How to ensure investors get the best advice

Elizabeth Fournier
A NATIONALLY recognised Diploma in Investment Planning was launched yesterday by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, to help ensure that financial advisers are giving the best guidance possible to consumers.

The qualification, known as Experience Counts, has been included in a Financial Services Authority (FSA) consultation to fulfil assessment requirements under the regulators new retail distribution review (RDR) proposals.

The RDR was launched in 2006 to increase consumer protection in the retail products market, and to encourage firms to provide clear customer guidance that is not influenced by adviser remuneration.

Written or verbal exams have been the traditional method of assessment for financial advisers, but the new qualification will be work-based, allowing advisers to achieve RDR standards through practical experience.

The diploma has been launched by the National Skills Academy for Financial Services, and developed with its affiliate, Corporate Training Partnerships.