The FSA has published final guidance on long-term care advice that states independent firms will not be required to hold the relevant qualification.
The 16-page document, entitled Final Guidance 12/15: Retail Distribution, Independent and Restricted advice, stated that providing long-term care advice required a specialist qualification, but not a separate permission.
It said: "We do not expect a firm that holds itself out as providing independent advice to have an adviser who is qualified to advise on long-term care insurance contracts, because it is a niche market for which we currently require additional qualifications."
But the document added that advisers operating as independent should be competent in identifying a client with long-term care advice needs and refer to a specialist.
It stated: "Advisers should not recommend a product that is an alternative to a long-term care insurance contract, where a long-term care insurance contract would be suitable, because they have not passed the relevant examination."
Chris Bryans, managing director of independent chartered firm Ariun Financial Consulting, said: "I am thinking of just sitting the exam anyway and just passing it because at least them there is someone who can advise on it in the firm.
"Long-term care is an insurance that people just do not buy. But overall I think there should be greater requirements on independent firms."
He added that solving the long-term care funding gap was an issue for society as a whole, not intermediaries and the regulator.
Long-term care was identified in the final guidance as one of "two specialist activities" under the regulator's training and competence regime; pension transfer and opt-out was the other.