Image of Gemma Darcy with her Chartered Financial Planner certificate in 2019

What being Chartered means to me

Written by Gemma Darcy

All Chartered Financial Planners need to satisfy rigorous criteria relating to advanced professional qualifications and ethical good practice, along with at least five years’ sector experience, but for me it was more about the assurance of having a specialised financial qualification at degree level. 

Anyone who has read my story knows my formal education was interrupted by having my son Josh at 18, and so gaining chartertership was my way of proving to myself that I had the ability to go the full educational course. 

Both my brother and sister had high ranking Batchelor degrees, with cap and gown celebratory images to go with them. As the eldest I felt I should have achieved this too! I’m hoping that doesn’t sound too shallow – of course I wanted also wanted to achieve the “gold standard” Chartered status as a “symbol of technical competence, signifying a public commitment to professional standards”, but proving to myself I was actually capable of going for gold, would be the icing on the cake.

After several years spent studying in my own time – taking exams while simultaneously gaining hands on experience across all areas of wealth management – I was thrilled to be awarded chartered status in 2019. After so many years of head down working, studying and caring for Josh, you can’t imagine the sense of pride and achievement I felt when I was able to celebrate by moving out of our flat and buying my first detached house in Manchester for me and for Josh.

So when you see my ‘Chartered Financial Planner’ it’s not so much a status symbol, more a symbol of pride in myself for going the full education journey, although there is always Fellowship of course.

gemma darcy chartered financial planner

The Chartered Insurance Institute

Chartered Financial Planner is a professional qualification awarded by The Chartered Insurance Institute1. Their strapline:

“Standards. Professionalism. Trust. embodies our commitment to driving confidence in the power of professional standards: competence, integrity and care for the customer. 

By choosing Chartered, you are choosing a financial planner who has made a public commitment to professionalism. 

They must maintain standards of excellence in qualifications, ethics, business practices and professional development.” 

Chartered financial planner crest

Chartered Financial Planner

Chartered Status is the profession’s gold standard for financial planners. It confirms that every Chartered Financial Planner has completed a suite of professional qualifications equivalent to a bachelor’s degree.

Gemma was awarded the title Chartered Financial Planner by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) in June 2019.

It also involves a commitment to continuing professional development and adherence to an industry standard Code of Ethics. You can view the Code at

The Chartered Financial Planner Qualification

The individual Chartered Financial Planner qualification fits into the National Qualifications Framework at Level 6, which is equivalent to a First Class Bachelor Degree. Chartered Financial Planner carries comparable qualifications as with other established professions, such as Chartered Accountants and Chartered Surveyors.

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