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THE IFP view

A couple of things have happened over the last couple of weeks that have both interested and frustrated me at the same time.

We have seen widespread commentary about the new certificate in financial planning launched by the CII. This is good news, in as much as the FPC exams clearly need to have moved on. The frustration is the fact that a lot of the media have immediately started to abbreviate this to the new CFP, which it very much is not. The certified financial planner (CFP) licence is in fact financial planning’s highest standard and an international accreditation.

The CFP is a certification mark that can only be used in connection with the certified financial planner licence. Those who reach this standard have gone through a long process of examination to reach a level that is equivalent to the AFPC. They are then tested on their skills to practically apply their knowledge by submitting a financial plan to meet these demanding standards.

At the recent Woman IFA of the Year awards, we saw four such talented individuals who could have graced the finals of any adviser of the year awards. It was no coincidence that they were all certified financial planner professionals. Planners who are serious about their role and the service that they provide choose this career development route because it works and enables them to differentiate themselves with their clients. Not only had they impressed the judges with their skills to be shortlisted but also they then went on to impress an influential audience with their verbal presentations at the dinner itself.

To end on a very sad note, the institute was devastated to learn this week of the untimely death of David Norton. David was a pioneer of financial planning in the UK as well as internationally. A past chairman and president of the institute, he influenced hundreds of businesses and planners in the UK with his wisdom and business practice.

Nick Cann is chief executive of the Institute of Financial Planning

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