The benefits of joining a professional body

24 February, 2023Joshua Downes

Having a professional designation from an accredited body is a well-established way for financial advisers and bankers to demonstrate their commitment to their profession. It also happens to be an essential requirement for some roles.  

Why financial advisers should join a professional body


Being a member of or having an association with a professional body brings a host of benefits. Most importantly, it acts as a benchmark of quality – assuring clients and potential clients that you have attained a high level of knowledge, experience, and professional education.

LIBF members, for example, receive the MLIBF designation, which is searchable on the FCA Register. This offers a great way to demonstrate your standing in the industry and gives clients peace of mind that their adviser follows the Code of Ethics set out by the LIBF.

“Being a member of the Institute means standing out as a professional within our industry and shows that you are happy to join other like-minded advisers with a shared purpose to uphold the highest levels of professionalism and educational standards,” says John Somerville, Head of Financial Services at LIBF.

“It shows that you are willing to be judged by a high set of standards and ethics that your customers will take with confidence.”

What professional designations are there?

Depending on what stage of your career you are at, there are different levels of professional designation available in addition to professional membership. For example, at LIBF we offer:

  • Statements of Professional Standing
  • Certified Professional in Financial Advice
  • Certificate of Professional Achievement
  • Chartered Associate.

It’s also worth noting that having a Statement of Professional Standing from an FCA accredited body is an essential requirement for anyone wanting to work as a retail investment adviser.

A multi-tiered approach means financial professionals will find the certification or designation that best represents their level of expertise.  

“At LIBF, we believe that professional designations are achieved by those who have maintained the highest standards of proficiency, education and professionalism and have therefore earned the right to show their customers what they stand for,” adds Somerville.

Which designation you apply for will depend on your experience and level of education, but there are several ways of meeting the criteria for professional recognition.

Different routes to professional recognition for financial advisers

In addition to offering a designation or membership that best represents your achievements, some professional bodies will also recognise your education and experience earned through other institutions.

For example, for statements of professional standings, LIBF will recognise CPD earned through other accredited bodies. We also do not require financial professionals to take out membership to be granted an SPS. This can be particularly beneficial for those coming to LIBF from other professional bodies.

“We take pride in the fact that our SPS holders will willingly join as members and we prefer to allow them flexibility in their choices for membership,” says Somerville.

What else does a professional membership offer?

A membership or designation from a professional body does more than just demonstrate your industry credentials. Professional bodies also provide support, education and networking opportunities as your progress through your career.

LIBF membership provides a structured way for members to meet the Financial Conduct Authority’s learning requirements for CPD. We also offer access to hundreds of ebooks, journals and news articles to support you in your ongoing professional education.

“Membership is all about belonging,” comments Somerville. “The member feels they are recognised, and the professional body is there to meet the needs of that individual and support them in their career development.”

A professional membership remains one of the hallmarks of the consummate professional. The body you choose to be associated with will essentially become part of your brand, so it’s important to choose an organisation that’s right for you.

Related content:

Read more about our Statements of Professional Standing

Read more about our different membership levels