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Cefa or FPC?
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# 1
dj1982
Old 05-05-2007, 10:41 AM
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Default Cefa or FPC?

Hi everyone,

I am looking at studying either the FPC(Certificate in financial planning as it's now called) or the Cefa qualification. Apart from the difference in number of modules you must study, could any tell me the main differences between the two? If you could relate the differences to the following points, that would be even better.

1. Which is more highly regarded in the industry? If there is a leaning to one of the qualifications why is this?
2. Which awarding body offers the most user friendly study materials? I am a self funded student so therefore I am looking to get as much from the materials provided as possible as I cannot afford an external training provider. From what I picked up from looking at the Cii website, the FPC materials don't sound like they would be very thorough or helpful but I'm not sure if this is correct.
3. Are there many main differences in the actual testing of the syllabus i.e is one harder than the other? I know both are level 3 qualifications, but is one trickier than the other? I already have a level 3 qualification from the Securities Institute so I am comfortable with this standard of testing but often it varies from one body to another.
4. What would be the next step after each exam? Would having one rather than the other have any impact on further study?

If anyone could get back to me with any advice it would be greatly appreciated as I am eager to get the ball rolling. Thanks for taking time to read my post.

Last edited by dj1982; 05-05-2007 at 10:43 AM. Reason: Forgot point 4
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# 2
dunstonh
Old 05-05-2007, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
1. Which is more highly regarded in the industry? If there is a leaning to one of the qualifications why is this?
Neither one is considered better than the other. However, FPC or CFP as it is now has the greater numbers. Probably as it is the CII qualification was around first.

Once passed, the exams have no relevance with an employer as you dont really learn the role until a few years after. The exams just allow you through the door. The advanced levels have the kudos. They are issued by CII and perhaps thats another reason for FPC being the more common one used.

The question the employer will ask is "do you have FPC, CFP or Cefa?" The answer will be yes and thats the box ticked and the end of it (apart from needing to prove it with your certificate).

I cant really help on the others as I passed mine back in the early 90s when FPC first came in. My employer at that time paid for it all and training was intensive and classroom based. A completely different approach to how you will be doing it.

Remember they are both to the same level, both covering the same subjects and both generic. There really isnt room for them to be much different. That said, the FPC did have a particular style on FPC3. The training for FPC3 focused more on how to answer rather than what to answer. I dont know if little quirks exist for the other one.
I am a Financial Adviser. Comments are for discussion purposes only. They are not financial advice. Different people have different needs and what is right for one person may not be for another. If you feel an area discussed may be relevant to you, then please seek advice from a Financial Adviser local to you.
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# 3
Mrs pbradley936
Old 05-05-2007, 8:44 PM
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My sister is currently doing a CeMap but the first module of that is also the first module for the CeFA. She already works for a bank so they are paying for it all but they like those qualifications because you can add modules on and do not have to start from scratch. For example you can do an Advanced CeMap or take a module on equity release.

Then whichever qualification you get you have to work under supervision for several months until you can satisfy the FSA that you can work unsupervised.
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# 4
lcharm
Old 24-11-2008, 1:50 PM
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Hi, thought I'd reignite this thread.

I'm also interested in studying one of these modules but I am torn between which ones to do, does anyone know which qualifications Guru Martin Lewis has done or recommends? If they can ask as his seal of approval would seal the deal for me!!
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# 5
Bruxy
Old 01-12-2008, 4:09 PM
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Default CeFA or FPC

As an IFA I would only employ people with full FPC and then let them advance through the J exams. I think that CeFA is aimed more at Bank advisers who only sell single company products(my opinion only)
I honestly do not know if Martin Lewis has any qualifications, I have looked on the IFA website that lists IFA qualifications and he is not on the list, that does not mean he is not qualified just that he is not registered.
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# 6
Aegis
Old 02-12-2008, 10:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bruxy View Post
As an IFA I would only employ people with full FPC and then let them advance through the J exams. I think that CeFA is aimed more at Bank advisers who only sell single company products(my opinion only).
As the FPC has been retired at this point and replaced with the Certificate of Financial Planning and CeFA, and as the two qualifications are both entry level, why would you choose one over the other when they cover the same ground and when the CII recognises CeFA as equivalent to its own qualification for Diploma level exam credits?

Just curious, as I've done CeFA and am starting on the Diploma at the moment.
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# 7
dunstonh
Old 05-12-2008, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
As the FPC has been retired at this point and replaced with the Certificate of Financial Planning and CeFA, and as the two qualifications are both entry level, why would you choose one over the other when they cover the same ground and when the CII recognises CeFA as equivalent to its own qualification for Diploma level exam credits?
I think you will find that is more down to terminology. Those of us that have been doing this a while still refer to it as FPC out of habit. The CII version is CFP now and then you have CEFA. At the end of the day, at that level there is no difference to worry about.

However, we now know that from 2010, anyone who is not already an adviser will have to have the diploma/level 4 qualifications before they start advising whilst existing advisers will have until 2012 to pass these if they want to continue.

That should cull a lot of the low skilled advisers and tied agents must be a bit worried about this as they thought they didnt need to pass the higher exams. Its going to be harder for them as they will now need to learn things about advice areas that their employer wont let them do. I know quite a few IFAs that are calling it a day in 2012 as well. There is going to be opportunities for the well qualified advisers from then.
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# 8
Aegis
Old 15-12-2008, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunstonh View Post
I think you will find that is more down to terminology. Those of us that have been doing this a while still refer to it as FPC out of habit. The CII version is CFP now and then you have CEFA. At the end of the day, at that level there is no difference to worry about.

However, we now know that from 2010, anyone who is not already an adviser will have to have the diploma/level 4 qualifications before they start advising whilst existing advisers will have until 2012 to pass these if they want to continue.

That should cull a lot of the low skilled advisers and tied agents must be a bit worried about this as they thought they didnt need to pass the higher exams. Its going to be harder for them as they will now need to learn things about advice areas that their employer wont let them do. I know quite a few IFAs that are calling it a day in 2012 as well. There is going to be opportunities for the well qualified advisers from then.
Personally I'm hoping it will be an opportunity for me to push myself through the training to be an IFA sooner rather than later. I'm more than happy to sit the exams required, and I love learning the necessary material.

Should be an interesting few years!
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# 9
lcharm
Old 18-12-2008, 7:51 PM
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Thanks guys I've just enrolled in Cefa, I got a package deal which will give me Cefa, Cemap, AdvCemap, Equity Release, Will writing and the DipFA plus all the training to become an FSA approved indivual under a customer function on the condition.

Got my first exam in Jan and i'm looking forward to the whole process!
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# 10
Lokolo
Old 18-12-2008, 8:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcharm View Post
Thanks guys I've just enrolled in Cefa, I got a package deal which will give me Cefa, Cemap, AdvCemap, Equity Release, Will writing and the DipFA plus all the training to become an FSA approved indivual under a customer function on the condition.

Got my first exam in Jan and i'm looking forward to the whole process!
Good luck.
You only live once so make the most of it!
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# 11
Aegis
Old 18-12-2008, 9:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lcharm View Post
Thanks guys I've just enrolled in Cefa, I got a package deal which will give me Cefa, Cemap, AdvCemap, Equity Release, Will writing and the DipFA plus all the training to become an FSA approved indivual under a customer function on the condition.

Got my first exam in Jan and i'm looking forward to the whole process!
Bloody hell, that must have set you back a small fortune! I hope your employer is covering all that for you.
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# 12
lcharm
Old 19-12-2008, 12:30 AM
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Not that bad actually, I consider it an investment in myself as I'm only 25 and I really needed a career change and that useless piece of paper people call a degree hasn't helped me one bit!!!
I'd be then working for myself as a registered individual and then hopefully Appointed Rep. afterwards.
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# 13
Aegis
Old 20-12-2008, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by lcharm View Post
Not that bad actually, I consider it an investment in myself as I'm only 25 and I really needed a career change and that useless piece of paper people call a degree hasn't helped me one bit!!!
I'd be then working for myself as a registered individual and then hopefully Appointed Rep. afterwards.
Can I ask why you picked all of the exams rather than, say, doing CeFA/CeMAP 1 and applying for tied or multi-tied roles?
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# 14
Lokolo
Old 20-12-2008, 3:50 PM
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Aegis hows your advisor status getting along?
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# 15
Aegis
Old 20-12-2008, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lokolo View Post
Aegis hows your advisor status getting along?
Looking to move into a multi-tied adviser role early next year if possible. Shouldn't be too tricky to get the position once they become available.
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# 16
lcharm
Old 21-12-2008, 5:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aegis View Post
Can I ask why you picked all of the exams rather than, say, doing CeFA/CeMAP 1 and applying for tied or multi-tied roles?
Well I have my heart set on becoming an IFA to tell you the truth working for a company doesn't appeal to me, i'm better of self employed and join a network as a registered individual. They look after my traning and competency etc... for the FSA so it's almost like working for a company except you work for yourself.

So in answer to your question. I have given myself (assuming I pass them all) a diverse range of products/services I can potentially supply clients so that they truly become clients for life!!
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# 17
Aegis
Old 22-12-2008, 10:04 PM
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Which company gives you that sort of training? I looked for ages to find a company that would allow training straight to IFA level, but almost all of them require you to have a proven track record in financial sales already before they'll put any money into your training and sign-off.

If you'd prefer to PM it to me (or even not reply at all), then I can appreciate that.
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# 18
GjrBartlett
Old 23-12-2008, 4:44 PM
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Afternoon all,

Just thought I'd bump this thread back to the top,

Just got a few questions for Icharm, as Aegis said that must have cost you a small fortune, not wanting to ask how much, Could I ask through whom your going to do these courses?

Also, how you join a network & become a registered individual?

This is an area that really interests me.

Thanks in advance.
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# 19
dunstonh
Old 23-12-2008, 9:16 PM
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Quote:
Well I have my heart set on becoming an IFA to tell you the truth working for a company doesn't appeal to me, i'm better of self employed and join a network as a registered individual. They look after my traning and competency etc... for the FSA so it's almost like working for a company except you work for yourself.
Most, if not all, IFA networks will want you to have obtained competent adviser status elsewhere and have at least 12 months experience if you want to be on self employed basis. Otherwise you will be looking at joining an existing firm.

Quote:
Also, how you join a network & become a registered individual?
The natural career path nowadays is to do time with a salesforce. Mostly the banks. Whilst that can be a living hell to many people, it does serve the purpose of seeing whether you can survive the role in the real world and allow you to make mistakes on customers without any personal liability. Also, their training tends to be free.

The other way is to get cemap and become a mortgage adviser with an existing IFA and then do the certificate and diploma exams whilst you do the mortgage advice role.

Remember that from 2010, you will need to have the diploma qualifications before you can become an RI. Currently its certificate.

CMAP = 3 exams
Cert = 5 exams
Dip = 4 exams

So, if you plan on starting, you really have to do it soon otherwise you will be looking at 12 exams before you can give advice.
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# 20
lcharm
Old 24-12-2008, 3:51 PM
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Originally Posted by dunstonh View Post
Most, if not all, IFA networks will want you to have obtained competent adviser status elsewhere and have at least 12 months experience if you want to be on self employed basis. Otherwise you will be looking at joining an existing firm.



The natural career path nowadays is to do time with a salesforce. Mostly the banks. Whilst that can be a living hell to many people, it does serve the purpose of seeing whether you can survive the role in the real world and allow you to make mistakes on customers without any personal liability. Also, their training tends to be free.

The other way is to get cemap and become a mortgage adviser with an existing IFA and then do the certificate and diploma exams whilst you do the mortgage advice role.

Remember that from 2010, you will need to have the diploma qualifications before you can become an RI. Currently its certificate.

CMAP = 3 exams
Cert = 5 exams
Dip = 4 exams

So, if you plan on starting, you really have to do it soon otherwise you will be looking at 12 exams before you can give advice.
I must add you are looking at all those exams regardless, the FSA are making it compulsory for all IFAs to have the diploma. After 2010 newcomers will have to complete it to advise and all practising IFAs will need this qualification by 2012 otherwise they'll lose their license. The benefit of starting now is you can start trading as an IFA with the certificate before 2010 then you have 2 more years to get the DipFA

CeFA is only 4 exams btw

The way I'm doing it is the network i'm joining will provide all the training etc... including competency at a cost. I'll be multi-tied with protections to start of with to gain experience for a minimum of 6 months then hopefully if i'm competant then i'll progress
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