Aifa research suggests as many as 1,400 advisers who intend to stay in the market after the RDR have not yet started the qualification process.
The figure is based on NMG research, commissioned by Aifa, of 313 advisers from March this year.
Aifa has set out the final deadlines that advisers who are yet to begin studying must meet to achieve Aifa’s diploma in investment planning in time for the December 31 deadline.
They must apply to take the written exam by June 1 and sit the first exam before August 31. The last date to resit exams to meet the RDR deadline is November 2.
The diploma, which has been developed with the Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland and BPP Learning Media, is set at QCF level five.
Aifa policy director Chris Hannant (pictured) says: “It is incredible that some advisers have not yet started to study for their qualification. Time is short for those who still want to use to the diploma to achieve RDR compliance before the deadline.”
The Institute of Financial Services, part of the ifs School of Finance, says it has seen “a surge” of advisers who had planned to leave the market next year but have changed their mind. It has set up a hotline for advisers to talk through their options and the timescales they need to meet to be qualified in time.
Clear IFA director Howard Bullock says: “It is astounding that so many advisers have not even started yet. They will have an intense period of study ahead and it is highly likely that their business and their clients may suffer as a result.”