We recently completed the annual renewal of our Chartered Financial Planner’s status with the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). As a Chartered body of more than a century’s standing, the Chartered Insurance Institute grants Chartered titles to individuals and organisations that meet strict qualifying criteria.
As we were completing the required paperwork to renew our Chartered status, we reflected on what an achievement it is to hold that status, what it means for our clients, and the benefits of using a Chartered planner.
How does a firm like BlueSKY achieve Chartered status?
Not any firm can become Chartered. Achieving this status is not simply about the size of our business, but also about our expertise, our commitment to improvement, and our impact on our wider community.
To achieve Chartered status a firm must meet the following criteria:
- A minimum of 50% of advisers, and at least one board member, must hold the Chartered Financial Planner title
- The firm’s board and at least 90% of customer-facing staff must be members of the Chartered Insurance Institute
- A full financial planning service and a Chartered Financial Adviser must be available to customers
- The firm must provide evidence of three years pre-application trading as an authorised and regulated business.
In addition, any Chartered firm must put in place core values, business practices and a diversity and inclusion policy that aligns with the CII’s Code of Ethics. Essentially, the firms need to meet high ethical standards.
Additionally, all Chartered firms must have an appropriate professional development programme in place. This is important to us as we are committed to developing the skills, knowledge and expertise of all our team.
What Chartered status means for clients
Chartered status is not something that thousands of firms have achieved. There are only roughly 900 Chartered firms across the entire UK, and just one other Chartered firm near us in Reading.
Chartered status is the ‘gold standard’ of financial planning and positions our firm amongst the UK’s leading practices. We’re proud to boast four Chartered Financial Planners within the team and, of course, the company itself is also Chartered.
There are three main reasons why being a Chartered firm is of benefit to our clients:
- We must have met rigorous criteria relating to professional qualifications and competence. A Chartered Financial Planner has successfully passed through several CII Diplomas and CII Advanced Diploma examinations in many areas such as Taxation, Trusts, Pension, Investment and Financial Planning. We have therefore demonstrated the highest levels of financial and technical knowledge through assessment.
- We undertake an intensive programme of regularly consolidating and updating our knowledge. We are therefore committed to continuous professional development.
- We adhere to ethical and best practice codes, following an industry Code of Ethics which is enforced through disciplinary sanctions. Clients can therefore rest assured that their best interests are at the heart of everything we do.
These high standards are also reflected in our recruitment philosophy. Only Financial Planners who have already attained that standard, or have a clear commitment to do so, will be considered as potential additions to our team.
As the CII says:
“When you use a Chartered firm, you are dealing with proven professionals. The CII is empowered by the Privy Council to award Chartered status, and the award is only made in deserving cases. And, while Chartered titles are steeped in history, they remain the benchmark of professional excellence and integrity.”
Get in touch
If you’d like to find out how Chartered status can benefit you, please get in touch. Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01189 876655.