Awards for chartered financial planners
The introduction of a professional chartered title for IFAs is seen as a milestone in the industry’s drive to improve the status of financial advice and means that the public will be able to call on the services of suitably qualified professionals with confidence when seeking help with their individual financial planning needs.
Over 200 were present to receive their award in person at the first graduation ceremony on 2 March.
Peter Hales, president of the CII, said of the ceremony: “This is an historic occasion. The chartered title creates an aspiration and goal for all advisers. My ambition is to create a truly professional financial planning sector which will provide consumers with the reassurance they seek and attract new entrants to the industry. The establishment of chartered status for our profession will do just that.”
In order to qualify as a chartered financial planner, an individual must satisfy the stringent criteria demanded. An adviser is required to hold the CII’s degree level financial planning qualification, demonstrate relevant experience, commit to continuous professional development, adhere to a Code of Ethics and Conduct and be subject to the Institute’s disciplinary procedures.
Stephen Bland, director of the Small Firms Division at the Financial Services Authority (FSA), gave the graduation address, highlighting the importance of higher standards of professionalism and knowledge the chartered financial planning title encourages. He will go on to say how this will help to improve the overall perception of financial services with the consumer, the regulator and providers.
Brian Steeples, chairman of the Personal Finance Society and one of the first people to be awarded the chartered financial planner said:
“This is a momentous day, both for me personally and for financial services. It is the most important development in financial services in my lifetime. I believe the creation of chartered status for financial planners will encourage more advisers to achieve the professional standards that chartered status brings.”