The CII has recently completed a review of corporate Chartered
status, which has seen a number of enhancements being introduced to
help raise standards, promote professionalism and deliver better
outcomes for consumers.
You will find review related FAQs appear first, followed by more
If you have a question that isn't covered by Chartered review
documentation or questions below please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q1. Why have you undertaken this review?
A: Corporate Chartered status was introduced to acknowledge
organisational wide commitment to professional and ethical practice
and to spearhead the drive to continually improve standards. It is
subject to regular review and, as and when appropriate, it is
enhanced. The last review was undertaken in 2009, so it was time to
take a fresh look to see how corporate Chartered status could be
improved and developed to promote professionalism and deliver
better outcomes for consumers.
Q2. How was the review of the corporate Chartered
A: All existing Chartered organisations were invited to complete a
survey on the scheme and to make suggestions on what enhancements
should be made. This was supplemented by one-to-one discussions
with a representative cross-section of Chartered organisations and
with wider industry consultation, including:
• discipline/sector specific Faculty Groups (insurance
broking, underwriting, claims, London Market)
• the CII's Professional Standards Board, and
• the CII and Personal Finance Society Boards.
The feedback was collated and used to prepare a series of
recommendations which again were consulted on, prior to being
presented to the CII Board for approval.
Q3. What changes are being introduced?
A: The review has resulted in a number of enhancements to the
Chartered scheme. These are designed to help raise standards,
promote professionalism and deliver better outcomes for
• increased oversight, including a contract that will
formalise rights and obligations;
• additional audit procedures, to determine compliance and
support best practice;
• alignment of rules with regulatory requirements based on
competence, conduct and culture;
• enhanced qualification criteria providing greater access to
individually qualified Chartered advisers;
• a requirement that all staff be included in an
organisation's professional development programme; and
• where a specialist division, as opposed to an entire
organisation, is Chartered, there will be a requirement for a
nominated statutory board member to act as a Sponsor to ensure the
Board is aware of and oversees compliance with the responsibilities
of holding the Chartered title.
Details of the changes are contained in these "Overview of
• Chartered Insurance Brokers/Insurers
• Chartered Financial Planners.
Q4. When do the changes go live?
A: Most of the changes are effective from 1 July 2015 (or the
first renewal date thereafter) unless indicated otherwise.
The exception to this are the changes to the Chartered Financial
Planners qualification eligibility criteria, which take effect on
the following dates:
• from 1 July 2017 (or at first renewal thereafter), a
minimum of 25% of your organisation's advisers must personally hold
the CII 'Chartered Financial Planner' title; and
• from 1 January 2020 (or at first renewal thereafter), this
requirement will increase to 50%.
Q5. Why has a formalised corporate Chartered contract been
A: Corporate Chartered status was launched in 2007. Since then,
the rules, requirements and obligations have naturally developed to
reflect market changes and overall aspirations for the scheme.
It has become clear that all parties would benefit from having a
formalised contract. Consequently, the contract (comprising
Guidance, Terms & Conditions and supporting Rules)
essentially codifies the existing requirements and standards, with
updates and additions included where these will improve clarity,
reinforce the intended requirements of the scheme and comply with
changes in legislation.
All existing Chartered organisations were written to
in advance of the contract being introduced so they could
familiarise themselves with this.
Q6. Are organisations to be audited/inspected by the
A: Yes. As part of our monitoring and disciplinary procedures, the
CII will be auditing 10% of Chartered organisations annually from
By applying for corporate Chartered status, an organisation (and
its staff) commits to achieving compliance with the stated
requirements now and at each subsequent renewal. To ensure
compliance with the scheme criteria, the CII retains the right to
validate any declarations made. This can include, but is not
limited to, requests for additional supporting documentary evidence
and personal visits to an organisation's premises. Personal
visits/telephone interviews may be undertaken on the organisation's
initial application, at any subsequent renewal or at any time
between renewals, at the discretion of the CII.
If an organisation is found not to comply with the specified
requirements of corporate Chartered status, it may be refused the
award or an existing award may be withdrawn. The CII liaises with
other organisations such as the regulator, both within the UK and
overseas, to monitor the activity of Chartered organisations to
ensure the scheme rules are not being contravened.
The CII will monitor any complaints received directly from the
public or any actions which are likely to constitute grounds for
non-compliance, such as action taken by the FCA or other
Q7. What is the purpose of the CCS
A: The audit has two purposes. The first is so that a picture of
good practice can be ascertained and shared amongst other CCS
Entities. The second is to give such guidance as may be necessary
and ensure that CCS Entities understand their obligations and are
maintaining their eligibility.
Q8. Is there more to Chartered status than simply
using the title?
A: Absolutely. Chartered status - which flows from a Royal Charter
- involves a number of serious obligations. Chartered titles are
jealously guarded by all professional bodies and are not awarded
lightly. The title is not simply recognition for staff having
passed examinations or for paying an annual fee, and it reflects
objective professional standards, not standards chosen by any one
A Chartered title is a public declaration that advice given by
an organisation is:
• of the highest quality;
• based solely on the researched needs of the consumer;
• provided by someone not exceeding their level of
It also signifies that an organisation's staff, where members of
the CII/PFS, are governed by a Code of Ethics, and that
disciplinary sanctions are applied to those who transgress. A
Chartered title is therefore an overall commitment to excellence
Q9. In the documentation for corporate Chartered status
the CII refers to 'professionalism' and 'professional
organisations'. What does it mean by these terms?
A: What constitutes professionalism, both for an individual and
for an organisation? This is a question we are increasingly being
asked and is a matter on which understanding is essential if we are
to ensure that our professionalism is securely rooted and able to
The CII has analysed how other professions (such as accountancy
and the law) define and express professionalism. Where appropriate,
we have incorporated these views into our own approach, enabling us
to assemble a list of characteristics that articulate
professionalism in insurance broking and financial planning.
It should be noted that, while the CII is a professional body
that monitors and, where necessary, disciplines its members (the
CII can and does publicise the withdrawal of Chartered titles from
members), we do not police or regulate all the areas mentioned
below. In some instances, these are the responsibility of the FCA,
PRA or other bodies. But we believe that all professionals should
comply with these requirements, irrespective of how they are
• Members offer professional judgment, objective advice and
act in the interests of the client
• Members observe a code of conduct or practice that
describes the desired standards of behaviour
• High entry standards in the form of examinations that are
not easy to pass and require an initial lengthy period of
• The requirement to maintain a high degree of competence and
expertise involving continuing professional development
• Effective regulation in the form of an independent body,
the CII, responsible for setting disciplinary procedures and
• Members are subject to an objective form of censure and are
accountable to the profession for any breach of expected technical
and ethical standards
• The nature of censure is sufficiently punitive to encourage
members to maintain standards in line with requirements. This
typically includes details of disciplinary action being publicly
communicated and potentially barring from membership.
• A management with the experience and expertise to ensure
the business model is sustainable and to implement the model
• Corporate governance and systems that exert appropriate
levels of control over the running of the business including risk
management, maintaining adequate capital, record-keeping, training
and competency programmes
• A culture that encourages the fair treatment of
• Encouragement of professional standards for employees
through support for technical training and the development and
encouragement of appropriate behaviour.
Q10. Can corporate Chartered status be awarded to a
A: No. A network is a collection of individual organisations and
each individual organisation must apply in its own right.
Q11. How do I decide which of my staff should be
included within the requirement that 90% of customer-facing staff
should be CII members?
A: Ideally the CII would require 100% of customer-facing staff to
be members however the 90% rule is a practical guide on membership
requirements. By requiring, as a minimum, only 90% of
customer-facing staff to be members, organisations are able to
exclude staff whose customer-facing activities are peripheral to
the organisation's business activities. It also provides a degree
of protection in respect of natural fluctuations in staff numbers,
which could otherwise lead to a contravention of the membership
For guidance, all staff acting in an advisory capacity need to
be members. Beyond this, any member of staff that has customer
contact should be included. Further information can be found in the
guidance notes produced for each Chartered title - see www.cii.co.uk/CCSreview
Q12. If 90% of customer-facing staff have to be members of
the CII is this not simply a way for the CII to get more members
and increase its revenue?
A: Not at all. This is about ensuring a common standard across the
market which can be relied upon by anyone who transacts with an
organisation holding the title. All CII/PFS members are required to
comply with a Code of Ethics, reinforcing ethical practice, which
is a key element of the Chartered concept.
Q13. What are the definitions of an executive and
A: If directors run the company on a day-to-day basis and
employees are accustomed to act in accordance with their
instructions, they are deemed to be executive directors. In the
case of a limited liability company, all the directors are
executive unless they have been appointed in a non-executive
Non-executive directors have no operational role and do not make
decisions on a day to day basis. Their role is to offer a different
perspective to the Board and to make a creative contribution to the
Board by providing objective criticism. Non-executive directors are
appointed to that position (they will have a letter of appointment
designating them as such).
Q14. Do the requirements relating to directors/appropriate
management team/partners include retired or 'silent'
A: All directors/appropriate management team/ partners need to
meet all the requirements regardless of whether they are retired or
'silent' partners. In UK law, all directors are legally liable and
collectively responsible for Board decisions and for this reason we
require then to adhere to the CII/PFS Code of Ethics through virtue
of their membership.
Q15. Are self-employed consultants included in the
A: All advisers registered to the organisation (including self
employed and contracted advisers) are required to be members (and,
hence, signed up to the CII/PFS Code of Ethics) and beyond that,
any member of staff that has customer contact should be
Q16. I have a number of part time staff, do they all have
to become members?
A: Yes, if they are customer-facing.
Q17. Not every employee in an
organisation has to be Chartered in their own
right. Is this not misleading to the consumer?
A: All professional organisations operate with a variety of
disciplines and with staff at various levels of experience. A
Chartered accountancy firm, for example, may have accounting
technicians, part-qualified accountants and fully-qualified
chartered accountants. Each individual is assigned work within
their level of competence and is supervised by a fully qualified
The same applies for Chartered insurance broking and Chartered
financial planning organisations. The CII/PFS Code of Ethics and
Chartered rules require that individuals only operate within their
levels of expertise and that the organisation is overseen by a
Board/appropriate management team/partnership which in most
instances has 50% of its members qualified to Chartered level).
Further, one of the directors or equivalent is a designated
'Responsible Member', part of whose responsibilities is to ensure
the CII/PFS Code of Ethics and Chartered rules are adhered to by
all staff members.
Our rules are consistent with those of other professional
Q18. Is there a minimum number of directors/appropriate
management team member/partners that an organisation must
A: No, but at least one director, appropriate management team
member or partner must hold the CII Chartered title for which
corporate status is requested. That director or partner must be the
Q19. Can executive directors/appropriate management
team members/partners use other professional qualifications to
qualify. If so, what qualifications are acceptable?
A: The CII will recognise Chartered titles from other awarding
bodies as being comparable to the CII's individual Chartered title,
providing: the title held is directly relevant to the individual's
principal area of work; and the awarding Chartered body concerned
has a Code of Ethics comparable to that of the CII.
Directly relevant to the individual's principal area of work
means, for example, that an organisation's accountant who is a
Chartered Accountant may be counted towards the discretionary
individual Chartered requirement (provided that the accountant is
only acting in this capacity [accountant] for the company and does
not advise clients, either as a broker in an organisation of
Chartered Insurance Brokers or as a Financial Planner in an
organisation of Chartered Financial Planners).
A listing of the Chartered titles which the CII will
automatically recognise as equivalent can be found at Comparable Third Party
Titles. Other organisations will be considered on
Q20. Can a single organisation hold more than one
corporate Chartered title?
A: In accordance with the Bye-laws of the CII, it is only
permissible for a company or partnership to describe itself using
the plural of a single chartered title.
Q21. Is there a Charter logo for organisations to use
on their marketing material?
A: Yes. There is both a logo and a form of words that can be used
on company stationery, company signage, web, etc. Please see
for using the Chartered logo for further guidance.
In addition, organisations can use their corporate Chartered
status in a variety of ways to reinforce their credentials and
demonstrate their commitment to providing customers with a
professional service. These range from including details in client
proposals through to issuing a press release to issuing a
communication to existing customers. A guide to maximising the
benefits of being Chartered is issued to each organisation
when it attains Chartered status. Click
here to view this.
Q22. How does the CII handle consumer complaints against a
Chartered organisation? What redress does the CII provide to the
consumer if a complaint against a Chartered organisation or member
A: As the CII is not a regulator of organisations or individuals,
consumer complaints regarding, for example, policy coverage or the
performance of an investment product, will be dealt with by the
existing complaints mechanisms run by the FCA or Financial
Ombudsman Service (FOS).
In every case of complaint, however, the complainant must
contact the organisation concerned in the first instance. If a
complaint concerns an individual member's behaviour, any breach of
the CII/PFS Code of Ethics will be dealt with by reference to the
CII's Disciplinary Procedures (see Guide to Complaints against
Q23. What happens if one of my staff is subject to
disciplinary proceedings of the CII or other professional,
statutory or regulatory body?
A In the case of CII disciplinary action, they will be notified by
us. It is important that they take this seriously and respond to
CII's enquiries promptly, honestly and in full.
You should be aware that a CII Case Examiner or Disciplinary
Panel has a variety of sanctions available which can withdraw
individual Chartered status or membership and recommend to the CII
the withdrawal of corporate Chartered status, where the
circumstances warrant this action.
Where another professional, statutory or regulatory body applies
sanctions to an individual member of staff, full details (including
the nature of the offence committed and details of the sanction
applied) must be notified to the CII immediately. The CII will then
consider whether the offence prejudices your organisation's licence
to use the corporate Chartered title and whether CII disciplinary
action against that individual is required.
Q24. What do I do if my organisation ceases to meet the
stated eligibility criteria?
A: You must notify us immediately should you cease to meet the
eligibility criteria on which you applied. In turn, we will agree a
realistic timescale for you to return to compliance with the rules.
If you do not achieve compliance within that timescale, your
licence to use corporate Chartered status may be withdrawn and
corresponding use of the title must cease immediately.
Q25. What are the costs?
A: There is a tiered fee structure based on headcount. The fees,
which have been unchanged since 2007, have been kept at a level
which reflects the costs to the CII in administering, monitoring
and communicating the scheme. They also recognise the commitment
made by organisations in supporting CII/PFS
membership/qualifications to-date. The pricing model was developed
in consultation with the industry through the CII's Professional
Standards Board, faculties and societies.
Q26. What is the rationale behind the current pricing
A: The pricing model was developed in consultation with the
industry through the CII's Professional Standards Board, faculties
and societies. The fees have been set to cover the administration,
monitoring and communication costs associated with the scheme. The
work includes verifying applicant's details, confirming
eligibility, producing and issuing certificates and enforcing the
scheme rules. There is also a wealth of supporting literature, a
dedicated website and a "live" online directory.
Q27. Can organisations request additional
certificates to display on their premises?
A: On initial application, organisations can request as many
certificates as they require in order to display one certificate in
each of their offices. If, subsequently, the organisation requires
additional/replacement certificates, a fee of £10 per additional
certificate will be charged.
Q28. What is the process for organisations that cease
trading/wish to cancel their corporate Chartered
A: Organisations who cease trading or wish to cancel their
Chartered status should inform the CII immediately. They should
also return all Chartered certificates to the CII as soon as