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CII warning of confusion over IFP’s degree link-up

The Chartered Insurance Institute is warning of the potential for confusion caused by the Institute of Financial Planning’s claims that its joint venture with Manchester Metropolitan University is equivalent to the CII’s diploma in financial planning.

The IFP’s certified financial planner qualification has been incorporated in MMU’s financial services degree.

But CII deputy director general Bob Bullivant says under the CII’s accreditation programme, the IFP/MMU degree would count as just 60 cre- dits towards the DipPFS, which has a minimum requirement of 140 credits.

He says that people taking the degree must understand exactly what they are getting so they can balance university costs against other routes to professional status.

Bullivant says: “The MMU/ IFP venture is not equivalent to the current DipPFS and such confusion is unhelpful as we look to increase the professionalism of the sector.”

IFP chief executive Nick Cann says the degree programme is constantly evolving and, by the end of the course, graduates will gain a qualification equivalent in status, if not exactly matching, the CII’s diploma in financial planning.

Cann says he hopes to work with the CII, as it is the biggest provider of financial services exams, but stresses that the IFP is not trying to copy its programme or gain its approval.

He also rejects suggestions from the Personal Finance Society that the IFP sanctions the grandfathering of some qualifications. He says under the CFP accreditation programme, this has happened in certain countries for specific qualifications but it “never has and never will” in the UK.

Cann says: “This programme will not cause confusion. We are adding an important new choice to the marketplace.

“New requirements will be added to the degree programme as it progresses to ensure that graduates will gain a qualification that fits in with the IFP’s aims for professional, competent finan- cial planners.”

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