In the United Kingdom (UK), investment firms who are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and / or the Prudential Regulatory Authority (PRA) are required to employ staff who are competent.
For staff who provide independent advice to retail clients, the FCA specify expected qualifications in their Appropriate Qualifications Tables.
The FCA’s standard for independent advice applies according to the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) rules, introduced to improve the clarity with which firms describe their investment advice services to consumers, improve consumer confidence and build general levels of trust in the retail investment advice sector.
To be qualified to give financial advice in the UK practitioners must hold at a minimum, a level 4 RDR compliant qualification. The CISI's Investment Advice Diploma was specifically developed to comply with the FCA’s examination standards of the RDR and appears on the FCA’s Appropriate Qualification tables.