ASPL Adviser Qualifications


Ivan is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM professional and Adrian is a Chartered Financial Planner and a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM professional. We are often asked what these qualifications mean and so here’s a summary.

Chartered Financial Planner

The Chartered Financial Planner title is a Level 6, Degree level qualification.

This qualification is available via the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) (authorised by the Privy Council to do so), and “gives holders clear differentiation from the main body of advisers”. The title is the “most widely accepted gold standard qualification available for financial planners/advisers in the UK”.

“Chartered status reinforces the importance of professionalism in a fast-moving and competitive market. It also helps place the (Chartered Financial Planner) on a par with other professions, such as Accountants and Solicitors, and distinguishes holders from their competitors and peers”.


In the UK, this qualification is made available via the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP), and represents the “highest professional certification globally that can be awarded to a Financial Planner. Over 900 CFPCM professionals in the UK are part of this global community of over 126,000 from 34 territories….. You could think of it in the same way as preparation of an undergraduate dissertation and tests the application of knowledge”.

CFPCM professionals adhere to a strict code of ethics and practice standards coupled with complying with rigorous Continuous Professional Development (CPD) requirements to ensure that relevant competence is maintained”.

Background to the raising of “minimum standard” qualifications from 1st January 2013

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) review of the financial advice/planning profession resulted in the raising of the minimum standard qualification for advisers. For about 25 years, the minimum standard qualification has only been the Certificate in Financial Planning, which sits at Level 3 in the National Qualifications Framework (NQF), equivalent to an A Level.

The FSA has now raised the minimum qualification to advise to Level 4 (from 01.01.13), equivalent to the first year of a Degree.

What do these two qualifications mean for you as a client?

Essentially the qualifications are a measure of credibility and excellence, proving that your adviser has demonstrated not only technical knowledge but can also apply that knowledge to a clearly defined financial planning process which helps you achieve your financial goals and objectives. You can rest assured that you are receiving an effective financial planning service of the highest professional standard.

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Adrian Smith

Chartered Financial Planner
Chartered Wealth Manager

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