Statement of Professional Standing

The former UK financial services regulator, the Financial Services Authority (now the Financial Conduct Authority), launched the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) in June 2006. The review targeted the quality and standard of advice available to consumers in the UK retail financial services sector. Retail Investment Advisers operating in the UK are required to hold a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) in order to practice. The CISI is recognised by the UK’s FCA as an accredited body for the issuing of Statements of Professional Standing.

Apply for a Statement of Professional Standing

Retail Investment Advisers in the UK are required by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to hold an active Statement of Professional Standing (SPS). To apply for an SPS individuals must be a Retail investment adviser as defined by the FCA  and meet the following requirements:

  • Hold an active FCA profile on the FCA Directory
  • Be an adviser who carries on FCA activities 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 and 13
  • Be certified on the FCA’s register in [FCA CF] Functions requiring qualifications or CF30 (if appointed representative)
  • Attained an appropriate RDR qualification and completed the relevant gap-fill (where appropriate. In order to use gap-fill with a CISI qualification it must have been lodged with the CISI prior to 1st January 2021). Certified evidence is required for non-CISI qualifications.
  • Agreed to SPS terms and conditions 
  • Compiled with the COCON requirements (or Adhered to APER applicable to Appointed Representatives only)
  • Signed up to the CISI code of conduct

We will only accept applications from CISI members (excluding Student members). The SPS start date must be within three months of your CISI CPD year end date, so we can ensure that the CPD undertaken is current and relevant. If your CPD year does not end within 92 days prior to your SPS start date, we will realign your CPD year to a date that best suits.

FCA Specialist Areas

Retail investment advisers are defined by the FCA as employees who carry on FCA activities 2, 3, 4, 6, 12 and 13 in Appendix 1.1.1R to the Training and Competence Handbook.

The CISI provide SPS certificates that cover the below investment activities:

  • Securities (FCA Activities 2 &12)
  • Derivatives (FCA Activities 3 & 13)
  • Retail investment products and friendly society tax-exempt policies (FCA Activities 4 & 6)
It is important that the investment activities selected for your SPS Certificate match the activities held on your FCA profile.

Non-FCA Jurisdictions

CISI also provides SPS certificates for advisers in Guernsey (GSY) and the Isle of Man (IOM). Both the GSY and IOM SPS certificates are valid for 12 months and require renewal every year provided that the CPD requirement is met. For more information on how to apply, please click here.

Application process

A manual application form is required for advisers who are:

  • Applying for their first SPS
  • Returning to work from statutory leave
  • SPS has expired and have returned to an advisory role
  • SPS has expired (outside of 45 day renewal window) and you are unable to renew online
  • Want to realign their SPS start date
  • Want to renew their SPS with CISI from another awarding body

Please submit the above application form with all required accompanying evidence to Applicants will receive an automated email response upon receipt of the application form.

We will aim to issue SPSs within 10 working days of receipt of an application as long as all the required information and accompanying evidence has been provided. If information or accompanying evidence has been omitted from the application and we need to request more information from the adviser, the SPS may take longer to process. Advisers must ensure they meet the SPS requirements before they apply.

Due to the high level of incomplete or inaccurate SPS application, individuals now will be advised by email that their application is unable to be processed and will be given three days to supply the missing documentation. Regrettably, if this information is not received by the end of the third day, the application will be returned, unprocessed.

Renew Online Now


Application Type (UK, GSY & IOM) Price
SPS application  £50 
Online renewal application  £37 
SPS Renewal application with membership  £23 
Manual renewal application (The administration fee will not be applied for applicants returning to work from statutory leave or for members that are transferring their certificate to CISI from another professional body.)  £37 plus £25 administration fee

We are no longer required to charge VAT on SPS fees due to interpretation of guidance on VAT from HRMC.

Statutory Leave

If you have been absent from work and unable to meet the required 35 hours of Advisory CPD, your firm is permitted to suspend the requirements of TC 2.1.17R in respect of a retail investment adviser for the period of time during which the retail investment adviser is continuously absent from work, if that absence is due to:

  • maternity, paternity and parental or adoption leave.
  • long-term illness or disability.
  • caring responsibilities for a family member who has a long-term illness or disability; or
  • any other absence allowed in order for the firm to meet its statutory duties in relation to equality and diversity.

How to opt out of CPD

Guidance for completing your SPS

To assist with the completion of the form, the Institute has developed information about commonly made mistakes.

SPS Terms and Conditions

To view the SPS terms and conditions please click here.


To support you in your SPS application or renewal, the CISI has compiled a list of frequently asked questions.

If you have any questions or concerns about the application process, please email

If you are unsure whether you hold an RDR compliant qualification, please email