The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) will end ‘gap filling’ as an option for financial advisers applying for a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) from the end of August 2021.
The end of this option does not affect advisers who obtain an SPS via the gap-filling route before the end of August 2021, including advisers who have already attained an SPS via this route.
Under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, to practise as a retail investment adviser, an individual must have an SPS issued by a body that has been accredited by the regulator.
An SPS confirms the adviser has the minimum Level 4 qualifications needed to achieve competence under the FCA’s Retail Distribution Review (RDR) rules, which were introduced at the start of 2013.
When the RDR requirements were introduced, the FCA allowed advisers to use existing Level 4 qualifications and for any gaps in the content between existing and new exams to be filled with continuing professional development (CPD).
Up until now, the CII has awarded an SPS to individuals who had a qualification close to the FCA’s requirement for investment advisers, provided they went through the gap-fill CPD process established during the RDR.