a competency-based interview
- Fit and proper requirements
- Kolb’s learning cycle
- Methods of off-the-job training, including their advantages
- The key steps of a directive form of coaching
- Key requirements of a suitability report
- Mandatory and desirable actions to be demonstrated at the pre-call stage of a sale
- The annual appraisal process
- Balanced scorecards
- Key concepts of total quality management
- The ACAS Code of Practice regarding the disciplinary process
Students studying for the J07 exam should be able to see the pattern of areas that are being tested over various past papers. The syllabus itself is wide, and the paper is challenging; however, with a detailed study plan in place, covering all the learning outcomes, a well-prepared student should easily get through.
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If you’re studying for your CII J07 exam, and you want to be fully prepared, grab our free taster to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s resources for yourself. Click the link to download the J07 mock paper taster now!