As the premier professional body for the insurance and financial planning professions, the Chartered Insurance Institute promotes higher standards of integrity, technical competence and business capability. With 125,000 members in 150 countries, the Chartered Insurance Institute is the world’s largest professional body dedicated to these sectors. The Chartered Insurance Institute is a professional body for both general insurance practitioners and financial planners.
Like other professional institutes, qualified membership is attained after examination. Upon attaining differing levels of qualifications, the member can display a title after his/her name.
Chartered Insurance Institute- search for a member
To assist the public, the Chartered Insurance Institute has provided a handy member search link to check a practitioner is a member and to what level.
Since this is a financial website, let’s just look at the titles that relate to financial planning.
CII – (Award)
APFS and FPFS
APFS and FPFS Chartered Financial Planner
Outside of the UK, much is made of the phrase ‘Qualified to UK standards’ as almost a glib comment without giving the possibility for an expat to verify. This often relates to the defunct FPC exam, the irrelevant CeMap that relates to UK mortgages or the fact that the adviser just happened to have worked in the UK in the past.
By the way, qualified to UK standards does not mean the adviser has actually adopted UK standards and so further due diligence on the culture, ethos and quality of the firm behind the adviser is required. To start with, transparency , TCF and no commission taken on investment products would be a minimum requirement.
Qualified to UK standards
Taking account the caveat above, what are UK qualification standards? Since 1st January 2013, it has been level four* and above.
In other words, only DipPFS, APFS and FPFS (the latter two, with relevant experience, allowing the adviser to apply for Chartered Financial Planner) actually meet the UK qualification standards.
What is Not Qualified to UK standards?
CII- Ordinary – (no qualifications required and cannot use a title)
CII- Ordinary, PFS Student – (no qualifications required and cannot use a title)
CII – (Award) – (level two – not qualified to UK standards)
FAIQ (CII) – (level two – not qualified to UK standards)
CertPFS – (level three – not qualified to UK standards)
For Expats – Finding a Chartered Insurance Institute Qualified member Financial Planner
The good news for expats is that the Find an Adviser tool allows the public to look for the nearest qualified (DipPFS and above) to them, with contact details and is not restricted to the UK . Just put in the city where you are based and search. If the nearest is not in your city or country, check out their MiFID licence (investment) licence to see if they can provide advice to you in your country.
*NVQ level UK
Check the adviser has the qualifications stated, ideally they should be on the profile page of the adviser website. At Aisa International, we do just that.
NB – this article only relates to Chartered Insurance Institute members, there is no public register for the other institutes. My opinion is that it would be helpful if other professional institutes followed suit
The views expressed in this article are not to be construed as personal advice. You should contact a qualified and ideally regulated adviser in order to obtain up to date personal advice with regard to your own personal circumstances. If you do not then you are acting under your own authority and deemed “execution only”. The author does not except any liability for people acting without personalised advice, who base a decision on views expressed in this generic article. Where this article is dated then it is based on legislation as of the date. Legislation changes but articles are rarely updated, although sometimes a new article is written; so, please check for later articles or changes in legislation on official government websites, as this article should not be relied on in isolation.
This article was published on 19th August 2017
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