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CII reviews chartered firm requirements


The Chartered Insurance Institute is reviewing the standards and criteria used to award firms chartered status.

The CII says it is carrying out the review to ensure the standards required meets customers’ expectations.

The review is being carried out through one-on-one interviews with stakeholders in the insurance and financial planning sectors and through focus groups with consumers and small and medium-sized businesses.

A consultation based on the feedback from the research will be published next month.

The consultation will invite feedback from members, non-members and other stakeholders in order to determine future standards.

CII president Amanda Blanc says: “The CII is mindful of the importance of ensuring that any future CCT scheme is able to withstand robust scrutiny from the public.

“Consequently any long-term vision for chartered must support the CII’s mandate to ‘secure and justify the confidence of the public’ in the insurance and financial planning sectors and recognise the importance of maintaining the reputation of the chartered brand.”


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There are 18 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Roman Duzinkewycz 21st June 2013 at 12:28 pm

    Don’t they mean meet ‘our expectations’ rather than the ‘customers expectations’? Feel more ‘training and exam charges’ are on the way for you chartered folk only because you are the first in line – all the other plebs will follow soon enough to keep the ‘non profit organisation’ in the manner they have been accustomed to – what a rip off this all is. The sooner this industry folds, the better and let the fat cats try to find a decent job without actually having to earn any money. Disgraceful but, didn’t we see this coming either? Hector – help!

  2. Another excuse to charge more money.
    “We are a not for profit organisation” I hear them bleat. We are not concerned about profits. Neither are the FCA. It is the cost of these blooming outfits which eat into our hard earned profits we are concerned about.

  3. In other words – too many people and firms are achieving chartered status – and the gravy train that was acheiving Level 4 Qualifications for RDR is drying up – so how can we make more money out of this.

  4. There are some cynics here though there are some issues regarding chartered corporate status. There is already confusion between chartered firms, chartered individuals, chartered brokers, financial advisers , insurers etc. Furthermore I am concerned about the CII’s vested interests here. Chartered this, chartered that. Perhaps the greater emphasis on ISO 22222 for individuals and BS8453 at corporate level would help to remove the confusion with only individuals holding chartered financial planning status? ISO9000 is used in other professions with individuals gaining their chartered status and exercising that within a quality framework. It distinguishes between the firm and the adviser.

  5. Dr Peter Williams, , Chartered Financial Planner 21st June 2013 at 2:09 pm

    The Chartered titles (individual and corporate) have obviously been a huge success and I believe that the CII is right to carry out the review to ensure that the standards continue to meet the needs of the market and that they continue to inspire trust and confidence from the public. Costs shouldn’t be an issue. Professionalism is priceless.

  6. PeterHeffernan 21st June 2013 at 2:16 pm


  7. Roman Duzinkewycz 21st June 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Simon Caunt – have you spelt your name correctly?

  8. @ Dr Williams

    “Costs shouldn’t be an issue. Professionalism is priceless”.

    Well thank you for that, I will sleep soundly tonight knowing all the money the CII, FSA/FCA, FSCS and every other letter combination that has cost me and my business this year on a failed/failing experiment has made me priceless, Pffttt !!!! keep taking the tablets I say

  9. Dick Sprinkler 21st June 2013 at 4:15 pm

    @Dr Williams

    The good Dr has spoken – must get some more letters after my name thats whats missing !

  10. After RDR boom for them the exam fee has dried up to a trickle and there not enough new entrants taking exams to pay not for profit organisation so a few new revenue generating schemes are needed along with additional “accreditation” just to make sure all is ok….oh and thanks for another fee

  11. How the CII ever had the right to call anyone a Chartered Financial Planner, without testing the skill of plan construction is beyond me. Only the IFP has this remit, backed by international standards. It’s not just about 55% pass marks for facts (the facts the examiners want to see). It’s about whether you can put together a workable plan.

  12. Whilst I am all for improving standards and professionalism ,we have to ask what is the point if the public see no value in it and our regulator continues to fail those who strive so hard to reach the bar that is continually moving away ? Not only do we have to fund them , the exam institutions and the re dress for those who committ financial “Mis-demeanours , but we are told we must provide a cheaper service to our clients ,at the same time. Our political masters seem to think a lot of what we do should be not for profit ,but are happy for the banks and city traders to make millions from casino banking! Anyone else see the paradox?

  13. In a sense I agree with Andrew Kemp – the corporate Chartered status refers to qualifications and not to systems and controls or indeed outcomes. Are chartered financial planners any better than say those who have been doing the job for years and dropped out pre RDR? What is needed at corporate level is a rigorous assessment of systems, procedures, compliance in addition to training and development e.g. ISO22222 and BS 8453. At present you can have a brilliantly well run firm with excellent compliance audits, systems and controls, management procedures yet have no recognition at corporate level. The CII will not promote it because of their link to qualifications only and the FCA will not because they cannot be bothered yet it seems so obvious a solution to ensuring that quality is at the heart of what we do and not just education.

  14. Andrew,

    The Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning is very much about testing how individuals apply their knowledge to real life scenarios.

    This test is set, marked and moderated by practitioners – your peers.

    You can find details here:

    David Ross

  15. Sam,

    Sorry but it’s wrong to suggest the CII doesn’t actively promote other standards. We were, for example, the first UK professional body to be approved as an awarding body of the ISO 22222 certification.

    We also actively encourage the uptake of other standards, such as BS8577 and where possible provide credits within our own frameworks.

    David Ross

  16. But we want and need one standard for firms otherwise the various “approvals” get lost in the information overload we give clients.
    It is odd that in this profession we do not have an external body that comes in and audits a firm. OFSTED go in and look at schools, surely it is reasonable for clients to expect that firms are reaching the standards expected of them?

  17. Sam,

    It’s a sensible suggestion and some, though I suspect not all, might agree that one set of mandatory standards overseen by a single regulator is a good idea. Getting agreement on the standards and on how they are policed (and by whom) would seem to be a bigger challenge. As the RDR showed, it’s not that easy (impossible?) to get consensus on this stuff.

    It’s also worth noting that many firms (and individuals) frequently want to go beyond the minimum. A great many firms who embrace the challenge of Chartered do so because it offers them the opportunity to differentiate themselves. I suspect other firms choose ISO or BS for much the same reason.

    David Ross

  18. Overseen by the regulator – no. Encouraged by the regulator yes. Carl Lamb invited the regulator into his office and demonstrated what his business can do and it seems sad that there is no recognition of that – an example of actually putting together qualifications and experience into practice.
    One of the things our compliance consultants asked for the first time this year is do you have written procedures for advisers? Well we do as it happens and that is where regulation and compliance is taking us. And firms that have these additional controls should be recognised for their commitment to qualifications, ethical standards, compliance and procedures which exceed corporate financial planning status.
    Customers recognise chartered status – what evidence do the CII have that clients understand what Chartered actually means and can they tell the difference between and a firm complying with BS8453? Chartered should be the gold standard – currently it is not.

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