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Financial Adviser School to launch exam course

Financial Adviser School to launch exam course

Mortgage and protection qualifications are being built into the Financial Adviser School's training course to help bring more new blood into the industry.

Darren Smith, head of the Financial Adviser School, said the school was "revamping" its proposition to deliver a five-exam course in the first half of the year.

Mr Smith said: "We need to work hard as an industry to fix the advice gap, the pensions gap and the protection gap.

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"To do this, the Financial Adviser School can help reduce the cost burden on an advisory firm of sponsoring a student through the course."

The course currently offered by the Financial Adviser School as a trusted partner of the London Institute of Banking & Finance costs approximately £7,000.

This is less than the £19,200 it cost per student when it was part of the Sesame Bankhall Group, before being bought by Old Mutual Wealth/Intrinsic in 2016 and relaunched. 

However, with the new course, which is set to be delivered in the first half of this year, there will be a protection and a mortgage advice qualification added to the three existing exams.

This will take the total number of exams up to five - but will mean as soon as a student passes the protection advice exam, they can start writing new protection business for firms.

Mr Smith commented: "This development means a student can be bringing money into the firm early through protection business, which will help offset the cost to the firm of supporting that student through the Financial Adviser School."

The Financial Adviser School (FAS) is also expecting to be given approval to provide the financial apprenticeship which the government is sponsoring. If so, from May this year, the cost will be reduced further for firms.

Mr Smith said FAS had applied last year to be added to the register of apprenticeship training providers.

As long as its standards meet the Skills Funding Agency's standard, and the school's registration is approved, from May this year, any firms placing apprentices with FAS will receive financial support from the government towards the cost of the training. 

Mr Smith said: "This means if an advisory firm wants to put forward an apprentice, we will manage this and if the student is eligible, then it will only cost £1,000 for a firm to train an apprentice [under the government-backed scheme]."

According to Mr Smith, the new programme and the potential additional funding from the government's apprenticeship scheme - for firms in England - will help to defray the costs to an advice firm of bringing new blood into the industry.

He said: "These changes will make it more affordable for the firm or individual, give them the training they need while helping them build rapport with clients, and creates the opportunity for students to start earning money for themselves and the firm at a much earlier stage."