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With the issuing of CP157 and the follow-up Feedback Statement to CP157, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has given a strong hint that it intends to take a far more proactive role in regulating both knowledge and skills assessment. Whilst skills assessments have been in the spotlight for some time, knowledge measurement has yet to receive the same degree of attention. Following CP157, this will change.

Regulatory risks

FSA has begun to look long and hard at the results of firm specific testing in order to establish the effectiveness of the test results. They have begun to ask awkward questions, such as: -

  • “By what means can you verify the effectiveness of your knowledge measurement programme?”

  • “What steps do you currently take to ensure your testing programme adequately covers your training syllabus?” or

  • “Are you adequately testing the ability of candidates to apply their knowledge to specific situations?”

If you are unable to answer one or more of these questions there is a distinct possibility that you could be struggling to satisfy the regulator next time he visits.

Business risks

If your knowledge measurement programme does not adequately cover the whole training syllabus or is not effective in testing each candidate’s comprehension and ability to apply the syllabus in specific situations, it is highly likely to affect the advice and recommendations that the candidate is providing.

An effective knowledge measurement programme, backed up with objective analysis will validate the training syllabus and provide a dynamic feedback loop to training delivery. This will then enhance staff retention and improve levels of productivity and persistency.

The audit

We provide a comprehensive investigation and reporting service for each of the following areas: -

  • Syllabus – construction, maintenance and content

  • Question Bank – construction, stem analysis and distractor analysis

  • Testing – administrative and marking procedures, test analysis

  • Overall effectiveness and best regulatory practice