Securities Institute exam deadlines loom

Lawyers must move quickly to beat November 1995 exam deadlines if they want to practise in discrete investment business, according to a course organiser.

The Association for Solicitor Investment Management (Asim) said those hoping to become "qualified persons" under the Law Society rules should take their exams soon, as the tight deadlines leave little room for resits.

Asim and Solicitors for Independent Financial Advice (Sifa) are providing courses to meet the second level modules of the exams being run quarterly by the Securities Institute.

Both organisations announced details of the training last week.

A number of other training groups are providing courses for the first module – the basic investment advice certificate examination, also run by the institute on a monthly basis.

Ian Muirhead of Sifa says it is the first provider to offer training for the institute's exams covering life, pensions and collective investments – the retail branded/packaged products. "We are applying to the society for accreditation."

Asim will be offering courses for those undertaking the institute's securities and portfolio management exams.

Exams for both these modules will be held quarterly from January.

Sifa says its training will be handled by trainers from trade bodies and product providers. They will be supervised by solicitor Olwen Edwards.

A series of two-day courses will be held in Leeds and Maidenhead and a distance learning package is available.

According to Gillian Ellis, who is organising training for Asim, investment managers who do not get dispensation from the examinations because of their experience or existing qualifications risk being excluded unless they sort out things soon."The problem is if you wait for July, you haven't time to resit before November," Ellis says.

The course, which is open to non-members, is planned to run for three days in April and will involve "some element of home study". The Law Society says its examination system is open to outsiders and that to enter people do not have to be working for law firms.