Accredited bodies for advisers

Accredited bodies can help advisers to maintain our required professional standards, and report to us on these standards, in accordance with the requirements in our Training and Competence (TC) Sourcebook.

Advisers must have a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS), which provides evidence that they meet the relevant professionalism standards

An adviser does not have to be a member of an accredited body to receive their SPS, but accredited bodies will support and maintain these requirements.

Accredited bodies will:

  • ensure that all the advisers who use their services are subscribing to a code of ethics that is consistent with the Statements of Principle for Approved Persons
  • check that all the advisers who use their services hold an appropriate qualification, including verifying 100% of their gap-fill where required
  • carry out a random 10% CPD sample check (the body can exceed this requirement if they choose) and inform us of any advisers who do not meet the required standards and minimum requirements
  • recognise CPD activity from a range of providers, including firms’ own in-house schemes
  • share information with the FCA, including in relation to the fitness and propriety of retail investment advisers who use their services

Names of accredited bodies

There are currently five accredited bodies, which are:

  • CFA Society of the UK
  • The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI)
  • The Chartered Banker Institute – formerly known as The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIOBS)
  • The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII)
  • The London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF) - formerly known as The Institute of Financial Services (IFS)

Standards for accredited bodies

Accredited bodies need to:

  • act in the public interest and help to develop the advice profession
  • carry out effective verification of advisers
  • have appropriate systems and controls in place and provide evidence to us of their continuing effectiveness
  • cooperate with us on an ongoing basis

In return for accreditation, accredited bodies must agree to certain requirements, including how they will check advisers are subscribing to standards and how they will sample individual advisers’ continuing professional development (CPD) records. This is to ensure a consistent approach to interpreting and monitoring professional standards.

Accredited bodies are free to set a standard for their members and subscribers over and above our requirements.

Accredited bodies need to submit a report to us every two years, prepared by an independent auditor, which sets out the auditor's assessment of the accredited body's effectiveness, in meeting our standards set out in the TC sourcebook.