Having spent many years actively involved in the promotion of Financial Planning to both the financial profession and the consumer, this argument is not new.
However, where the concerns have increased it is as a result of the merger of the IFP with the CISI. This appears to have created an unsubstantiated belief that the Certified Financial PlannerTM designation may eventually disappear.
Having worked damn hard to obtain the designation (like many others before and after me), I am passionate to ensure this does not happen. Funnily enough, I’m not on my own! I serve on the IFP Forum Committee within the CISI, together with a number of leading Financial Planners, where we are committed to ensuring the Financial Planning profession and the numbers of Certified Financial PlannerTM professionals continues to grow.
Whilst many can argue over the merits of the Chartered or Certified title, I think it’s important to identify what they stand for. The Certified Financial PlannerTM designation is the only recognised title for those practicing the profession of proper Financial Planning. That means following a recognised and credible six-step process set out by the governing body, the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB). I do not see this changing any time soon.
Pic: Ms Carter won the first ever CFP Pro of the year award in 2014
Most of the Financial Planners that I know and respect hold the Certified Financial PlannerTM designation because, like me, they want to be recognised for the way in which they work. The Certified Financial PlannerTM designation does not just confirm we have the appropriate technical knowledge, it confirms to prospective clients that we work in a specific way which will help them achieve their goals in a practiced and recognised way. I, personally, do not see that the Chartered title offers the same thing.
Is the Certified Financial PlannerTM certification in danger of being diluted? Not on my watch! If you consider the plans of the FPSB, you will see that they have great ambitions to grow the number of Certified Financial PlannerTM professionals from the current number of over 170,00 globally. I was heartened to see recently of the acceptance of the profession of Financial Planning as law in Australia who have always served to influence the UK in this area. This can only continue to increase the demand for recognised Financial Planners. As the UK’s recognised awarding body of the Certified Financial PlannerTM designation, the CISI is wholly and fully committed to achieving growth within the UK despite some doubters.
For those of us that retain the passion and commitment to grow the profession of Financial Planning, the Certified Financial PlannerTM certification remains the “global symbol of excellence within Financial Planning”.
Keri Carter, Certified Financial PlannerTM Chartered Wealth Manager Managing Director of Broadway Financial Planning in Worcestershire and IFP CFP pro of the year winner 2014