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CII apologises for exam paper 'cock-up'

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CII apologises for exam paper 'cock-up'

Hundreds of advisers around the country had their exam day marred by an error at the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) yesterday.

Around 900 advisers sitting the CII's AF5 financial planning process exam at sites across the country were delayed when the case study, which the advisers refer to when answering questions in the exam, was nowhere to be seen.

An error meant the exam, which is part of the route to chartered financial planner status, was distributed without the case study.

At the London site, where 109 advisers were about to sit the paper, this was not picked up until minutes before the exam started.

Petronella West, director private clients, at London-based Investment Quorum, was at the exam centre in London. She said rectifying the problem took over one hour, in which time candidates were left twiddling their thumbs.

‘It got to one minute to the can starting and the noise started, it took them one hour and ten minutes to photocopy 109 copies. The invigilator was furious!' West said. 

She added there was one positive in that no one appeared to use the extra time to gain an unfair advantage. 

‘We all had the question papers in front of us. We were chatting about what might come up in the exam but I did not see one adviser open their exam paper. I think what stops people doing it is integrity and I was quite heartened by that.'

Another adviser who wanted to remain anonymous was sitting the exam at a different centre yesterday and said the situation was disappointing considering how much time and effort the candidates put in to studying for the exam.

‘We put a lot of effort into this, we take days off work to study, and this is disappointing from the CII. It has a high degree of responsibility and should not be cocking up,’ he said.

The CII issued a statement apologising for the error.

‘We are aware of an incident involving the delayed distribution of the fact find in the AF5 exam this morning. Candidates were able to take their examination but may have experienced a delay in receiving the fact find.

‘Our team is currently investigating the cause of this and will be contacting candidates with an update shortly. In the meantime, we would like to apologise for any disruption caused and reiterate our commitment to providing high standard qualifications and exams,’ said a spokesman.

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