In her keynote address to the annual CISI-IFP Financial Planning Conference in Wales this week on the CISI’s future plans for Financial Planning, Ms Lockie said many “good and enthusiastic advisers and wealth managers” who were Financial Planning professionals were unable to gain the CFP certification in the past due to assessment changes that the IFP made in the latter years of its tenure.
Ms Lockie, CFP Chartered FCSI, said: “The CISI has now completed a thorough review of the assessment process and intends to make some changes to it in 2018.”
The CISI’s CFP designation has struggled to achieve more than 1,000 Certified Financial Planners in the UK although there are more than 160,000 CFP holders worldwide. Stiff competition from the rival PFS’s Chartered Financial Planner designation, which has well over 5,000 holders in the UK, has been a challenge.
Ms Lockie stressed that the CFP changes would not mean any watering down of standards and candidates would still have to create a financial plan and demonstrate an integrated financial planning process based on six steps.
There will be a formal announcement from the CISI about the new CFP designation structure including the route through to CFP, all the training and assessment support and when the changes will come into force before the end of 2018.
She said the changes would recognise existing examination achievements and will simplify entry for those wishing to become CFPs. The aim will be to encourage more CISI members to become CFP qualified.
Turning to Paraplanning, she said that the Paraplanning role was “a critical part of the Financial Planning process” in giving clients that “lightbulb moment.”
The CISI has plans to offer Paraplanners more cross-body support and “development of these pivotal people, whether they are members of the CISI or not. “ There will be further developments in the Paraplanner area, she said.
Ms Lockie said she was passionate about Financial Planning’s ability to change lives for the better and one focus was to widen the availability of Financial Planning.
In terms of Financial Planning tools she cautioned against too many Financial Planners relying on cashflow modelling tools when clients may not always understand the charts and results fully.
She said: “Cashflow planning is not Financial Planning. Cashflow planning is often just one part of the Financial Planning process – those of you who bamboozle clients with complicated charts that only you understand, whose reports say things like, “obviously, as you can see...” underneath are doing your profession a disservice! Stop using cashflow tools as a crutch and use them as a tool.”
“Use them as a tool to show clients clearly and simply how they can meet their objectives as they arise without taking undue risk.