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The Financial Planning Certificate (FPC) qualification is a recognition offered by the Chartered Insurance Institute in the United Kingdom. People who hold this qualification have satisfied coursework and testing requirements set by the organization. Originally, it allowed people to work as financial advisers, but regulatory changes have shifted the standards, requiring a higher level diploma to work as a financial adviser. People already working with an FPC qualification at the time of the change could keep working, but new entrants needed the more advanced diploma.
People may pursue an FPC qualification as part of a training course to prepare for a more advanced certificate. The basic coursework is the same, and provides people with a grounding in topics like financial services and retirement planning. It’s also possible to obtain an FPC qualification to work more generally in the financial industry, without directly advising clients. Knowledge of this topic can help financial services professionals as they develop products and services, work with customers, and create policies at financial institutions.
To obtain a certificate, interested candidates need to complete a set number of hours of training in financial protection, investment and risk, regulations, retirement planning, and integrated financial planning. After completing training in each segment, students are eligible to take an examination to test competency. Those who pass tests in all these areas of training have earned the FPC qualification, and will receive a formal recognition. They can choose to continue their education, or stop there.
Some jobs in the financial industry require certifications like the FPC qualification for regulatory reasons or because of internal company policy. It is important to check on the entry requirements for financial careers so students can choose the right certification to pursue. Other jobs may not require specific qualifications, but could view applicants for positions more favorably if they have them. More jobs may be available to someone with an FPC qualification or plans to get an advanced diploma.
After qualifying, continuing education is usually advisable. This can help financial professionals keep up with regulations and trends in the field, so they are better prepared to serve clients effectively and appropriately. Trade publications, conferences, and workshops can provide opportunities to learn more about developments in the financial industry and how to adapt to new policies and regulations. Employers may be willing to cover the associated expenses for professional development, as this can benefit the workforce as a whole, in addition to the employee who gets the training.