We would like to respond to the letter regarding loss assessors' qualifications (Letters, 7 October).
The author asks whether the FSA should review the recognition of the Institute of Public Loss Assessors. From 14 January 2005, all loss assessors involved in claims' negotiations will be conducting a regulated activity.
While the FSA is not prescriptive in the qualifications of an approved person or firm, it has clearly defined the principles that are to be followed and has laid them down as rules. Among these it specifies integrity, due skill, care and diligence, proper standards of market conduct and suitability of advice and discretionary decisions.
Our company has always been committed to high professional standards. We welcome regulation and hope that it will lead to an increase in the professionalism of all loss assessors.
We have never considered that the insti-tute offers any appropriate solution to its training needs.
All assessors employed by our company follow a training route with a professional body appropriate to their discipline, with most taking a route that leads to associateship of the CII.
It is our policy that all staff must acquire and maintain a high degree of technical knowledge to provide a professional service and this is best done by attaining a professional qualification.
The ACII qualification is understood and appreciated by many of our clients, but more importantly it is recognised throughout the insurance industry including the loss adjusting profession.
No doubt many loss assessors will gain FSA authorisation without achieving associateship of the CII, since the body has already advised that general insurance intermediaries fall into a "low risk" category within the whole scheme of regulation. However, our company will continue with its philosophy of providing a truly professional service to its clients.
All of our directors and technical staff are members of the CII and contribute to their local institutes at many levels.
The author of the letter wished to remain anonymous, no doubt because of the inflammatory nature of his remarks. We would be more than happy to discuss this matter further, but perhaps the mystery writer does not feel qualified to do so.
Peter Thompson, Frank Hughes, Ian Titman, David Kelly, Derek Lamb
Thompson & Bryan