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The Numbers Game

What will the fall-out figure be? How many people will be forced to leave the industry? I received a call from a media contact last night, trying to squeeze a figure out of me.

The answer, a la Bob Dylan, is unfortunately blowing in the wind.

This month, at Moonstone we had by far the largest number of candidates registered to write in one month, and no doubt this also applied to the other examination bodies.

It might sound simple enough to work from the figures supplied by the FSB in May, add the number of registrations, and try and ascertain just how many did not register at all.

It is anything but that simple. Remember that those figures were based on actual exam results, which did not take cognisance of registrations before and after the circular was drawn up.

Another telling factor is the number of “newly appointed” candidates who were excluded from the number which had to write before the end of June, but wrote any way. The newly appointed candidates are those who were appointed from 1 July onwards, and have a different period of grace than those appointed before December 2009. This, too, could skew the picture considerably.

A third spanner in the calculation works, is the exemption granted to certain categories of representatives and advisors. Media figures quote between 12 000 and 15 000. It states that these individuals are known to the product providers, so the late notification will not prevent them from applying for the exemption of the 30 June deadline.

From the above, it is apparent that it is impossible to say with any certainty how many people will be affected. The inability to calculate accurate figures will no doubt inspire the prophets of gloom tol speculate and upset a lot of people in the process, and achieve nothing but negativity where it is really not needed at this time.

One must also remember that the final date of 30 June does not mean that those who failed to write in time have now been locked out of the process. As soon as you write and pass, you may apply for re-instatement of your status.

When will the actual figures be known?

To establish this, we need to look at the practical methodology followed. The last exam in June is written on Saturday, 30 June.

If the large numbers allow this, we hope to be able to finish marking and advising the FSB by around 13 July. We cannot speak on behalf of the other bodies.

It is widely expected that the FSB will respond to the final figures, but it would need time to digest the information, and the implications thereof, before doing so.

The silent majority who complied with the requirements now have some breathing space before the next level of exams becomes available. Now is a good time to make up for the dip in productivity due to preparation for the regulatory exams, or enjoy a well deserved holiday.

Those who failed to make the deadline will be far better off trying to write the exams as soon as possible, rather than try and establish how many others are in the same predicament. It will do nothing to your business prospects, other than harm it. If you do not believe me, please refer to the guidelines following debarment or suspension of your licence.

Concerning the numbers lost, possibly the best thing to do is to follow the advice of that famous Tiger of KZN politics: “Double cross that bridge when you get there.”

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