Cavendish Financial Management financial planner Julie Lord has called for an end to industry in-fighting over whether certified or chartered financial planner status should be the benchmark but reserves most of her fire for the Chartered Insurance Institute.
Lord is one of the few financial planners to hold both qualifications and says they are each extremely valuable to her.
She points out that the Financial Services Skills Council places both qualifications at an equal level and calls on the industry to move forward and focus on developing the financial planning profession.
Lord says the chartered financial planner certificate is a badge of technical excellence while the certified financial planner accreditation demonstrates an individual’s competence to put this knowledge into practice and help clients achieve their financial goals.
She says the CII is a commercial organisation and has a vested interest in its qualification gaining eminence. She criticises its point structure, which enables advisers to tot up points by carrying out multiple exams in the same specialist field.
She says certified financial planners can qualify with less technical knowledge in areas such as tax and trusts, for example. However, she says being able to provide a financial planning service in the real world is key to the exam and is tested under case study conditions.
Lord says: “I suggest that any sniping about these qualifications should cease and that all parties should recognise the differences and move forward to develop this extremely exciting new profession of financial planning. We need to do it properly and with great care so our financial planners of the future have the technical knowledge and financial planning experience to better serve their clients and the profession at large.”