Providing Financial Advice & Financial Planning

National Occupational Standards for Providing Financial Advice & Financial Planning

With the Retail Distribution Review focusing on the need to raise standards of investment advice and provide a better experience for consumers, this is an ideal opportunity to define the competences needed to do this. We would urge you to get involved.

Background information

National Occupational Standards for Providing Financial Advice were approved in 2006, which means that much of the research underpinning them took place during 2005. Being more than three years old, an incremental review is now taking place to ensure that their content remains topical and relevant.

This review will undertake a gap analysis of the NOS against current industry needs, to ensure that the Standards continue to reflect good industry practice, and will also include their extension to cover all the competences required for activities in giving financial advice and preparing a financial plan for a client.

The Retail Distribution Review

Under the Retail Distribution Review it is proposed that the benchmark for certain advisory functions should be Level 4. This will impact on the competences in these NOS (the outcomes of effective performance), which will be enhanced to reflect this raised benchmark.

By specifying what is required for competent performance, the NOS will be an essential resource for use alongside the new examination standards which are being developed for retail investment advisers, and neither should be viewed in isolation.

Further information about the development of the new examination standards, resultant of the Retail Distribution Review, can be found here.

National Occupational Standards for Providing Financial Advice & Financial Planning - Project Update

This project was launched in April 2009, with a Working Group recruited to help inform the first draft of (and subsequent amendments to) the NOS.

Between September and November 2009 a wider industry consultation took place, featuring ‘Roadshow' events across the four countries of the UK accompanied by an online survey on our website. The Powerpoint presentation which was used during the ‘Roadshow' consultation events can be downloaded here.

A large number of consultation responses have been received and these are currently being incorporated into a final draft of the NOS, which will be reviewed by the project Working Group, prior to submission for approval to the UK Commission for Employment and Skills.

The draft of the NOS for Providing Financial Advice & Financial Planning which was used during the consultation can be downloaded here and further updates will follow on our Latest News page.

Further information

For further information about this project, please contact Chris Kennedy, Assistant Standards Manager at, Tel: 0845 618 2379.



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