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Professional standards take centre stage

Professional standards have taken centre stage this month, with the Institute of Financial Planning and the Chartered Insurance Institute both announcing changes to their supervision of this area.

The IFP has created a new position of director of professional standards and has appointed Sam Rees-Adams to the role.

Rees-Adams’ new position replaces Sue Leech who is retiring from the job of education director and as well as being responsible for overseeing the standard of the IFP’s education programmes, she will also be responsible for reviewing members CPD programmes to ensure professional standards are maintained.

IFP acting chief executive Steve Gazzard says: “These are very exciting times for the IFP and for the financial planning profession. Sam will be a great addition to the strong team we have in place here at the IFP. Her considerable wealth of experience in key areas of education, qualifications and training will allow us to build on the excellent work that has been done by Sue Leech and our education team and help develop our focus on professionalism and development pathways.”

The CII has hired David Hertzell as chairman of its professional standards board, with previous chairman David Macintosh QC completing his tenure.

Over the last few years the CII has increased its focus on professionalism by revising its code of conduct and strengthening its independent disciplinary structure. In 2012, the CII took disciplinary action against 525 members, of which 274 cases were for CPD failings.

Hertzell said: “The last few years have seen professional standards in financial services under greater scrutiny than ever, showing how fundamentally important it is to have a robust oversight and disciplinary process and to maintain vigilance, anticipate and address public interest issues.

“It is an honour to be appointed the new chair of the CII Professional Standards Board and I look forward to building on the strong foundations David McIntosh has put firmly in place.”

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