Retail Distribution Review (RDR)

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) now the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched its Retail Distribution Review (RDR) in June 2006. The review targets the quality and standard of advice available to consumers in the financial services sector. 

The CISI is recognised as an accredited body for the purpose of providing the verification required under the Professionalism strand of the Retail Distribution Review.

Qualifications and Gap-fill

The CISI has Level 4 qualifications for retail advisers.

Some CISI existing and legacy qualifications meet the RDR qualification requirements with gap-fill. The CISI has mapped the content of the qualifications against the FCA's exam standards and produced gap-fill guidance which highlight the areas where gap-fill is required to become fully RDR-compliant.

The CISI is pleased to help individuals and firms verify their qualifications and gap-fill for RDR purposes.


As part of the application and renewal process for a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) the FCA requires all retail investment advisers to confirm their adherence to the Accredited Body Code of Ethics and Conduct.

To ensure compliance with Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requirements the CISI is limiting the issuance of SPSs to members and employees of corporate supporters, who upon joining the Institute will have demonstrated their commitment to professionalism through confirming adherence to its Code of Conduct. The CISI will only be able to accept SPS applications from members and employees of corporate supporters.

Student members cannot apply for an SPS as this level of membership is designed for those who have not yet achieved their benchmark qualification to indicate competence.  Any student members who have achieved RDR compliant qualifications will need to upgrade their membership to the appropriate level before applying for an SPS.

To join the CISI please visit our Membership pages.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

To demonstrate compliance to the RDR, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that all retail investment advisers must complete 35 hours continuing professional development each year. Of which 21 hours must be structured. The main RDR CPD requirements can be found here.

Find information on how you can complete 35 hours CPD a year with CISI here.

Statement of Professional Standing

To demonstrate compliance to the RDR, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has stated that all retail investment advisers must obtain a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) from an Accredited Body.  

For more information on obtaining an SPS from the CISI please click here.

The CISI as an Accredited Body

Accredited Body roles and responsibilities

The key responsibility of an Accredited Body is to issue SPSs. In discharging this effectively on behalf of the regulator, the CISI needs to demonstrate that it: 

  • acts in the public interest and furthers the development of the profession;
  • carries out effective and independent verification services;
  • has appropriate systems and controls in place and can provide evidence to the UK Regulator the FCA of the continuing effectiveness of verification procedures; and
  • co-operates with the FCA on an ongoing basis, including sharing relevant information with the regulator.

The CISI has formed an Accredited Body Committee to assist the CISI in this work; the members are (as of April 2012):

  • Nick Parkes, Chartered FCSI, Chair, Novitas Partners LLP
  • Ian Cornwall, Chartered FCSI, WMA
  • Frank Dolan, Chartered FCSI, Novatis Asset Management
  • David Kanolik MCSI, IMA
  • David Loudon, Chartered FCSI, Quilter
  • Alison Stobbs, Cazenove
  • Tina Wishart, Chartered FCSI,
Contact us

We have a dedicated RDR email inbox for any queries