As part of the FCA’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) in 2010, the examination standards for retail investment advisers required extension and examining at a higher level than was previously required.
In the early stages of RDR implementation these changes were not fully defined but the FCA was aware that there was a limited amount of time for existing advisers to demonstrate competence against the new standards. In order not to delay those who wanted to update their qualification ahead of the implementation timeline (31 December 2012), the FCA agreed advisers could study the newly recognised, fully RDR compliant Level 4 (or above) qualifications that were in place or rely on what became known as “transitional qualifications”.
Once the new standards were in place, individuals would then need to carry out “top up” continuing professional development (CPD) to cover gaps between those transitional qualifications and the new standards. This became known as “gap fill”.
Changes and rationale
The FCA required that practising advisers completed any gap filling activities by 31 December 2012, if they wanted to continue giving advice into 2013 and beyond. After December 2012, any new advisers needing an Appropriate Qualification for giving retail investment advice were required to hold a fully RDR compliant qualification. Alternatively, if the adviser held a transitional qualification, they could follow the appropriate gap fill route.
It is now over eight years since the deadline for practising advisers to complete gap fill has passed and the FCA has subsequently re-explored and revised the examination standards required for retail investment advice. Changes have been recommended which no longer make it appropriate to consider “gap filling” as a suitable option to obtain an RDR compliant qualification. Therefore, CFA UK no longer offers gapfill as a route to obtain an Appropriate Qualification.
How will the changes affect CFA UK members: IMC and ASIP holders
Since the 1st of December 2019, CFA UK no longer offers gapfill courses to Level 3 Investment Management Certificate (IMC) AND ASIP holders (who passed the IIMR Associate Examinations – ASIP by examination).
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