Site news update

Posted Apr 07, 2015

In this news update we look at:

1. R06 and AF5 expected solutions for the April exams
2. Exam and qualification news
3. Business Evolution Guide

1. R06 Expected Solution now available for the April 2015 exam
The Expected Solution is now available for immediate download. There are 29 pages of expert analysis for case study 1 and 28 pages for case study 2, as well as 14 pages of generic information on questions that may be asked.

The Expected Solution package includes a detailed analysis by our panel of experts of the 2 case studies that are issued by the CII 2 weeks prior to the exam. We provide you with a list of the questions that we feel could be asked together with a detailed solution.

R06 Select R06 The Expected Solution Package

The costs and contents of all our training modules can be viewed here.

AF5 Expected solution now available for the April 2015 exam
The Expected Solution is now available for immediate download and contains 55 pages of expert analysis see here for the cost and full contents of the AF5 Expected Solution Package.

The Expected Solution is a detailed analysis by our panel of experts of the fact-find issued by the CII 2 weeks prior to the exam and includes:

  • A detailed analysis of the client’s situation
  • Identification of all financial needs
  • A list of the questions that we feel could be asked together with a detailed solution.

To help with your preparation the following are also included:

  • Our R01 to R05 online multimedia courses
  • Our Expected Solution for the previous 3 AF5 exams
  • Two online mock exams designed by our training team to help you assess your technical knowledge and get experience in the technique needed to pass the exam.

Then select AF5 The Expected Solution Package

2. Exam and qualification news
The monthly CPD update element in our accredited CPD system includes these summaries that relate to exams and qualifications:

CII announce new standards for chartered firms
The CII has announced that under new standards for chartered firms at least half of the advisers within corporate chartered firms must be chartered individuals by 2020. Previously chartered firms only needed at least one board member and for 90% of customer-facing staff to be members of the CII or Personal Finance Society.

25% of a chartered firm’s advisers must be chartered from July 2017 and will increase to 50% of advisers by January 2020.

The CII is introducing a number of additional higher standards including a commitment to behave ethically and to aspire to exceed the minimum regulatory requirements. Firms must also ensure that customers have access to a chartered adviser within 10 days of requesting it.

The CII says: “Chartered status is becoming more popular, and that means we have a responsibility to ensure the requirements are fit for purpose. We have to make sure the title bears scrutiny and meets consumers’ expectations. During our thorough consultation process, customers told us that when they engage with a chartered firm they do not expect to have to look far to find a chartered financial planner.”

There are currently 4,500 chartered individuals and 630 chartered firms.

An overhaul of pension transfer qualifications is announced
A radical overhaul of the qualifications needed to advise on pension transfers following the Budget reforms has been announced by the FCA.

Following the Budget reforms, a recent consultation paper on changes to its pension transfer rules from the FCA, says that advice on all transfers from DB to DC schemes require the pension transfer specialist qualification, regardless of whether the transferred benefits are being crystallised. They now believe that the rules previously set out in a 2011 factsheet, which stated that the qualification was not necessary if the transfer was for DB to DC schemes for the purpose of crystallisation, no longer provide “adequate consumer protection”. Transfers from occupational DC schemes without safeguards to personal or stakeholder pensions will also be included in its definition of a pension transfer and therefore require the specialist qualification.

The regulator is also adding a requirement to the Pension Schemes Bill making advice compulsory for transfers of pension benefits with a guaranteed annuity rate. However, this will not apply for pots worth less than £30,000 or where the benefits are used to buy an annuity. Those advising on GARs will not need the pension transfer specialist qualification.

The FCA estimates that 35,000 people per year will transfer out of DB schemes following the pension reforms, creating the need for an additional 45 advisers with the pension transfer specialist qualification.

Accredited CPD system
The monthly CPD update within our accredited CPD system provides a summary of key industry developments. This includes an online assessment to demonstrate your understanding and record your CPD time. After taking each monthly assessment your CPD certificate will be updated with your result and 1.5 hours of CPD. All elements of the accredited CDP system provide over 300 hours of CPD time on core areas from which to target your CPD needs.

3. Panacea Adviser and Glassagh Consulting launch free Business Evolution Guide
In the post RDR world with its aims of delivering fairer treatment for customers the financial adviser community needs to step back and review their business propositions and ask themselves have we really adapted to meet the current and future needs of our clients.

That is why Panacea Adviser and Glassagh Consulting have published a new free guide entitled Evolution not revolution – 14 ideas to take your business forward.

This latest guide offers practical help to businesses on how to rethink their propositions to meet many of the new challenges in what is a quickly evolving and increasingly changing world.

Pricing, costs, regulation, transparency, the changes to pensions, technology and the impact of social media are all challenges that need to be addressed head-on by every adviser. Winning customers is not easy and the cost of replacing those lost is large. Putting the customer at the centre of the equation and striving every day to retain them is therefore a huge business benefit. Those that thrive recognise this and are learning quickly.

Nothing should ever be left to chance and in this guide we offer practical support in the form of a series of templates to create vision statements, action plans and the tools to then deliver them.

This simple plain English guide is aimed at any business who wants to develop an action plan for the future to maximise the opportunities that we all face.

To get your copy of the guide go to


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