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Northern Ireland

Chair: Debbie Connolly (
Chartered Champion: Paul Kerr (
Education Outreach Ambassador: Richard Girvan FPFS (
Membership Officer:
New Professionals Officer: Stephen McCallum (
Professional Qualifications Officer:
SMP Advocate: Vacant
Committee Support Officer: Geoff Clarke (
Committee Support Officer: Russell Anderson FPFS (
Committee Support Officer: Brian Caruth (


  • CII pilots new form of financial planning assessment

    The ‘Shaping the future together’ consultation gave members and other key stakeholders the opportunity to feedback on the Chartered Insurance Institute’s (CII) proposed plans, as well as the services it delivers and how the professional body can best meet their needs and expectations in the future. The CII is conducting this pilot as the majority of financial planners who took part in the ‘Shaping the future together’ consultation told us they want us to bring in more flexibility and realistic assessed tasks to some of our assessments.

    In place of the scheduled written exams, the CII will be piloting coursework assessments for the R06 Financial Planning Practice unit of the Chartered Insurance Institute Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. The format of the coursework assessments for R06 will be assignments based on client case studies.

    Gill White, Chief Customer Officer of the Chartered Insurance Institute, said: “Our R06 unit currently uses on-screen written exams available four times per year. We are piloting a flexible, client-focused coursework assignment assessment, designed to fit in with contemporary working practice. This means learners with commitments that prevent attendance of exams on the fixed dates will not face a barrier to completion of the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.

    “The assessment is designed to meet the same syllabus learning outcomes and assessment criteria as the current R06 exam and meets the Level 4 qualification descriptors set out by education regulators.

    The assessment criteria include a requirement for analysis and justified recommendations, which are appropriate to assess in longer responses such as case-study-based assignments.

    “We worked with practitioners within the profession, advisory groups and the PFS Board to discuss how these skills are demonstrated in a professional context to design the coursework assessment approach and tasks.”

    A review will be undertaken later this year once the pilot is completed and feedback from candidates has been received. The Chartered Insurance Institute will then decide during 2023 whether assessment for the R06 Financial Planning Practice unit will switch from written examinations to coursework and the timetable for any changes.


  • Consumer Duty – FCA expectations of firms

    “In July 2022 , the FCA confirmed plans to introduce a new Consumer Duty  that will set higher and clearer standards of consumer protection across financial services and require firms to put their clients’ needs first.

    This webinar, presented by Mark Goold from the FCA, will focus on the Retail Investment sector and is designed to help small and medium sized firms understand: 

    • The background to, and key elements of, the Consumer Duty 
    • The areas firms should consider to ensure they are meeting the new requirements 
    • Our supervisory approach to the implementation of the Consumer Duty 

    The webinar will also include good and poor practice examples, tailored to the needs of small and medium retail investment firms, and will offer opportunities for questions”

    Register your place here. Book now!!

    The FCA will also be hosting this webinar as a face-to-face session in Belfast on Wednesday 8th March.


  • 2023 Regional Conferences and Events

    After a very successful return to face-to-face conference in 2022, we are excited to be back on the road in 2023 with our Spring, Summer and Autumn regional conference as well as a range of Specialist events and regional events organised by your local committee.

    Click on the link below to register your place or save the date in your diary if a link isn’t available.

    More events organised by your regional committee will be advertised in due course. If you have any suggestions for local events you would like to see, please contact your committee.


  • PFS appoints Interim CEO

    Don MacIntyre appointed to full-time executive role.

    In August the PFS appointed Don MacIntyre as PFS Interim CEO.  Not only will he represent and advocate PFS members’ interests, he will also work closely with the Board to preserve PFS assets. Furthermore, he will enhance our governance and enable new operational processes that serve the needs of all members while maintaining public confidence in your services. 

    Look out for Don at a regional conference near you soon!


  • Welcome from Northern Ireland

    As the new regional PFS NI Chair, it is my aim to help all NI members as much as possible. The PFS Committee will continue to contribute to the development and improvement of what we do as a professional organisation.

    Your suggestions, ideas, and feedback on our regional meetings, and the services that PFS provides, are critical to making Northern Ireland Financial Advice the best it can be. To create a representative committee for our region, we are always looking for new committee members, to share their ideas.

    As we return to face-to-face events once again this year, I am excited to meet you all in person to discuss ideas and collaborate with you to improve our knowledge, drive change, and improve efficiency and productivity throughout Northern Ireland.”

    Yours sincerely,

    Debbie Connolly, FPFS
    Regional Chair