The CII has become the first UK officially approved assessor of the BS ISO 22222 Financial Planner certification which could help advisers meet their RDR obligations.
It believes the availability of the assessment will prompt a substantial increase in the number of advisers seeking accreditation.
The BS ISO 22222 certification demonstrates a financial planner has achieved an internationally recognised level of competence in the six stages of the financial planning process, has relevant Continued Professional Development (CPD) and has adhered to an ethical code of conduct.
Focusing on the financial planner’s practical skills, the CII assessment process includes a review of client files and structured interview questions. The assessment takes place at the financial planner’s place of work.
The CII will provide feedback on the extent to which the BS ISO 22222 standards were met, plus feedback to support the ongoing development of the financial planner.
PFS chief executive Fay Goddard says the standard goes beyond examination and measures an adviser’s ability to do the job.
“I am pleased to see the CII leading the field as an assessor, as accreditation of the ISO standards provides yet another option for advisers to gain credits towards higher qualifications and the standard supports the RDR proposals.”
Frank Post, BSI British Standards marketing director, says: "BSI encourages personal financial planners and advisers, with the backing of their organisations, to take up BS ISO 22222.”
“Once conformity to the standard is achieved, practitioners should be able to promote consumer confidence in their services and differentiate themselves in the marketplace."
The standard is open to experienced advisers who have achieved the Diploma in Financial Planning or equivalent and have undertaken active CDP, follow an ethical code and demonstrate their ability to deliver, says CII.
To become a recognised third party accreditor, the CII itself had to meet the rigorous ISO 17024 accreditation standard.
Both BS ISO 22222 and the UK guidance document BS 9222 emphasise the consumer will only have confidence in the ISO 22222 Personal Financial Planning standard where it has been assessed by an independent third party that has itself completed the BS ISO 17024 (a standard for assessors) and been recognised by UKAS.
Advisers achieving BS ISO 22222 through an independent third party accredited by UKAS as 17024 will be eligible for exemption of the CII Advanced Diploma module AF5, which is required for Chartered Financial Planner status.
BS 9222 is available as a guide to the application of BS ISO 22222. It is recommended reading for financial planners seeking assessment and is available from the BSI British Standards shop www.bsigroup.com/bs9222IFAonline
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