I believe that to become a true professional the financial planner must aspire to the highest levels of knowledge, skills, attitude and ethics in their industry.

The FAIS act and its requirements for “Fit and proper” has set a basic standard for the industry but is this enough for the true professional.

Long before we had a FAIS act we had an organization that was trying to set the benchmark for excellence in the financial planning industry.

The FPI – Financial Planning Institute (previously known as ILPA or Institute of Life and Pensions Advisers) was formed to set standards for professionalism and excellence in our industry and I believe they have now become “The Standard” for professionalism in financial planning advice industry.

To complete the bare minimum of the education requirements of regulatory examinations, minimum qualification and time in the industry for a Category C financial adviser would be Level 5 Wealth Management Qualification of 120 credits, a year in the industry, completion of regulatory exams for ethics and product license followed by continuing education is in my opinion the bare minimum BUT for the planners aspiring to professional membership of the FPI this would just be the beginning.

The first requirement for becoming a professional would be to have the required knowledge and education and the FPI on their website list the following as acceptable qualifications that can be used as a path way to becoming a member of the FPI. These start at the National Certificate in Wealth Management at NQF level 5 and lead to in the Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning at NQF 8 from a range of universities.


Qualification NQF Level
FPI Academy

National Certificate: Wealth Management 5
Further Education and Training
(FET) Colleges and INSETA
National Certificate: Wealth Management 5
Milpark Business School
Certificate: Financial PlanningNational Certificate in Financial PlanningPostgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning 5/6/8
Nelson Mandela Metropolitan
B. Com Financial PlanningPostgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning 6/8
PSG Konsult Academy

Higher Certificate: Wealth Management

Advanced Certificate: Financial Planning



University of the Free State
B. luris in Financial Planning Law
Postgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning
University of Johannesburg www.uj.ac.za B. Com FinanceB. Com Honours Financial Planning 6/8
University of Stellenbosch
B. Com Financial PlanningPostgraduate Diploma in Financial Planning 6/8

Becoming a professional and aspiring to a higher benchmark of excellence is hard work but it does have a number of benefits.

This qualification and the professional designation CFP has respect in the local industry and you will be part of an international body.

These advisers will be more knowledgable in the complex and complicated subject matter required of professional financial planning and will be competent and able to do more interesting and important work for their clients which will improve income and career possibilities.

As a CFP you would be exempted a number of the regulatory examinations due to the specific nature of the post graduate qualification which would cut down on studying and attempting these assessments.

As a member you can attend the annual convention and membership rates which provide you with a platform where you will be able to get information from the top people in our industry locally and internationally on a wide range of subjects that are importance to financial planning professionals.

You would also be invited to local workshops on financial services and planning subjects which are held regularly.

As a member you will be provided with a number of resources and information which help you to stay up to date in current affairs in information important to our industry. These include subscriptions to magazines, publications and internet based information on the Web site.

All of the above will help in providing credits for your professional and FAIS Continuing Professional Development requirements.

The FPI have the mechanism in place for tracking and recording continuing education and it makes what could be a complex and onerous process very simple to do.

RSC The Knowledge Network as a training provider is interested in helping advisers who aspire to becoming professional financial planners.

We run programs for qualifications and skills programs quality assured by INSETA at NQF level 4, 5 and 6 to help provide the competencies required for this industry and will be running workshops for next years CFP examinations from early next year for financial planners who want to complete these professional examinations.

If you want more information on how to become a CFP or want to enroll for the professional exams contact the FPI or check out their website:


This was first published on Blogger: Ray Strodl Consulting