Personal Finance Society (PFS)

The Personal Finance Society (PFS), is the longest-established of the CII's Societies and is the largest professional body for individual financial advisers in the UK market. PFS members are likely to account for a significant percentage of your local institute’s membership.

For most local institutes, these members are likely to number between 25-40% of their total membership, but for some institutes it’s as high as 50% or more. Your Membership Secretary will have access to your membership data and should be able to provide you with a breakdown of these figures.

Many local institutes engage with their PFS members to deliver events that support their learning and development.

It has long been good practice to encourage at least one financial services representative to serve on your local council. This will ensure that your local institute is delivering member services that meet the needs of all your members, not just those working within the insurance sector.

The PFS has local committees that work on a regional basis as opposed to the CII model of individual local institutes. Therefore, it is likely that several of your neighbouring CII local institutes are part of the same PFS region. Consider contacting the local committee for advice and support.

Chartered firms

More and more individuals and companies are becoming Chartered or achieving Chartered Status. Chartered status is a symbol of technical competence. It demonstrates that you are at the forefront of your profession and serves as a mark of trust with consumers, employers and business connections.

Visit www.cii.co.uk/membership/chartered for information on the status and titles available.

Local institutes can celebrate Individual and Corporate Chartered status in a number of ways; this will celebrate professionalism and formulate relationships with key organisations which can lead to long term, mutually beneficial relationships.

This could include recognising achievement via your Annual Dinner or Awards Ceremony, local and regional communications such as event guides and newsletters, your website and social media sites, a congratulations letter to new Chartered Firms or a joint celebratory event with other professional bodies.

To find out more about chartered firms speak with your Regional Membership Manager.

Chartered Champions

Chartered Champions are volunteers who have been recruited regionally by The PFS and tasked with raising the profile of Chartered status and organising exclusive events for the local Chartered community.

This includes two types of events for Chartered Financial Planners - Chartered business/mind stretcher dinners and Chartered Connections events.

Chartered business/mindstretcher dinners are organised by the PFS team in London. They secure a sponsor and arrange dinners in local regions to give Chartered Financial Planners the chance to network and discuss ‘hot topics’ over dinner.

Chartered Connections events are organised through the Chartered Champions, who will plan and run events to enable Chartered Financial Planners to engage with local firms of solicitors and/or accountants to discuss topics of mutual interest, aimed at education and forging relations between the three groups of professionals.

CII / PFS students

There will be many of your members who are studying for their CII qualifications.

Revision sessions can be organised to aid and support your studying members - typically they work most effectively as half day or full day sessions and are usually general revision techniques or focused particularly on one course or module.

You should base any revision sessions around the most popular subjects for your local institute - your Regional Membership Manager can provide you with a list of members that are enrolled or have bought study materials for the various Insurance or Financial Service examinations.

Your Education Secretary will also receive a report from the CII biannually outlining the examination units taken by your members and statistical summary of the results.

Why not consider joining up with other institutes to run revision sessions that can be promoted across a number of institutes?

Young professionals

A Young Professionals Group enables your institute to engage and empower the younger members of your institute. It is a great way to get their buy-in and give them the experience of running a small sub-council while ensuring the needs and interests of all members under 35 years of age are represented.

These groups can be as big or small as is appropriate for your institute; and typically they are for members under the age of 35.

To establish how many young members your institute has contact your Membership Secretary who has access to your Membership Data.

A Young Professionals Group's events should be designed for the institute's younger members as they progress through the early stages of their career. This should be from an educational and social perspective, with a mixture of social events, plus seminars or workshops based around appropriate soft skills and technical topics, with a focus on helping increase their knowledge base and confidence within the market.

Your Regional Membership Manager will be able to support you with examples of good practice from successful YPGs in the network.

Key local employers

To ensure your local institute and council are at the forefront of the local market, its important to forge relationships with the key corporate organisations that operate within your region.

Positive relationships with the local market will ensure that your institute can benefit in a number of ways; from attracting new members on to council through to utilising local contacts as a source of technical event planning. Furthermore it opens your local institute proposition up to a wider audience, including non-members.

One of the easiest ways to identify the key organisations within your region is to analyse your monthly membership data which gives an overview of your member’s place of work.

Your Membership Secretary will have access to this data which can be accessed via the My LI tab.

When you have identified any key companies in your region you can then seek out the main contacts or individuals you will want to contact in order to develop a positive relationship. This may require researching online, phoning up the organisations in question or through networking. Remember to utilise your council members to do this – they may already have a relationships with the organisations in question.

Once you have engaged with key local organisations hopefully this should lead to the basis of a long term, mutually beneficial relationship, which can prove beneficial for the future succession planning of your local institute council.

Schools, colleges and universities

Promoting the profession

As a professional body we are at the forefront of promoting careers in insurance and financial services, to ensure we attract, retain and develop the best talent the UK has to offer. We are also committed to increasing public trust in our profession and giving back to the local communities that we serve.

The CII conducts a series of outreach initiatives across schools, colleges, and universities.

Schools & colleges

Discover Risk: Promoting our profession within schools, colleges and universities locally has never been easier, thanks to the Discover Risk. As well as introducing students to the world of risk, this game is designed to increase students' employability skills such as team working, communication and problem-solving. Equally, they create opportunities for local employers to build links with their future talent.

The Discover Risk workshop involves 20-35 students, takes approximately 90 minutes to run and splits students into teams to work through several scenarios.

My Personal Finance Skills: The My Personal Finance Skills initiative delivers free financial education workshops to schools & colleges across the UK through a network of Education Champions (volunteer members).

Workshops cover important personal finance topics such as the first payslip, staying safe from scams, making decisions and risk (relating to insurance) and much more. The initiative also includes the Discover Fortunes workshops that is like Discover Risk but targeted at personal finance.

The CII can provide full materials and training for any local institutes that wish to deliver one of these workshops and diversify their offer to local school &c colleges.

The aim of this programme is increasing financial capability, building public trust in the profession, and giving back to the community. Now, more than ever, financial resilience is vital.

NB: Covid-19 & outreach in schools/colleges
Due to the ongoing pandemic, programme delivery is moving online for the time being with workshops being delivered via a school’s platform of choice. Material has been adapted for use virtually.

Discover Risk Training Webinar

This webinar explains the Discover Risk programme and how to use it effectively.

Discover Fortunes Training Webinar

This webinar explains the Discover Fortune programme and how to use it effectively.

Higher Education – Education Partnerships

For the Academic year 2020/2021 and going forward a very different landscape due to the Covid19 pandemic is expected. For many universities, much of their delivery scheduled for the academic year and beyond will be on-line with limited time on campus.

To that end, Careers and Employability in Insurance and Financial Planning webinars will be rolled out to align with university timetabling. From May-July 2020 four very successful webinars took place and determined how the formerly face-to-face seminar would be received; great feedback was received from students in attendance.

Where CII/PFS members wish to participate, a high-level outline is summarised below. The commitment for professionals from both insurance and financial planning is 75mins of their professional time predominantly between 12-2pm of a weekday. The content follows the following format:

Who we are and what we do - qualifications
Careers in Insurance and Financial Planning
Career Stories – Professionals are to share who they are, what they do, and how they secured their role in Insurance or Financial Planning
Q&A – Moderated by Education Partnerships Manager – An opportunity for the cohort to ask the panel questions based on what they have heard or anything they would like to ask regarding their career options.

The Education Partnerships Manager works closely with local insurance institute and personal finance society members to enable engagement with the local universities in respect of the above approach. The Education Partnerships Manager encourages students to become members of the CII/PFS. The benefits of the webinars are:

University students’ engagement is an opportunity to secure future members of local institutes and societies to enable succession planning.
University students are encouraged to attend CPD events to inform their essays/assignments/projects; build and strengthen their soft skills and also build their employer network to secure a role, placement or work experience in the profession.
Local institute and society members may leverage the opportunities of participating in webinars to demonstrate CSR.
In some cases, the access to new talent may enable SMEs to secure new talent without the cost of recruitment consultancy or recruitment costs.

See an overview site on careers in insurance or financial planning primarily for students and new talent to the profession https://www.ciistepforward.co.uk/ which is a resource used to a) introduce the profession and b) enable expression of interest for membership.

Finally, any queries on introduction and working with universities, contact the Education Partnerships Manager at EducationPartnershipCoordinator@cii.co.uk

The CII supporting local institutes

The CII can supply a PowerPoint presentation and supporting materials for those wishing to attend a career fair or present at a local school, college, or university. In addition to this, the CII can supply any relevant materials to assist in the training and delivery of the My Personal Finance Skills initiative.

Whenever local institutes plan something, we encourage you to contact us so that we know what is taking place and to ensure there is no cross-over with our own activities.

In addition, local institutes could help engage with key organisations to provide work experience and/or taster opportunities for those students who are particularly interested in gaining experience.

Downloadable resources

Contact us

For more information speak to your Regional Membership Manager or email George Tsounias (Education Relationship Manager) at george.tsounias@cii.co.uk (for schools/colleges) or Vivine Cameron (Education Partnerships Manager) at vivine.cameron@cii.co.uk (for higher education/universities).

Other professional bodies

Formulating relationships with other professional bodies can often increase your local membership proposition by opening doors to events and activities that will often be of professional interest to your members. For example, the insurance industry is intrinsically linked with areas such as fraud and compliance, both of which have their own professional bodies.

By establishing links with like minded organisations, your local institute could aim to run co-branded events, some of which can be subsidised by supporting organisations to reduce costs and increase attendance.

You may also want to consider opening your technical and social events to members of other local professional bodies. This can either be done in return for a small fee to cover costs, or for free, in return for the option of local CII members to attend events run by the supporting professional bodies for no charge.

Association of Certified Chartered Accountants (ACCA)


British Insurance Brokers' Association (BIBA)


Business Link


Charetered Institute of Management Accountants


Chartered Institute of Loss Adjusters


Chartered Institute of Marketing


Chartered Institute of Personnel Development (CIPD)


Chartered Management Institute


Chartered Quality Institute


Compliance Institute (CI)


Federation of Small Businesses (FSB)


National Enterprise Network (NFEA)


Institute of Business Consulting


Institute of Financial Planning


Institute of Legal Executives


Learning Skills Council (LSC)


Law Society


Personal Finance Society


Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors