What's in a Name? IFA Qualifications

By | 25/05/2019

There's more pressure on people than ever before to save for their
futures. Relying on the state is no longer a safe option for
retirement, benefits and healthcare. As a result, an increasing number
of people are purchasing personal financial products such as life
insurance, investments, private health plans and personal pensions. The
world of financial planning is a jungle, though, and it's not
surprising that it leaves many people completely baffled – which is why
there has been an intense rise in the use of independent financial
Advisors (IFAs). However, even the world of IFAs is a complicated one –
there are so many different qualifications and some IFAs seem to have
an endless string of letters after their names. It can there be
difficult to find the appropriate advisor for your specific needs.
Here's a brief guide to some of the key IFA qualifications for various
aspects of financial planning, from mortgages and insurance to
pensions and investments.

The financial services industry is highly regulated and its regulatory
body, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) requires professionals
working in the industry to have certain qualifications before they can
provide financial advice.
There are so many different qualifications issued by so many different
professional bodies and institutions that the letters after a financial advisor's
name can be baffling. Here's a glossary of some of the qualifications and
abbreviations and memberships of professional bodies you might want to look
out for when selecting a financial advisor to meet your needs.

The basic qualification is the Certificate in Financial Planning (Cert
FP) – although it's only considered to be about the same level as an
'O' grade, and there are many more advanced qualifications available,
both for general financial advice and for specialist products such as
mortgages and pensions.


Certificate in Financial Planning (Cert FP)

Advanced Financial Planning Certificate (AFPC)

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Associate, Society of Financial Advisers (ASFA)

Member, Society of Financial Advisers (MSFA)

Fellow, Society of Financial Advisers (FSFA)

Associate, Institute of Financial Planning (AIFP)

Member, Institute of Financial Planning (MIFP)

Fellow, Institute of Financial Planning (FIFP)

Institute of Financial Services (Chartered Institute of Bankers)


Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMap)

Mortgage Advice Qualification (MAQ)


Chartered Insurance Institute's G60 paper on pension planning

Association of the Pensions Management Institute (APMI)


G70 paper on portfolio management

G30 paper on business investment planning

Certificate in Investment Management (Cert IM)

Investment Management Asset Allocation Qualification (IMAAQ)

Investment Management Certificate (IMC)

Professional Investment Certificate (PIC)

Member, Securities Institute (MSI)

UK Society of Investment Professionals


Associate, Life Insurance Association Diploma (ALIA dip)

Member, Life Insurance Association Diploma (MLIA dip)

Fellow, Life Insurance Association Diploma (FLIA dip)

Associate, Chartered Insurance Institute (ACII)

Member, Chartered Insurance Institute (MCII)

Fellow, Chartered Insurance Institute (FCII)

G80 paper on long-term care, health and life protection

A string of letters after someone's name is not necessarily proof of
their ability as a financial advisor. There are many factors that you
should also take into consideration when looking for a financial
advisor, including cost, the services offered, experience and location.

Source by Benedict Rohan

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