05 Jun Knowledge
What is the Certified Financial Planner™ designation?
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and the CFP logo are certification marks owned by FPSB Ltd.
It is a financial planning designation that is awarded across 27 countries after an individual demonstrates they can meet the global financial planning standards of advice. It is given to financial advisers, financial planners and wealth managers who have proved their depth and breadth of knowledge in integrated financial planning and the associated technical areas. Outside the US, the CFP is owned by the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB).
Here’s what the FPSB say: “Consumers worldwide feel challenged by their finances but aren’t sure whom to trust for professional financial planning advice. Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB) establishes, upholds and promotes worldwide professional standards for financial planning to foster public confidence in the financial planning profession. FPSB demonstrates its commitment to excellence through its ownership of the international CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification program outside the United States.”
There are over 203,000 CFP professionals globally. The numbers in the UK are still relatively small, with approximately 900 at the end of 2021.
If you are outside the UK to find out more about the CFP where you live, please go to: https://www.fpsb.org/about/member-organizations
How do I apply to become a CFP professional in the UK?
If you are already a financial services professional you can complete an eligibility form on the CISI website. Once you have evidenced your existing qualifications and been approved, you are free to apply to start the pathway.
The process in the UK requires an exam at NVQ level 6 plus a case study assessment at level 7. These two components are provided by Chartered Institute for Securities and investment. If you are already a CII Chartered Financial Planner you can claim an exemption for the level 6 exam and opt instead for an online Professional Assessment. Once you have passed that, you can continue on to the level 7 case study. Upon completion of those, you will need to pass their integrity test and prove at least three years of relevant experience before applying for your CFP designation. For more information see CISI website:
There are workbooks and courses to help you along the way and Lockie Consultants offers training courses and 1:2:1 coaching for the level 7 assessment.
What are the benefits?
Going through the process to become a CFP professional has been revolutionary for some and enlightening for many. It helps give you the tools to offer a comprehensive financial planning services to your clients, whether you work on an advisory or discretionary investment advice basis. Listen to some of our podcasts to hear about the benefits the CFP has brought to many financial advice businesses.
Becoming a CFP professional means you can better differentiate yourself and your firm from other financial advisers. It also helps give you the tools to be able to do comprehensive financial planning, create financial plans for your clients, and charge for doing so. See our Journal page on our website for study tips and extra learning to help you prepare for your studies.
Being a CFP also allows you to attend exclusive events and contacts with other CFP professionals from around the world.
International research by FPSB has shown that there is an increased propensity for clients to received peace of mind and actionable advice when working with a CFP professional. Read more about it here. Value of Financial Planning | FPSB
Extra training and support available.
Courses: There are two different types of courses available; for the level 6 exam and for the level 7 financial plan creation. For information about booking the level 6 courses, please see the CISI website.
We offer case study preparation courses for the CISI Level 7 assessment. Please click here to see our free CFP resources and to find out more about the various courses and coaching that we offer.
1:2:1 coaching: Lockie Consultants offers 1:2:1 coaching to help you finish your CFP case study submission. We can help once you have attended the level 7 course or, if you are not doing the course, we can help you get your thinking and process of approach straightened out. Our 1:2:1 coaching is not intended to replace the level 7 intensive course.
We can also help you if you fail your CFP case study financial plan submission. We cannot do it for you, but we can challenge your thinking and approach and set you on a better track to success. Obviously, we cannot guarantee that you will pass, that is down to how you create your plan and if it meets the required standards, but we can use our extensive experience to help interpret the feedback letter and agree on what needs attention and where your energies should be concentrated. Please go to Our Services page for more information on how we can help you and what we charge.