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PFS launches new Consumer Duty competency tool

PFS launches new Consumer Duty competency tool


The Personal Finance Society (PFS), a professional body for Financial Planners, has launched a new competency diagnostic tool to help firms identify training opportunities relating to Consumer Duty knowledge gaps.

The Proficiency+ Consumer Duty tool is the latest addition to the organisation’s Consumer Duty Resource Hub.

The PFS said it developed the tool to help raise standards in response to Consumer Duty mandates of high standards of conduct and behaviour towards customers.

The body said the tool would also help firms meet requirements to evidence that their workers have the skills and competence conducive to good customer outcomes.

The behaviours and expectations of the Duty have been embedded within the new tool, which has been developed in collaboration with Cognisco, al competency management firm, alongside practicing personal finance professionals.                

The PFS said Proficiency+ employs situational judgment tests to evaluate an employee’s ability to make appropriate decisions or judgments in work-related scenarios.

For each work scenario, users are asked to select the most appropriate response from a set of options. They are then asked to gauge how certain they are that their answer is correct, using a confidence scale.

The results offer insights into what employees do and do not understand and the level of confidence attributed to each of their answers.

Ultimately, the report provides an indication of which employees are going to apply the right or wrong behaviour in any given scenario, allowing firms to target training where it is needed the most.

The key benefits of the new tool, according to the PFS, is that it will help:

  • Identify the areas in which training should be prioritised to create the biggest return on investment
  • Demonstrate to the FCA that a firm is actively investing in the necessary skills to drive good customer outcomes
  • Measure and enhance the influence of training on employees

Don MacIntyre, interim chief executive for the PFS, said: “We have developed the tool with practitioners and against real world scenarios to ensure that all who use it can take tangible steps towards raising industry standards, building public trust, and facilitating the cultural shifts outlined in the FCA’s Consumer Duty guidelines.”



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