Chartered Financial Planner

Chartered Financial Planner

The title Chartered Financial Planner is the most widely accepted "gold standard" qualification available for professional financial planners/ financial advisers in the United Kingdom. At the end of November 2010 there are over 2,000 individuals who hold the title Chartered Financial Planner. Over 300 firms can now boast the corporate equivalent as Chartered Financial Planners.

The titles of Chartered Financial Planner and Chartered Financial Planners ware granted by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). The Privy Council authorised the CII to issue the Chartered title in 2005. Thus, a Chartered Financial Planner now carries equivalent qualifications and other established professions such as Chartered Accountants and Chartered Surveyors, etc. Membership of the Personal Finance Society, the leading professional body for financial planners, is required to be able to use the professional designation Chartered Financial Planner.

The qualification fits into the National Qualifications Framework at Level 6, equivalent to a Bachelors (first) Degree.

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Requirements

To attain Chartered Financial Planner status as an individual, one must study for and pass approximately 10-12 exams in various aspects of financial services and related subjects. Each exam offered by the Chartered Insurance Institute carries a certain number of "credits" in their qualification scheme. Credits can also be granted for equivalent exams passed form other awarding bodies. A total of 290 credits is required before Chartered status can be applied for. This generally takes several years to achieve.

One is also required to have five years relevant professional experience, and to demonstrate ongoing learning by completing a certain amount of Continued Professional Development each year. In addition, one is required to be a member of the Personal Finance Society, the professional body for Financial Planners, part of the CII Group.

Corporate Chartered Status

In addition, firms that can demonstrate the highest commitment to professional standards can apply for Chartered Financial Planners status. At the end of November 2010 there were 300 firms authorised to use the title.

Retail Distribution Review

This is a still-in-progress review of the financial advice/planning profession begun by the UK regulator, the Financial Services Authority, in 2006. Among other aspects of the financial advice profession being reviewed is the level of qualifications historically and currently held by practising financial advisers. For about 25 years, the minimum standard has been only the Certificate in Financial Planning, formerly called the Financial Planning Certificate, which sits at only level 3 in the National Qualifications Framework, equivalent to an A level.

After various discussion papers and consultations, which are still ongoing, the FSA have stopped short of requiring advisers to obtain a Level 6 (degree level) qualification such as Chartered Financial Planner, and are to require advisers to obtain only a level 4 qualification (equivalent to the first year of a degree), and not until 2012.

Other Qualifications in the Financial Advice Profession

ISO 22222 Certification BS ISO 22222 Financial Planner Certification confirms a financial planner’s conformity to the international ISO financial planning standards. The Certification is a personal award and applies to individual Financial Planners. The standard defines six steps of the personal financial planning process:

Establishing and defining the client and personal financial planner relationship. Gathering client data and determining goals and expectations. Analysing and evaluating the client's financial status. Developing and presenting the financial plan. Implementing the financial planning recommendations. Monitoring the financial plan and the financial planning relationship.

Benefitsof BS ISO22222 certification: Demonstrates that a Financial Planner’s advice skills & knowledge have been benchmarked against an international standard The Financial Planner will receive independent validation of their skills Developmental feedback will be provided to the Financial Planner on both their technical & soft skills BS ISO22222 Certification assists in enhancing customer confidence in the Financial Planner’s abilities

An international qualification is Certified Financial Planner, or CFP, administered and awarded in the UK by the Institute of Financial Planning. CFP is a practical assessment of one's ability to put together a financial planning report of a certain standard. The CFP certification is part of global standard overseen by the FPSB (www.fpsb.org) and administered in 23 countries with over 126,000 CFP professionals around the world.



Equivalent titles Abroad

In the United States, the equivalent title to Chartered Financial Planner is Chartered Financial Analyst.

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