Scotland and West Yorkshire based professionals become first two to achieve UK’s highest-level financial planning qualification

by Lora Benson | May 07, 2020


The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) is delighted to announce that Keith Barron CFP™ FCSI of Falkirk-based Harley Financial and Daniel Morgan MCSI, a trainee financial planner at Berry & Oak Limited have become the first to pass the CISI’s new Level 7 Financial Plan Case Study. This is the final step to achieving the UK’s highest-level professional qualification for financial planners, the CISI Level 7 Diploma in Advanced Financial Planning.

The results mark the first achievers of the CISI Level 7 Diploma in Advanced Financial Planning, part of the new, improved CFPTM certification pathway, following an extensive review.

Daniel, having now achieved the Level 7 Diploma in Advanced Financial Planning satisfies the rigorous education and examination requirements of the Certified Financial Planner™ certification and, once the ethics and experience requirements are fulfilled, can apply for the gold-standard, global certification for financial planners, the CFP™ certification. Once approved, Daniel can join over 186,000 CFPTM professionals worldwide such as Keith, who had previously achieved CFP certification.

Keith Barron CFPTM FCSI (top right) an existing CFPTM professional, and a Chartered Financial 060520Keith Barron (002)Planner, felt the Level 7 CFPTM process had helped him further develop his skills as a financial planner: “The Level 7 Financial Plan Case Study was an excellent opportunity to test myself based on just the information provided and to make judgments on priorities. Of course, in a real-life setting there would be in-depth discussions with the client to ascertain their aims, objectives and priorities. The Level 7 CFPTM process helped highlight some development areas for me, which in turn improved my overall knowledge.

“To those thinking about starting their journey to CFPTM certification, I say absolutely go for it! The Certified Financial PlannerTM assessment process is by far the most thorough and thought-provoking test you will face and it is much closer to the job we do every day, rather than just sitting exams.

“For firms thinking about putting their staff through the Level 7, it is a great idea to allow you to reassure your clients that they are receiving the highest standard of care from a practitioner who has the appropriate skill set to deal with their needs.”

Daniel Morgan MCSI, (left) trainee financial planner at Berry & Oak Limited, when asked why he 060520DanielMorgandecided to start his journey towards CFPTM certification, said:

“I think it is important, as a financial planner, to be able to bring together your technical knowledge and apply it to clients’ circumstances in a coherent financial plan, which is what the Level 7 case study tests. I wanted to test myself in this way and ensure that my knowledge built up previously through exams and my past experience could be applied effectively.

“I now approach financial planning from a slightly different angle than I might have before in terms of the methodology behind why you would make a recommendation to a client and how you would arrive at that recommendation. Even though a lot of the time it may be the same or similar recommendation to one that you may have made previously, it is good to have a solid, proven process backing that up.

“I also want to be part of the global community of Certified Financial Planners™ and know I am part of a group which shares best practice, maintains the highest standards and puts the client at the centre of what they do. The CFP™ designation is a marker of professional competence to clients, potential clients and professional connections.”

Jacqueline Lockie CFP™, Chartered FCSI, CISI Head of Financial Planning said: “We are incredibly pleased to see Keith and Daniel become the first to achieve the new Level 7 Diploma in Advanced Financial Planning. Their success shows that our redesigned CFPTM pathway is achievable and will equip them with the critical skills to apply a holistic and comprehensive financial planning approach to their clients.

“There is a generation of young people choosing to put financial planning at the heart of their career in financial services and who are passionate about doing the right thing for the consumer.  The CFPTM certification is the globally respected credential which can help them do just that. I hope that Keith and Daniel’s important achievements will lead the way to inspire future financial planners to embark on their CFPTM journey.”