Generic Financial Advice

National Occupational Standards for the Providers of Generic Financial Advice 

The Financial Services Authority, as part of its wider initiative of the National Strategy for Financial Capability, approached the Financial Skills Partnership (FSP) to engage with employers and stakeholders to develop National Occupational Standards for Providers of Generic Financial Advice.

Further details about the FSA's initiative can be found here.


Background information

Generic Financial Advice (GFA) is a set of services and tools that use information about individuals' circumstances to help them to identify and understand their financial needs and to plan their finances. Generic financial advice helps consumers to identify:

  • choices and possible priorities for action which are appropriate to their needs
  • how to take the next steps in addressing their priorities
  • how to access other relevant sources of information and advice.

The aim of this project was to develop Standards which define the boundaries for GFA as a stand-alone service and establish a set of core skills and competences for those who engage in this activity, whether in the private or not-for-profit sector.

Adoption of the Standards will contribute to making generic financial advice of a consistent quality more readily available to the consumer. This will in turn give comfort to those providers who are not authorised to give regulated investment advice that they will not inadvertently stray into giving regulated advice and reassure consumers that the process is not designed specifically to sell them products and services.

The Standards have been developed with a view to offering face-to-face advice service tailored to the consumer's individual circumstances; however, they could be adapted for use through other media such as telephone or internet.


The National Occupational Standards

These Standards were developed between June 2005 and January 2006 and the emerging project output was reviewed by Steering and Working Groups which included representation from industry practitioners, trade associations, consumer bodies and the voluntary and not for profit sector. There was also input from various training organisations and awarding bodies.

In common with many other projects, a Functional Map was developed to assist production of the NOS units, and the final version of this is available here.

During the summer of 2005 an industry consultation took place, taking the form of a series of ‘Roadshow' events, an online survey and face-to-face interviews with key personnel. The valuable feedback received helped inform the final version of the NOS, which can be downloaded below. 

The units can also be downloaded individually from the NOS Directory here.

Further information

For further information about these NOS, please contact the NOS team by emailing [email protected] or by calling 0845 618 2379.


Your feedback

We welcome feedback on the National Occupational Standards which we have produced. If you would like to comment on the NOS for Generic Financial Advice, please complete and return the feedback form (which can be downloaded below) to [email protected] .





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