Catriona Standingford

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What to expect from the CII’s new pension transfer qualification

Candidate feedback from the first sitting of the AF7 Pension Transfers unit has been encouraging Last year, the Chartered Insurance Institute launched its new Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice qualification, which includes the new CII AF7 Pension Transfers unit. The new CII AF8 Retirement Income Planning unit was launched at the same time to replace […]

The changing face of adviser CPD

We have seen a huge change in the qualifications landscape over the years. Not only have the exams themselves changed, so too has the provision of learning and development throughout financial services. When I sat my FPC exams back in the old days, I remember looking around for assistance so that I did not just […]

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How to reach your adviser exam goals

A new year always feels like a fresh start. We hit the ground running with numerous plans, many of which include becoming more qualified. Give it a few weeks, though, and the novelty starts wearing off. Perhaps the thought of sitting more exams to achieve chartered status loses its shine. Or the arrival of a thumping […]

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Development focus: Is AF3 still the right path for me?

The CII’s Advanced Diploma AF3 pension planning unit has always been a challenge for exam candidates and caused much upset with its decreasing pass rate. Back in 2012 51.93 per cent of candidates passed. By 2015 this had plummeted to 31.47 per cent. A 20 per cent decrease in such a small amount of time […]

Going beyond the advanced diploma

So you have slogged away and achieved the CII Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, or maybe one of the equivalents offered elsewhere. What now? For many it is a huge sigh of relief, then back to concentrating on their day-to-day work. Others, however, want to keep on going. So what then? Holding the Advanced Diploma […]

Catriona Standingford: Exam options for entry-level staff

Discussions about qualifications usually revolve around Level 4 or Level 6. However, many businesses have a need to train staff who have little or no knowledge of financial services, and who do not need to jump in at the deep end with Level 4 exams. Indeed, we often hear from managers that are not sure […]

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Why advice is about more than just qualifications

Qualifications, qualifications, qualifications. Is that what it is all about, or is there more to progressing your career? I am contacted regularly, either by those trying to get into financial services or those in the early years of their career, to ask about qualifications and what they should sit to get to where they want to be. Career progression […]

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Catriona Standingford: Is there room for more exam options?

We often get potential candidates contacting us to ask about the different exam and qualification options on offer from the various examining bodies. It is clear there already exists some level of confusion about the “best” (easiest? cheapest? most desirable?) path to take to Level 4. With this in mind, I will look at the […]

Catriona Standingford: How to stand out from the crowd

If you are considering going for a promotion, asking for a pay rise, or simply looking for a change of direction in your career, you may be wondering how to differentiate yourself from everyone else. I am often asked for advice on how to ‘stand out from the crowd’ in terms of financial services qualifications, […]