The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has announced it will end ‘gap-fill’ as an option for advisers applying for their Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) qualifications from August next year. This comes on the back of the CISI taking a similar approach with an end of 2020 deadline for gap-fill.
Under the Retail Distribution Review (RDR), introduced back in 2013, advisers have been required to attain an SPS to confirm they have the minimum Level 4 qualifications needed to demonstrate competence.
When the RDR was introduced, the FCA allowed advisers to use existing Level 4 qualifications and for any gaps in the content between existing and new exams to be filled with CPD.
Now, the CII has announced it will stop awarding an SPS to advisers who hold qualifications close to the FCA’s requirements for retail investment but use CPD courses to fill the gaps in content. This will take effect from August next year.
The CII have stated that the change will not affect advisers who obtain an SPS using the gap-fill route prior to the end of August 2021, including advisers who have already attained an SPS.
This means that advisers who have yet to complete their required gap-fill to meet the RDR requirements have until the start of August 2021 to make ensure all the required gap-fill is completed in order to continue carrying out their regulated activities and clients post August 2021.
Citywire have reported Keith Richards, chief executive of the PFS, as saying gap-filling was outdated, and the CII needed to update its processes.
‘However, given the length of time that has elapsed since the introduction of the RDR it is now appropriate to end this transitional approach and apply appropriate standards of recognition of prior learning to professionals who have qualifications that do not fully meet the FCA’s criteria for advising on retail investment products.’
‘As a result, we will be ending the “gap-filling” CPD process as a route for advisers to attain a Statement of Professional Standing from the end of August 2021.’
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