European Financial Certification – What does it mean?

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10 September 2018 

You may have received an email recently from The Personal Finance Society (PFS) about your new European Financial Planner personalised certificate.  But what exactly does it mean?

Well read on whilst we explain to you:

With uncertain times ahead when it comes to Brexit, it will come as a relief to advisers who have relationships in Europe, that these will be able to be maintained post-Brexit with the recent mutual agreement between the PFS and The European Financial Planning Association (EFPA).

The European Financial Planning Association (EFPA) are the largest licensing, standard setting and certification body for financial planners and advisers in Europe.  They were the first financial standards association created to increase professionalism in the financial services sector in Europe.

From the 1st March 2018, PFS members who hold the Diploma in Financial Planning or Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning have been granted European Financial Advisor™ certification, meaning they are eligible to use the EFA designation.  And members holding the Advanced Diploma have been granted European Financial Planner™ certification and are eligible to use the EFP designation.  These designations are recognised through the equivalent European financial planning standards, which are fully, or part accredited by the main European regulators.

It’s worth noting that this certification is at no additional cost to PFS members who hold an Advanced/Diploma which is fantastic news to those who will benefit from it.

The EFPA have a professional development programme which will allow members to gain a deeper understanding of financial products and compliance under European regulation.  Their certifications are fully compliant with the European Securities and Markets Authority guidelines on qualifications and existing Diploma and Advanced Diploma qualifications are now aligned and recognised through the equivalent European financial planning standard, which is fully or partly accredited by the main European regulators.

If you are a member of the PFS you can download your personalised certificate by heading over to the PFS website ( and logging in with your email address and password.  You will need to go to your user profile, this is where you will see a new section titled ‘EFPA Certificate’.  Just click on view, download and/or print your personalised certificate.

Some of you may be wondering if this means that you can go straight to advising in other countries, but this isn’t quite the case.  You must always ensure that you comply with local requirements which involves passing relevant exams (this could be a bridge exam or local qualifications) and that you are authorised to act in that country.

There is currently an option called the Passporting regime which does allow firms who are authorised in the UK under the FCA to have the freedom to operate in EEA countries as the rules and standards are aligned.  However, with the UK leaving the EU due to Brexit, this is due to end.

You can read more about passporting on our previous blog here:

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