Certified Financial Planner (or CFP) is an internationally recognised and highly prestigious qualification for financial advisers all over the world. In the UK it is awarded by the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP). It must not to be confused with the Certificate of Financial Planning, which is currently the minimum qualification for financial advisers.
Advisers in the UK must satisfy rigorous requirements before they can become Certified Financial Planners.
- They must have passed relevant advanced examinations. For example they require the Chartered Institute of Insurance (CII) Diploma in Financial Planning or its predecessor, the Advanced Financial Planning Certificate, with passes in specified subject areas, to ensure that they have in depth technical knowledge over a broad range.
- They require at least three years’ relevant experience.
- If the above conditions are fulfilled, they must have worked on a case study to produce a detailed financial plan of a sufficiently high standard to be passed by the IFP examining board. They must be members of the IFP, abide by a strict code of ethics, and commit to continuing professional development (CPD).
CFP professionals have not only proven, in depth technical knowledge in a broad range of subjects; they have also been trained to the highest level in the practical aspects of financial planning. Financial advisers who are qualified to this level are head and shoulders above the average financial advisers in the UK. They have made a commitment of both time and money to achieve qualifications far beyond the statutory requirement for financial advisers.
Why would they do that? Well certainly not for the fun of it. They have done it in order to be able to give the best possible advice and service to their clients. Being a CFP professional is a way of working rather than just proof of examination prowess.
Sadly many people do not even aware Certified Financial Planners exist, let alone realise how highly qualified they are. If you are looking for financial advice, doesn’t it make sense to find the best financial adviser? Well, of course it does!
Although only a small, elite minority of financial advisers are CFPs, they are located around the UK so you will almost certainly be able to find one near you who will be able to help you with your financial planning.