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Who are the packs for

These learning packs will be of value to anyone who has an involvement with financial planning for clients.

They have something in them for everyone with such an involvement: from the directors and managers of a financial planning firm, as well as the firm's team of financial planners, to its paraplanners and administrators. 

They will also be of value to long established people in the financial planning sector, as well as those taking the first steps of their career.

The varied content in the learning packs cover the ethical issues you need to know about, from all sorts of practical angles: from quick checklists and case studies, to test questions and more detailed dilemma situations. To find out more, click on the 'how they're structured' link in the right hand menu.

How they're structured

There are two learning packs in this set: an introductory pack for individuals employees and a leadership pack for those with managerial responsibilities.

The introductory pack covers all that a typical PFS member needs to know about the ethical issues associated with financial planning. It should be of interest to financial planners, paraplanners, administrators  and managers wanting to get up to speed on the key ethical issues.

The leadership pack builds on the introductory pack, with information more relevant to those with managerial responsibilities. So for example, while the introductory pack looks at conflicts of interest in the round, the leadership pack focuses on how they should be managed. We recommend that all PFS members with managerial responsibilities start with the introductory pack and then progress on to the leadership pack. An outline of what each learning pack covers is set out on the next page.

The learning resource in each pack has been made as varied as possible, to suit the different learning preferences of PFS members and the time they have available at different points in their schedules. Each pack has been designed so that PFS members can dip in and select items that suit what they want to know, how they want to learn it and how much time they have for it.

How the Learning Packs are structured

Here is an outline of what is covered in the introductory and leadership packs on ethics:

Welcome course outlines

What you will learn

Upon completing both the introductory and leadership learning packs on the ethical issues associated with financial planning, you'll be able to:

  • explain the role that ethics plays in financial planning;
  • outline how ethics relates to professionalism;   
  • describe the key points in the PFS's Code of Ethics;
  • explain the four key ethical issues relating to the work of financial planners;
  • explain how each issue is reflected in FSA regulations and in the PFS Code of Ethics;
  • describe the ethical issues that influence key financial planning scenarios;
  • explain what an ethical dilemma is and how individuals should handle them;
  • describe the links between ethics, trust and successful financial planning;
  • describe what tone from the top means and the steps to achieve it;
  • describe the key steps for managing the four key ethical issues for financial planners;
  • describe policies and procedures that a firm can adopt for managing key ethical issues;
  • describe how best to respond to someone bringing an ethical concern to you;
  • describe how good communications and reporting helps your firm's approach to ethics.

More detailed learning outcomes are given at the start of each module of the learning packs.

About the author

The introductory and leadership learning packs have been written by Duncan Minty, an independent consultant in business ethics and a Chartered Insurance Practitioner.

Duncan MintyHe's worked with a variety of clients in the insurance and financial planning sectors for more than 10 years, advising them on ethical risks and opportunities in order to build trust, reduce costs and enhance service. 

He can be contacted via his website.

Duncan also comments regularly on ethical issues for the insurance and financial planning sectors on his blog.

Excellent reminders of how we should be conducting ourselves at all times as individuals and companies.

Stuart Stojkovic CertPFS
Blevins Franks Financial Management Limited

Ethics - A pair of learning packs


Welcome to this set of PFS learning packs on ethics. They explore the ethical issues associated with the work of financial planners and financial planning firms.

They've been designed with three aims in mind:

  • to boost your background knowledge about the ethical issues involved;
  • to give you lots of examples of what those ethical issues look like in practice;
  • to allow you to self assess how well you've understood the key points covered.

They form part of the PFS's programme of continued professional development. Using the resources in these learning packs will help you to maintain the knowledge that underpins your Statement of Professional Standing.

We all know that clients attach considerable importance to honesty and integrity. These learning packs will explore the difference ways in which ethical behaviours influence the day-to-day tasks around which the client relationship is built. They will help you become more confident and certain about what those ethical behaviours mean in practice.

To find out more about the learning packs, use the menu options on  the right.

Please access the packs using the links below: