The PMI is renowned for providing qualifications that demonstrate the knowledge and expertise of those taking them. However, pensions is ever evolving with new demands made on those involved whether they are new to pensions, pensions managers, consultants, administrators, trustees, HR professionals, or accountants.

Award in Pensions Essentials (APE)

The APE is a qualification designed to support and acknowledge the training and development of new pensions administrators or those who need an introduction to pensions, HR or Payroll for example.

It is essentially a knowledge-based qualification, although there are some basic calculations of benefits in some units.

It will provide learners with the background to pensions to either start them in their pension administration career or, if working on the periphery of occupational pensions, it will provide a good grounding to support them in their role.

Delivery and assessment of the qualification is carried out in-house (approved centre) on a ‘when needed’ basis.

Certificate in Pensions Essentials (CPE)

The CPE is a qualification designed to support and acknowledge the training and development of pensions administrators and it is essentially a knowledge-based qualification, although there are some calculations of benefits in some units.

The CPE is a natural progression for the learner from the Award in Pensions Essentials as it extends the area and depth of knowledge and understanding within occupational pensions.

Delivery and assessment of the qualification is carried out in-house (approved centre) on a ‘when needed’ basis.

Certificate in Pension Calculations (CPC)

The CPC is a qualification designed to demonstrate candidates’ competence in the manual calculation of benefits of occupational pension schemes and is assessed by case study examinations.

The case studies are based on three fictitious pension schemes – two final salary schemes, one of which is contracted out and a money purchase scheme with the option to contract out.

Candidates have to be able to do manual calculations for all three schemes. They also have to write to at least one member or client explaining the benefits payable and asking for any further information required before the scheme can pay the benefits.

Certificate in Pensions Administration (CPA)

The CPA is a qualification for pensions administrators and is designed to offer candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and competence in specific areas of pensions administration.

CPA is offered through approved centres. These are all employers who offer the qualification to their own staff. There is flexibility of choice of units to be taken allowing employers to tailor a qualification to suit their needs. There is a mixture of work-based and examination assessment methods and there is a possibility of selecting a customer service unit in the final qualification structure.

Diploma in Pensions Administration (DPA)

The DPA is suitable for more experienced pension scheme administrators working of either DB or DC pension schemes – or both. The qualification is designed to allow organisations and their pensions administrators to select and construct a competence based qualification that reflects their normal working activities.

There is a mixture of work-based and examination assessment methods and there is a possibility of selecting a customer service unit in the final qualification structure.

Retirement Provision Certificate (RPC)

RPC is a qualification that is ideal for employees new to pensions, support staff and those professionals working in related fields. It provides a broad introduction to pensions and other related benefits in the UK.

The RPC has been designed to meet the needs of a wide range of people, not just pension professionals. It is assessed via a two-hour examination in the form of 120 multiple-choice questions.

Certificate in Pensions Automatic Enrolment (CPAE)

This qualification is designed to meet the needs of those who are advising on and/or implementing the requirements of automatic enrolment. It provides an overview of employer requirements and obligations associated with automatic enrolment and an understanding of its practical application and effective implementation.

Assessment is in the form of a one hour examination made up of 60 multi-choice questions.

Diploma in Retirement Provision (DRP)

This qualification rewards and acknowledges the completion of core pension technical modules that form part of the Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision.

This can be taken as a standalone qualification or as part of the Advanced Diploma.

Diploma in Employee Benefits and Retirement Savings (DEBRS)

DEBRS is ideal for those working at the margins of pensions who need to understand pensions in the wider savings and employee benefits context.

The aim of this Diploma is to provide holders with a comprehensive background to employee benefits and savings in the UK. It demonstrates that the holder has an in depth understanding of issues surrounding retirement provision. This will equip them for work in pensions and allied areas and can lead to further study in these areas or toward completion of the Advanced Diploma.

Diploma in International Employee Benefits (DipIEB)

The DipIEB provides a programme of education, study and examinations for all those involved with the complex area of international employee benefits.

Individuals from many backgrounds will find this qualification meets their professional needs. These individuals may work for consultancies (including actuaries, lawyers, accountants and tax specialists) or insurance companies or in the pensions or remuneration and benefits departments of commercial companies. They may have international experience already or find that their careers are beginning to move in that direction.

Diploma in Regulated Retirement Advice (DRRA)

This qualification is designed to meet the FCA’s appropriate examination standards for Retail Distribution Review (RDR) purposes. As such it provides an overview of pensions and retirement planning in the retail and individual context. It covers financial services advice, regulation, taxation, financial protection and investment. It comprises three modules: Modules 201 Providing for Retirement, Module 206 Retail Investment and Personal Taxation and 306 Retail Investment Advice and Regulation. These modules also form an integral part of PMI’s Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision. DRRA is an appropriate qualification for those working as advisers for FCA purposes in the activity area ‘advising on Packaged Products (which are not broker funds) and Friendly Society tax-exempt policies.’ It is accredited by Ofqual – the qualification regulator – at Level 6 in the QCF.

Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision (ADRP)

The Advanced Diploma is a comprehensive and in depth qualification for retirement benefit professionals. The overall aim of the Advanced Diploma examinations is to provide the required professional knowledge, skills and understanding for an individual to undertake, after sufficient experience, a position as a pensions specialist within a self-administered scheme, a third party administrator, a life assurance company, or the consulting and advisory services.

The Advanced Diploma fulfils the examination requirement for Associate Membership of the PMI (APMI).

Awards in Pensions Trusteeship (APT)

There are two different APT qualifications for trustees, or those interested in trusteeship, based on the Pensions Regulator’s indicative syllabus. They provide formal recognition of a trustee’s knowledge and understanding (TKU) in line with the requirements of the Pensions Act 2004.

The qualification is comprised of three units and is examined by a one and a half hour multiple choice examination.

Certificate in DC Governance

This qualification is designed for those running, advising on or governing workplace defined contribution (DC) pension schemes including:

  • Members of governance committees
  • Trustees and scheme secretaries
  • Associates or Fellows of the PMI who qualified when the examinations were focussed on the requirements for defined benefit schemes
  • Individuals working in allied professions such as legal, investment and actuarial
  • Consultants advising on pure DC schemes (trust and contract) and those whose defined benefit schemes include for example AVC arrangements
  • Independent Financial Advisers
  • Administrators (including providers and master trusts) of pure DC schemes (trust and contract) and those whose defined benefit schemes include for example AVC arrangements
  • Those who have completed the PMI’s Certificate in Pensions Automatic Enrolment, Retirement Provision Certificate or Certificate in Pensions Essentials.

It gives a comprehensive background into the governance of DC schemes along with details of the changes which were introduced under Freedom and Choice.

Certificate in Pension Scheme Member Guidance

This Certificate level qualification will measure the ability of an individual to explain a full range of pension benefits and options to a member or beneficiary.  It will cover a number of different scenarios which the candidate will need to be able to explain in a clear, concise and empathetic manner without straying into regulated advice.

The unique element of the qualification is that the final assessment will be conducted via a short role-play style telephone conversation. All other support is provided through on-line modules and testing.

 

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