The Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) and Personal Finance Society (PFS) are poised to roll out schemes to help advisers still reaching for the retail distribution review (RDR) finish line and those focusing beyond 2013.
The PFS is piloting a mentor scheme to help advisers struggling to pass their final few exams to gain the level four qualification in time for the RDR deadline, while the IFP is looking past January 2013 with a programme to transform firms into fully fledged financial planners.
The PFS mentor programme will match advisers yet to pass their level four with chartered financial planners, including chartered champions, who will give support in a range of areas such as technical knowledge, exam technique, revision and moral support.
PFS chief executive Fay Goddard (pictured) said: ‘While 72% of our adviser members have level four, there are some who are beginning to panic if they have failed once or twice already. So we are aiming to give those people someone to turn to if they want help.
‘We give the mentors an option so they can help with the R0 exams, the J0s or with general motivational support. We have had about 70 or so agree to be mentors.’
Mentors will give support by telephone or email and, if successful, the programme could be developed further.
PFS mentor Duncan Parkes, associate director at Somerset and Devon-based Old Mill Financial Planning, said he would be lending his planning expertise to advisers.
‘My background is compliance but I am also chartered financial planner of the year so I know how to put together a financial plan,’ he said. ‘I have helped people internally with exams. It doesn’t take up much time and it contributes to the professionalism of advisers, which is better for us all.’
The IFP plans to launch two-day training courses, beginning in early 2013, to help advisers apply their exams knowledge to developing a financial planning business.
‘It’s a training programme for people who have got through level four but still need the skills to understand a proper financial planning proposition; what it looks like and how can it be positioned to a client,’ said IFP chief executive Nick Cann.
‘We are setting out what a full financial planning service looks like. People are going to pay fees and advisers need to explain what financial planning is, and they will need more than level four to do that,’ he said.
The course will focus on advisers’ ability to set goals and objectives, listening and soft skills, financial calculations, the ability to use cash flow, and how to put together a financial plan.