In response to popular demand from the industry, UK regulatory body the Chartered Insurance Institute has decided to run one further and final session of its pensions simplification update program on July 16, 2007.

The program was introduced in 2005, designed specifically to help advisers understand the changes to the pensions tax regime in April 2006. Since then, more than 18,000 people have completed the program.

Originally planned for withdrawal in October 2006, the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) has already run two additional sessions in January and April 2007 in response to continuing demand, largely due to employers using the program as part of a formal induction process for new staff.

CII deputy director general Bob Bullivant said: The number of people completing the program is testament to the desire of the industry to take a formal assessment in order to demonstrate that they have topped up their knowledge of the new regime. This bodes well for a principles-based approach from the regulator and the industry should be commended for their commitment to raising professional standards in this way.

The update program was devised by leading practitioners and provides comprehensive and practical guidance on the pensions tax simplification regime. Those who complete the program receive a record of achievement allowing them to prove their pensions specific qualification.

Bob Bullivant added: Completing the program also provides 10 certificate-level credits towards the higher level CII diploma and advanced diploma in financial planning. It is therefore also helping advisers to progress to higher levels of qualification and ultimately to the chartered financial planner title.