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Richard Hitchell achieves the SOLLA Later Life Adviser Accreditation (LLAA)

Updated: 5 days ago

We are very pleased to announce that Richard gained LLAA accreditation last week (22nd April 2021).


Becoming accredited provides independent recognition of knowledge and advice skills, whilst helping older consumers and their families recognise advisers who can help them. SOLLA aims to meet the need of people seeking advice about financial issues in later life by ensuring they can find an Accredited Adviser local to them.



Solla Later Life Adviser Accreditation

The Later Life Adviser Accreditation (LLAA) is the recognised gold standard for advice skills of advisers who advise older clients. Richard started his accreditation journey in December 2019 following a presentation by SOLLA...


"As a chartered financial planner within a long-established business, part of my work has naturally involved advising older clients. However, understanding the need for a greater depth of technical knowledge and specialism, I began the Later Life Adviser Accreditation journey.


I found the process challenging and thought-provoking, having gone through the social care process with my father a few years before, and having first-hand experience of the confusing overlap of health and social care.


As I found, families can find themselves unexpectedly trying to cope with the challenges of later life with a parent or close family member, whilst having to make difficult financial decisions.


Having the reassurance of speaking to an adviser who has achieved the Later Life Adviser Accreditation, should be at least one less thing to worry about."


What is the Later Life Adviser Accreditation?

The Later Life Adviser Accreditation provides independent recognition of an advisers knowledge and advice skills and is made up of four standards, all must be achieved to become accredited.


Standard One – Technical Knowledge


In addition to being an FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) regulated adviser, candidates must be signed off as Level 4 competent and hold a current Statement of Professional Standing (SPS), together with appropriate qualifications to demonstrate knowledge in equity release and long term care advice.


Standard Two – Work within a Supportive Environment


The accreditation is an entirely personal award and cannot be achieved by or applied to a firm or practice. However, as part of a candidate’s assessment, they will need to demonstrate that they operate within a supportive environment that includes resources to help maintain their ongoing ‘later life advice’ learning and development to ensure that their LLAA standards are maintained. This includes how the candidate maintains knowledge levels and is supported to undertake personal development within the later life sector.


Standard Three – Maintenance of Competence


In addition to meeting professional and regulatory requirements, the accreditation will look to evidence that candidates have an appropriate amount of Continued Professional Development (CPD) specifically relevant to the older client market.


Standard Four - Application of Knowledge and Soft Skills


An adviser must be able to evidence good working knowledge and understanding of the needs, capacity and financial issues when dealing with their older clients and their families. It is also important that an adviser has excellent interpersonal and communication skills, such as the ability to explain complex issues in a way that is more easily understood. This is assessed during a one-to-one assessment Viva (interview) with an external approved independent auditor.


SOLLA - The Society of Later Life Advisers


SOLLA was established in 2008 as a not for profit organisation dedicated to higher standards and accessibility to regulated financial advice for older people and their families. There are no shareholders and any profit is used to sustain the Society and its objectives.


The Society of Later Life Advisers is committed to:


  • Promoting and raising awareness amongst people, their families and professional advisers of financial issues faced in retirement and later life

  • Building relationships with statutory and voluntary agencies, charities, housing and social care providers, financial services firms and those organisations who are involved in the financial wellbeing of those in later life

  • Raising the standards of practice of those engaged in advising older people by promoting the highest levels of professionalism in financial advice

  • Identifying and developing best practice by the provision of high-quality training and the distribution of the latest information and know-how in later life issues

  • Acting as a source of technical excellence for later life advisers

  • Actively inputting into legislative and policy changes and contributing to debates on policy