Our frequently asked questions are answered on this page.
1. Why was the sector's Employer steering group
The employer steering group was established in response to the
significant changes and challenges in the Life, Pensions and Long
Term Savings market, not least from Pension Reforms legislation.
This was in recognition of the opportunity for a collaborative
group of major employers to respond to these challenges and raise
professional standards and improve consistency of customer service
and communication across the sector. Our work has been informed by
2. What is the 2016 Commitment?
The 2016 Commitment is a call to action to the Life, Pensions
and Long Term Savings sector to publicly commit to a common
framework for professional standards. It sets a requirement that
firms should operate policies that embed outstanding standards of
customer service and ethical conduct, underpin career development
and support the development of knowledge, skills and expertise all
with the objective of delivering a consistent outcome for the
3. How flexible is the 2016 Commitment in its
The 2016 Commitment recognises the diversity of the sector.
Consequently, the framework sets out broad but measurable
principles, rather than hard and fast rules, and invites firms to
consider how they should be applied to their business model.
4. What companies are in scope within the 'Life,
Pensions and Long Term Savings' sector?
Any organisation which has customer contact through the
provision or administration of life, pension or long term savings
products, and is viewed as relevant by the customer.
5. How will companies evidence their adherence to the
Individuals who are authorised to act on their firm's behalf,
declare in good faith that their firm will embed the Commitment
standards in full by the end of 2018. The CII reserves the right to
ask for clarification on how framework principles are being
6. What do we mean by 'relevant
Using the term 'relevant qualifications' allows companies to
decide what qualifications are appropriate for individual job
roles. In-house training can be included, but only when externally
accredited by a recognised awarding body.
7. Does it matter which professional body's
qualifications are taken?
No. This is up to individual companies to decide. For example
CIPD qualifications for HR staff or IFoA qualifications for
8. What research supports the link between customer
trust and professional standards?
Visit 'The new pensions
environment' section for more information on our
independent consumer research.
9. How will the success of the 2016 Commitment be
measured once fully implemented by the end of 2018?
- At least 75% of firms publicly committed;
- Professional development programmes the 'norm' at all
- Sector working to a common agenda with Government and
- Positive impact on staff recruitment and retention.
10. Having signed up to the 2016 Commitment, what
can firms do to promote their status as a Professional Standards
The CII will be delivering an ongoing communications programme
in partnership with the Employer steering group and will be
offering support to firms wanting to capitalise on their commitment
to embedding high levels of professional standards.
We are developing a suit of materials to support firms in
communicating their status as a Professional Standards Signatory,
which will include a Professional Standards Signatory logo for use
on internal and external corporate communications, a sample
communication to staff and a Professional Standards Signatory
certificate, awarded by the CII.