Starting out or polishing up?


To get, and keep, a job you typically need a repertoire of technical and soft skills. Whilst our Industry demands that education and qualifications will continue to be important, how we approach building and maintaining our skills needs to change.

Starting out
Financial services leaders have identified skills shortage as their greatest fear, demonstrating the importance of attracting and retaining talented employees as identified in research carried out by Robert Walters []

Opportunities for the next generation interested in a financial services career are readily available, especially for those who make the right moves with their job search.

The CII Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning is the CII’s benchmark Level 4 qualification. It is structured as six units comprising five multiple-choice exams and one written exam.

Every financial services professional has a responsibility to keep their knowledge and skills current

R01, R02, and R03 contain core financial planning knowledge and concepts. Then R04 and R05 provide product areas with R06 bringing everything together in a single written exam.

There are similar qualifications offered for specialist financial planning areas which require their own qualification (as per the FCA appropriate qualifications table), such as investment management, securities advice, mortgages, long-term care planning, pension transfers, and equity release.

The two most popular and well-known Level 4 qualifications for financial advisers are provided by the CII, and the LIBF. Just to be clear, you don’t need to hold both – one or the other satisfies the qualification requirements.

Polishing up
Continual Professional Development (CPD) is where, as a Professional, you will track and document the skills, knowledge and experience that you gain both formally and informally as you work.

The FCA have concerns about the professional development of Pension Transfer Specialists (PTS’s) as quoted in their CP19/25 report []:

John Reynolds MSc BSc FPFS Chartered FCSI commented on some of the key points below:

‘’The competence of a PTS is one of the potential drivers of unsuitable advice. We want to ensure that skill levels are high and are maintained over time…’’

It is no longer appropriate to have the 1974 Insurance Society Occupation pension exam qualification, or indeed a G60 from 1996, without evidence of professional development since then.

And the FCA is proposing some very specific and detailed guidance:

‘’We are proposing that PTSs must undertake a minimum of 15 hours CPD each year, focused specifically on pension transfer advice…’’

The ultimate goal of relevant and implemented CPD is that it safeguards the public, the employer, the professional and the professional’s career.

Every financial services professional has a responsibility to keep their knowledge and skills current so that they can deliver a high-quality service that meets the expectations of customers and of the profession.

Over the years we have trained, mentored and enabled 1000’s of advisers to achieve PTS status and we want to ensure that you have everything you need to satisfy the new PTS CPD requirements for 2020.

Future Developments

Right now, we are working on what YOUR new PTS CPD for 2020 looks like. It will be relevant, effective, personalised and collaborative – Watch this space we will be telling you more….soon!



About Author

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Caroline is the Customer Engagement and Communications Assistant and brings many years of experience from various industry sectors and is also CIPD Learning and Development qualified. Caroline is here to help with all your initial enquiries, keep you updated via Linkedin and our blogs page and to ensure that you receive outstanding customer care from the moment you contact Expert Pensions. With her excellent organisational skills, friendly chat and wealth of experience you can be assured of a warm and efficient welcome.

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